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Early access to super has now ended

Early access to super due to COVID-19 has now ended. Other Government initiatives are ending soon. What does this mean for individuals and businesses?

During the COVID-19 pandemic the impact on businesses, employment and the economy has meant that many Australians have needed financial assistance from the Government and financial institutions to make ends meet.

At IOOF, we provided 40,000 people, who were doing it tough in 2020, with early access to their super totalling $343 million to 31 December 2020. We also launched the IOOF Community Offer which included access to pro-bono personal financial advice to those in need. Our advisers provided 1000+ hours of support
to the community.

However, with much of this financial assistance ending on 31 December 2020 or ending soon, what does this mean for individuals and businesses?

Two of the most accessed initiatives ending on 31 March 2021 are:

  • The JobKeeper payment which provided financial assistance for employers, and the self-employed, to help them retain their staff when a pre-existing job was lost or hours reduced.
  • The Coronavirus Supplement which provided additional financial assistance for individuals looking for work.

The Government extended both of these measures beyond the original September 2020 date to the end of March 2021, with reduced payment amounts. At this point in time, there have been no announcements indicating that these payments will continue beyond March 2021, meaning that once these payments stop, employers will need to rely on their business profits to allow them to continue to employ their staff.

Individuals who are unemployed, will have to rely on the basic JobSeeker payment which for a single person with no children is $565.70 per fortnight.

HomeBuilder

The HomeBuilder initiative is also set to end on 31 March 2021. It provides eligible owner-occupiers with a grant to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home. This not only assists individuals, it also supports the residential construction sector by encouraging people to build new homes or spend on home renovations.

On 29 November 2020, the Government announced an extension to the HomeBuilder program with some changes.

How does it work?

  • Building contracts signed between 1 January 2021 and 31 March 2021 may receive a $15,000 grant.
  • The deadline for applications is 14 April 2021 for eligible contracts signed on or after 4 June 2020, including if you’re applying for the original $25,000 grant or the new $15,000 grant.
  • Construction must commence within six months for all HomeBuilder applications. Previously the timeframe was three months. This will apply to all eligible contracts signed on or after 4 June 2020.
  • In New South Wales and Victoria, there is an increase to the property price cap for new build contracts from $750,000 to $950,000 and $850,000 respectively, where the contract is signed between 1 January 2021 and 31 March 2021. The existing new build property price will continue to apply in all other States and Territories.

To avoid missing out on this opportunity, make sure you apply before 14 April 2021 to your State Revenue Office.

JobMaker

The JobMaker Hiring Credit gives employers incentives to take on additional young job seekers on a permanent, casual or fixed‑term basis. This incentive will help both employers and young people as the economy recovers. It is available to employers for each new job they create over 12 months, starting from 7 October 2020. Employers will be able to apply for $200 a week for each additional eligible employee they hire aged 16 to 29 years old and $100 a week for each additional eligible employee they hire aged 30 to 35 years old.

Early access to super due to financial hardship

Although early access to super, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic ended on 31 December 2020, there are other ways you can apply to access your super early. These include access on compassionate grounds or access due to severe financial hardship, due to a terminal medical condition or incapacity.

If you wish to request one of the above benefits, please contact the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) or a member of our ClientFirst team on 1800 913 118.

If you or a loved one is struggling financially, please contact your financial adviser. If you don’t have an adviser we can put you in touch with one.