$16 billion stripped from Australia’s superannuation system

The Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) has released its weekly update on the Morrison Government’s early superannuation release policy, which reveals that another $1.1 billion was withdrawn from Australia’s superannuation pool, taking total withdrawals to $15.9 billion:

As you can see, 2.1 million applications for early release have been paid averaging $7,637 per withdrawal.

Looking at the breakdown, you can see that industry funds comprised the top six for withdrawals, accounting for just over half ($8.3 billion) of total early redemptions:

Early superannuation withdrawals should continue to rise given the Morrison Government’s early superannuation release policy allows superannuants to withdraw an additional $10,000 from 1 July.

That said, the Australian Tax Office has vowed to crack down on people gaming the system:

The ATO said it is beefing up enforcement efforts saying it is prepared to take enforcement action where individuals have deliberately exploited the system…

The ATO said through the Single Touch Payroll (STP) system it has real time information as to whether individuals are employed and how much they are being paid…

The taxation office listed a number of behaviours it considers suspicious including applying for ERS when there has been no change in regular salary or wage, artificially arranging affairs to meet the criteria and making false statements or fraudulent attempts to meet the criteria.

The ATO said each false and misleading statement will carry a penalty of over $12,000.

Additionally, the ATO said it is on the lookout for people seeking to withdraw and recontribute their superannuation for a tax advantage.

Fair enough.

Leith van Onselen


  1. thomickersMEMBER

    at least half of the early release withdrawals are being used to pump up the stockmarket with heavy emphasis on buying big 4 banks/BHP/afterpay

  2. Ukraine fnMEMBER

    With the ZIRP basically around the world, stock markets pumped with printed money, super returns barely to keep pace with inflation, why wouldn’t you take out up to $20k now if you’re eligible?

  3. “That said, the Australian Tax Office has vowed to crack down on people gaming the system”

    The problem here is that the ATO have benefited from the additional monetary flow that “illegitimate” super withdrawals have provided. They’ve been happy with the extra GST paid on goods and services that otherwise would not have occurred, the government has been quite content to report that as economic activity, and the banks have willingly accepted the money as home deposits to get builders back into work. If the ATO fine people who withdrew their own $10k, the Treasury and ATO must refund the $10k plus interest back to the super account.

    Sound fair?

  4. ATO tough on you and your money, while lax on foreign buyers, money laundering, multinational tax dodgers who get a free pass.

  5. So about 1% of total super funds under management? Insignificant compared to the pasting property values have and will be taking into to the future….