NEWS One in four cash in super
THOUSANDS of cash-strapped Territorians have raided their entire retirement funds during the coronavirus pandemic, new analysis has revealed.
About 48,000 Territorians — or one in every four NT workers — have taken an estimated combined $347 million out of their super funds as part of the federal government’s early access scheme.
Analysis by Industry Super Australia, prepared for the Sunday Territorian and based on official government data, found the NT had one of the highest rates of early super access in the country.
It is estimated 6773 Territorians have emptied their superfund accounts, while 48,284 people had applied to draw up to $20,000 across two rounds.
This is far higher than data reported at the end of May, before the end of the first round of early access, when 26,700 Territorians had drawn a total of $216 million from their superfunds.
Me Bank’s latest Household
Financial Comfort Report found young people aged 18-24 were most likely to withdraw from their super funds, with fears this could leave a generation much poorer upon retirement.
But Grattan Institute economist Brendan Coates said the idea of a “lost generation” being created was not the whole picture, with the burden more likely to fall on the commonwealth when that demographic hits retirement and needs to be supported with a higher pension.
Nationally, federal treasury revised its estimate on how much money would be drawn from the super system, from $29.5 billion to $41.9 billion, in light of the high take-up of the early release scheme, the decision to extend it to the end of the year, and the impact of Victoria’s deadly second wave of COVID-19.
This represents about 1.5 per cent of the $2.7 trillion superannuation system, with more than 2.6 million Australians having taken up the program to help support themselves through the pandemic.