Suburban scammers pushing illegal early access to super
THE Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has become aware of people in some suburban areas attempting to encourage others to illegally access their super early to help them to purchase a car; to pay debts; to take a holiday or to provide money to family overseas in need. Deputy Commissioner James O’Halloran said that the last thing the ATO wants to see is people’s retirement savings being put at risk by unscrupulous promoters. “Attempting to access your super early in this way is illegal, and people need to be aware of the financial dangers of falling prey to these promoters. “These people could cost you a big part of your hard-earned retirement savings.” The ATO has seen evidence of promoters promising that they can organise access to super (for a fee). They ask people to fill out blank forms and provide identity documentation, while assuring people that these arrangements are legitimate. So far, the ATO has seen promoters targeting people with small to medium super balances, people involved in local community and cultural groups, and those who may not have engaged with their super at all before being approached. If you are approached by someone telling you that you can access your super early, or you hear about it from family, friends or work colleagues: t EP OPU TJHO BOZ EPDVNFOUT t EP OPU QSPWJEF UIFN XJUI any of your personal details t TUPQ BOZ JOWPMWFNFOU XJUI the scheme, organisation or the person who approached you t TFFL BEWJDF GSPN B QSPGFT sional advisor or the ATO. Generally, you can only access your super once you turn 65 or when you reach preservation age and stop working. Currently, in Australia, the preservation age is 55 years old for those born before 1 July 1960. It then increases by one year, every year, up to the maximum of 60 for those born after 30 June 1964. There are some very limited circumstances where you can legally access your super early. Check the Illegal early release of super information on the ATO website and contact them on13 10 20 to report the promoter. The ATO has general information on accessing your super on their website, and you can find out further information about other schemes the ATO has warned about, at Super Scheme Smart.