COVID-19 and your super

Last updated: 24 July 2020

Here are some of the latest updates on how we’re working to support our members throughout this challenging time.

On this page:

  • We answer some of the common questions being asked about market volatility
  • How to contact us
  • What to do about the new pension draw down rates
  • Temporary early release of super
  • How to get in touch with a financial adviser
  • Insurance in super

Get in touch

We’re excited to start welcoming our members back to Mine Super as most of our local offices have now reopened to visitors. To continue keeping our staff, members and visitors safe we’ll have social distancing measures in place. This means you may see some changes to the way we operate such as a fewer people allowed in lifts and meeting rooms. We have masks and hand sanitiser on site for your convenience and you’ll be asked to sign in on arrival.

Visit the Contact us page for an overview of which offices are now open.

Call us on 13 64 63, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm AEST.

Are you looking for general information or need to return a form to us?

Contact us via help@mine.com.au or visit your nearest office.

How the market may affect you

As market volatility continues, it’s an important time to evaluate your long-term financial goals and understand the options you have if you feel your risk profile has changed. For the latest investment information, please refer to our Investments Q&A.

Here are some other helpful links and resources:

Be aware of scams

There’ve been reports of COVID-19 related scams targeting Australians. Check out the Scamwatch website for more information about the type of scams, including examples and tips to protect yourself.

Further information

We’ll continue to provide updates via this page to support you.

Mine Super Financial Advice

If you’re feeling worried about the current market volatility and would like to discuss your circumstances and investment strategy, then personal financial advice may help.

To get in touch with an adviser, simply fill out the following form or call us on 13 64 63.

Temporary early access of your super

The Government has announced temporary measures to support individuals impacted by COVID-19 to access some of their super early. Individuals will be able to access up to $10,000 of their super in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21 (prior to 31 December 2020 when this measure ends).

If you’re eligible for this new condition of early release, you can apply directly to the ATO through the myGov website at my.gov.au. You’ll need to provide documents to the ATO to confirm you meet eligibility criteria. The ATO checks that applications meet these criteria and will take action if they believe you’re not eligible. For more information on this, visit the ATO website.

There may be other implications for withdrawing super down the line and so if you’d like to discuss this, please contact us. We've also put together a factsheet 'Early access to super if you're impacted by the Coronavirus' to provide you with more information or refer to the below frequently asked questions (FAQs).

 

FAQs | Temporary early release of super

How long will it take to get my money?
We’ll process your payment as quickly as possible. Generally, payment is made within five business days from the day we receive your approved application from the ATO. We’ll only contact you if we have questions or need further information in order to process the payment. Once we’ve processed the payment, you’ll receive a letter in the mail confirming the withdrawal.

Should I call Mine Super to make sure you have my application?
There’s no need to contact us as the ATO will let you know if your application is approved. You’ll generally receive confirmation within four business days via myGov. We receive approved applications daily from the ATO to process. If you call us, unfortunately, we won’t be able to confirm the exact date on which your payment will be made, however, generally payment is made within five business days from the day we receive your approved application from the ATO.

How will the ATO have the right balance for my account?
We’re regularly providing the ATO with current account balances as part of this process however, there may be variations as a result of any recent contributions or market volatility. You can also check your current Mine Super account balance via your online account. Please note: there may be some fluctuations in your account balance from the time we submit it to the ATO and you make an application.

What happens if my application results in my account having no money in it?
Your account will be closed. If you have insurance through your Mine Super account, your insurance cover will also cease when your account is closed.

Can I start a new account?
Yes. If you’re still receiving an income, then the next time your employer makes a super contribution on your behalf, a new account will be created for you. If you’re not working, you can still apply by completing the form via our website. You can activate the account by making a contribution. 

How much super can I withdraw?
If you’re eligible, you’ll be able be able to access up to $10,000 of your super in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. 

Will my insurance be affected?
If you currently have insurance through your Mine Super account and withdraw money from your account, you need to consider whether you can continue to pay the insurance premiums from your remaining balance. If your balance gets too low and there’s not enough money in your account to pay the insurance premiums, we’ll let you know if this is happening.

