NEWS One in four cash in su­per

Sunday Territorian - - NEWS -

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.

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