Withdrawing your super early
As the COVID-19 virus took a sledgehammer to the economy, the federal government rapidly introduced a range of initiatives to help individuals who lost income as a result of the measures taken to control the virus.
One of those initiatives was to allow qualifying individuals access to a portion of their superannuation to help them meet their living costs. Withdrawals are tax free and don’t need to be included in tax returns. Most people can withdraw up to $10,000 in the 2019/2020 financial year and up to a further $10,000 in the 2020/2021 financial year.
For many people this early access to super will prove to be a financial lifesaver, but for others the short-term gain may lead to a significant dip in wealth at retirement. And the younger you are, the greater that impact on retirement is likely to be.
Alexander provides an example that many people will be able to relate to. He’s a 30-year-old hospitality worker, and due to the casual nature of his recent employment he is not eligible for the JobKeeper allowance. He is eligible to apply for early release of his super under the COVID-19 provisions, however before going down this route he wants an idea of what the withdrawal will mean to his long term situation.
Taking the max
Much depends, of course, on the future performance of his superannuation fund. However, if Alexander withdraws $20,000 over the two financial years, and if his super fund delivers a modest 3% per annum net return (after fees, tax and inflation), then by age pension age (currently 67), Alexander will have $39,700 less in retirement savings than if he doesn’t make the withdrawal.
At a 4% net return, he will be $65,360 worse off if he makes the super withdrawal.
But that’s not the only disadvantage for Alexander. A smaller lump sum at retirement means a lower annual income. If Alexander draws down his super over a 20 year period, at a 3% net return, he will be around $2,670 worse off each year as a result of making the withdrawal. Over 20 years that adds up to a total loss of $53,375. At a 4% return, his youthful withdrawal will cost him over $96,000 by the time he reaches 87.
Reducing the risk
On the plus side, if Alexander is eligible for a part age pension when he retires, his smaller superannuation balance may see him receive a bigger age pension.
There are other things Alexander can do to reduce the financial consequences of accessing his super early. One is to only make the withdrawal if he absolutely has to. Or if he does make the withdrawal, to use the bare minimum and, when his employment situation improves, to contribute the remaining amount back to his super fund as a non-concessional contribution.
COVID-19 is adding further complexity to our financial lives, so before you make any big changes to your financial situation, speak to one of our financial advisers and accountants to get personalised advice for your unique situation.
Book Your Financial
Receive customised recommendations to improve both your personal and business related financial health.
Related Blog Articles
Who thought house prices were going to fall due to the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic? Our hand is up! Unfortunately for us, and for those wanting to enter the housing market for the first time, we were wrong. This article discusses the continued increase...
Since November 2020, borrowers have been indulging in record low interest rates, but what happens when rates start to rise, and mortgage repayments become unmanageable? This article discusses interest rates of the past and uses a case study to show the importance of...
When we consider
family business dynasties,
there’s probably few as
Australian or as diverse as the
cray fishing Thompson family
from the seaside town of
Cervantes. Read more here …
Insight’s support for Amaroo
stretches from tax advice, to
business strategies, and managing
the company’s payroll.
The 2020-21 Federal Budget is a road to recovery paved with cash.
Key initiatives include:
• Personal income tax cuts from 1 July 2020
• A $4 billion ‘JobMaker’ Hiring Credit to encourage businesses to take on additional employees aged 16 to 35 years old
• $110 billion in infrastructure investment over 10 years
• Immediate deductions for business investment in capital assets
• Changes to how companies can manage losses
• Access to generous tax concessions for a wider range of businesses