22 March 2020
SMSF Association Media Release
The SMSF Association supports the Federal Government’s latest stimulus package announced today, particularly those measures that will assist self-managed super fund trustees cope with the economic and social upheaval caused by COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
SMSF Association CEO John Maroney says: “The country is in unchartered waters, so we fully endorse the new measures the Government has committed to in a bid to ameliorate the economic fallout from COVID-19.
“The Association has been calling for a temporary reduction in superannuation minimum drawdown rates in recognition of the share market volatility that has seen the Australian market fall more than 30 per cent since its record peak on 20 February this year.
“So, by implementing this important measure on drawdown rates the Government is giving SMSF trustees the discretion and flexibility to better manage their superannuation assets in these testing times.
“The Association is also fully supportive of the changes to the deeming rates to reflect the fall in the cash rate to a record low of 0.25%. Many age pensioners, in particular, will benefit from this change. The decision to temporarily double Newstart is also welcome.”
Maroney says the Association also supports the Government’s move to allow eligible people to have limited early access to their superannuation.
“In the past it has been our strong view that access to superannuation should be a ‘last resort’ option, and that the strict rules preventing people from drawing down their superannuation was the correct approach.
“But we appreciate these are extraordinary times where people could suffer enormous hardship, so, in these circumstances, they should be able to access some of their superannuation where they meet the eligibility criteria.
“It’s imperative that the Government ensures that there are clear rules in place to ensure only those in genuine hardship can have early access to their superannuation. We look forward to working with the Government on how these rules and proposed administrative arrangements will apply to members of self-managed superannuation funds.”