Aussies in financial hardship withdraw $16.5 billion from super

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Aussies continued to dip into their superannuation savings based on compassionate grounds and in the event of financial hardship, APRA statistics show.

Released earlier this week, APRA's June 2021 Superannuation Bulletin reveals that super funds paid out $16.5 billion of members' money based on compassionate grounds, affecting a total of 2,028,000 member accounts.

While this is a substantial amount, it is 3.5% less than the $17.1 billion released in the 2020 financial year withdrawn from 2,237,000 member accounts.

aussies accessing super early financial hardship

In the 2015 financial year, super funds released just $145 million out of 10 member accounts.

Super funds continue to harbour unclaimed members' money, with the amount reaching $1.5 billion as at FY21, lower than the prior financial year which had $2 billion sitting idle.

Members withdrawing from their retirement savings because of financial hardship spiked in June 2020, thanks to government incentives such as the Early Release of Superannuation Scheme, reaching $826 million. The following financial year, some $658 million was released based on financial hardship.

Meeting the conditions of release continues to be the prevalent reason why members draw down their super.

Last financial year, $10.9 billion was taken out of members' accounts, down from $11.3 billion year on year.

This article first appeared on Financial Standard

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Karren Vergara is a financial journalist with Financial Standard, covering wealth management, including superannuation, banking and financial planning. Prior to becoming a journalist, she was an accountant for more 10 years. She has a diploma in journalism and Bachelor's degree in business, both from UTS.

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