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  • CRT Alert 004/2020

    COVID-19 economic response package – early release of super

    We are issuing the following information to provide clarity on how the COVID-19 early release of super is progressing, and what that will mean for large superannuation funds and their administrators.

    On this page:

    Application process for individuals

    On Monday 20 April, the ATO will be deploying the application form for individuals to use for COVID-19 early release of super. From that date, individuals will commence applications.

    An individual can make one application in the 2019–20 financial year and one application in the 2020–21 year prior to 24 September 2020, when the measure ends.

    The application is accessed in one of two ways:

    • The member authenticates themselves through myGov and is able to complete the application form in ATO Online.
    • For those who are unable to access online services, the individual will be able to call the ATO, confirm their identity and complete the application over the phone.

    The application requires the person to certify that they are eligible and includes information about the consequences of making false applications. The individual then proceeds to:

    • review a list of open accounts they have and the last account balance reported for that account (in most cases that is 30 June 2019)
    • input the amount they would like to release from each account (there are no limitations on what the individual can input only that in total the amount can’t exceed $10,000)
    • input the bank account details (account name, BSB and number) they would like the money paid into
    • authorise the ATO to provide it to the super fund and that the super fund release the money into that account.

    Notification process for funds

    It will take approximately 1 to 2 business days for the fund to receive notifications about their members. Funds can expect to start receiving notifications from Tuesday 21 April 2020.

    The ATO will be providing the details in an electronic data file. It will be a daily spreadsheet.csv file. The details on the fields in the electronic data file and the naming convention will be confirmed early next week and will be available on Superannuation COVID-19 stimulus design and implementation.

    Funds will need to download the file via the Bulk Data Exchange (BDE) channel and process the information provided by the ATO. The government expects funds to process the payments and release the amounts to the individual as soon as possible.

    Please note the current process for existing categories of compassionate release of super will continue as is, and is unaffected by the process.

    Update on customer verification obligations from AUSTRAC

    In response to COVID-19, AUSTRAC will introduce a Rule under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act (AML/CTF). This Rule will ensure that superannuation funds making payments to their members under this initiative, where the payment is approved by the ATO and processed through MyGov and ATO online, will not have to conduct additional customer verification under the AML/CTF regime.

    AUSTRAC will update their website with further information – Link.

    Further information

    As we continue detailed design, we will publish information for funds and administrators to access.

    For design and implementation artefacts, visit Superannuation COVID-19 stimulus design and implementation.

    If you have any questions, email

      Last modified: 30 Mar 2020QC 61984