Am I eligible?
The early release measure is specifically for people who are financially affected by the Coronavirus. To apply for early release you must satisfy any one or more of the following requirements:

  • You’re unemployed; or
  • You’re eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment (which includes the single and partnered payments), special benefit or farm household allowance; or
  • on or after 1 January 2020:
    • you were made redundant; or
    • your working hours were reduced by 20 per cent or more; or
    • if you’re a sole trader – your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20 per cent or more

The ATO checks that applications meet these criteria and will take action if they believe you’re not eligible. For more information on this, visit the ATO website.

I’ve applied and received an early release payment, but I’ve changed my mind. What should I do?
If you change your mind and want to return the amount to your super account, this will be a superannuation contribution. If you intend to claim a tax deduction on this amount, you should consider the broader tax implications that may apply, before claiming a deduction. You can find more about limits that apply in our How much super can I add to my super factsheet.

Please note that the ATO may cancel any tax benefits if you enter into the early release scheme mainly for the purpose of obtaining a tax benefit. Visit the ATO website for further detail.

I’ve thought it over and I’m not sure whether I was eligible for COVID-19 early release of super. What should I do?  
If you’ve applied for early release but subsequently unsure about your eligibility, you should contact the ATO on 13 10 20 to discuss your situation as soon as possible. The ATO can then work with you to determine whether you were in fact eligible based on your individual circumstances.

I’m not eligible. Can I still access my super in a different way?
The government may let you access some of your super under certain circumstances, such as financial hardship and specified compassionate grounds. Check out this factsheet for more information.

How do I apply to access my super now?
If you’re eligible for the temporary early release measure, you must apply directly to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) through myGov. You can’t apply directly to Mine Super. You can make one application in the 2019-20 financial year and one application in the 2020-21 financial year prior to 31 December 2020, when this measure ends.

I don’t have a myGov account. Can I still apply?
If you’re unable to make an application online, you can call the ATO and complete your application over the phone.

Can accessing my super now impact my balance at retirement?
Accessing your super early is a big decision. Super is a long-term investment that typically rides the ups and downs of the market over your working life. To help you work out what impact withdrawing super today will have on your retirement income, use the MoneySmart superannuation calculator.

If you’d like to speak to someone from Mine Super Financial Advice about whether accessing your super now is the right move for you, you can call us on 13 64 63 to make an appointment.

What are the tax implications of accessing my super now?
You won’t pay tax on any money you take out of your super as part of this measure. You also won’t need to include it in your income tax return.

Can I add money back into my super?
Yes. You can top up your super by making a payment via BPAY or by asking your employer to make additional super payments (salary sacrificing arrangements may also be something to investigate). These are subject to annual caps on contributions.

Are there other options to help me through?As part of the COVID-19 response, there are specific Government payments to help you. Check out the MoneySmart website for more information.

I’m worried my personal information may have been compromised. What should I do?
If you suspect that someone has accessed your personal information you should contact the ATO. More information can be found on the ATO website.

Pension account holders

Temporary reduction to minimum annual payment amount

To assist retirees, the Government has temporarily reduced the minimum annual draw down amount by 50% for the 2020/21 financial year. Check out this article for details about the new rates and how to calculate your new minimum payment amount. For more information on changing your pension payment amounts, visit this page.

Lower deeming rates

In addition, for people receiving or applying for an Age Pension entitlement, the deeming rates were decreased on 1 May 2020, reducing the lower deeming rate to 0.25% and the upper deeming rate to 2.25%. You won’t need to apply for this as it will automatically be applied to your Age Pension entitlement.

For more information on these changes check out the Government factsheet

Having confidence in a steady and reliable income stream is of course, essential. If you have any questions or would like to discuss how your current or future pension payments are paid, then please get in touch via 13 64 63 or help@mine.com.au

Self-serve via your online account

We understand some of our members are currently making investment switches in response to market fluctuations. While it can be tempting to switch your super investment allocation in times like these, it’s important not to jump too quickly without assessing your personal financial situation. This is where getting personal financial advice can be helpful. If you do choose to switch your investments, please allow at least three business days for this change to be reflected in your online account. 

You can also log in to your online account to check your account balance and insurance cover. 

Insurance in super

Given the impact of COVID-19, many of our members might be concerned about how it affects the insurance they hold through their Mine Super account. Generally, the rules for our insurance still apply and you can find information about our insurance in the Product Disclosure Statement and Insurance Guide at mine.com.au/super-pds

To help, we’ve put together the following FAQs. If you need further information, you can call us on 13 64 63. 

 

FAQs | Insurance in super

Does the insurance on my Mine Super account cover me for COVID-19?
Generally, yes. All members including those who are on the frontline (doctors, nurses and other medical professionals) are fully covered for COVID-19. However, the general rules for our insurance will still apply.

Can I claim under my Income Protection (IP) insurance if I have COVID-19?
If you’re unable to work because you’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19 you may be able to claim under your IP insurance. Our usual claim process and eligibility rules will still apply. 

Generally, to be eligible for an IP benefit you’ll need:

  • to have IP insurance on your account
  • to be up to date with your premiums
  • be under the care of a medical practitioner who certifies you’ve stopped work due to your illness; and
  • be off work for longer than your waiting period.

Keep in mind that IP insurance covers total or partial disablement only. It does not cover you against loss of income from business closure, lack of shifts or reduction in hours.

Also, if you had treatment for COVID-19 before your cover commenced, then your condition may be assessed as ‘pre-existing’ and no benefit would be payable, depending on the type of cover you hold.

Will my insurance be cancelled if I lose my job or I’m working reduced hours?
No. Generally, your insurance will continue while you have enough money in your account to pay the premiums.

There are other conditions when your insurance will be cancelled. For example, you reach the maximum age for having our insurance, or your account hasn't had a contribution for 16 months or more and you haven't let us know you want to keep your insurance. You can find the full list of circumstances when your insurance would be cancelled in our Insurance Guide.

Will the conditions of my death and disablement insurance change if I lose my job or I’m working reduced hours?
No, you’ll still be covered as you were previously before you lost your job or had your hours reduced.

Will the conditions of my IP insurance change if I lose my job or I’m working reduced hours?
If you aren’t working, your IP cover will stop once you haven’t been working for 12 months. 

Your benefit payment is based on the total income you earn before tax in the 12 months immediately prior to the date you became disabled. So, if you’ve lost your job or you’re on reduced hours, your benefit could be less than it would have been had you been working full time. To be eligible to claim a benefit under your IP insurance, you must also meet our eligibility criteria.

Can I restart my insurance if it’s cancelled?
Yes, but only if it’s been cancelled for the following reasons:

  • you haven’t had a contribution credited to your account for 16 months or more
  • there are insufficient funds in your account to pay for your cover
  • for IP insurance, you’ve been unemployed for 12 months.

When your cover is cancelled, we’ll send you a letter, which will include further information on how you can restart your cover.

Can I claim IP if I am self-isolated?
Generally, no. For example, if after 14 days of self-isolation you returned to work then you haven’t served your waiting period and no benefit is payable. Most employers provide sick or personal leave for this period. If during your isolation you learn that you have COVID-19 and cease work for longer than your waiting period and you are receiving treatment from a doctor, then our insurer will assess your situation to determine if you’re eligible for a benefit.

Can I get additional cover during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Yes, you can apply at any time. Our normal terms and conditions will apply. Find out more here.

Where can I find more information?
If you’re unsure how you’re affected, call us on 13 64 63. Your insurance with Mine Super is also visible on your online account.

You can find more information about insurance in the Product Disclosure Statement and Insurance Guide at mine.com.au/super-pds

We can also put you in touch with a financial adviser from Mine Super Financial Advice to discuss your personal situation.

Employers

In the current environment and to protect the health and safety of staff, our Employer relationship teams are minimising site-based visits. If you’d like to discuss how Mine Super could provide support or guidance to your employees throughout this period of volatility, please contact us via employers@mine.com.au or through your account manager.