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Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates

Early access to your super

Information about payments for the 2020/21 financial year.

The 2020/21 financial year starts on 1 July 2020. Eligible citizens and permanent residents of Australia or New Zealand can access a second early access payment of up to $10,000 from their super accounts, from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020.

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If you have any questions please speak with your financial adviser or contact our Client Services Team on 1800 033 426.


The Government is allowing people affected by COVID-19 to access up to $20,000 of their superannuation. Up to $10,000 in financial year 2019-2020 and a further up to $10,000 in financial year 2020-2021.

To be eligible to apply for early release, you must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • you are unemployed; or
  • you are eligible to receive a jobseeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment (which includes the single and partnered payments), special benefit or farm household allowance; or
  • on or after 1 January 2020:
    • you were made redundant; or
    • your working hours were reduced by 20 per cent or more; or
    • if you are a sole trader - your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20 per cent or more.

If you meet criteria, you can apply directly to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) through the myGov website:, you do not apply through Sandhurst Trustees (Bendigo SmartStart Super). Please ensure your super details are up to date including your identification and banking details. You will need to demonstrate you meet the above eligibility criteria.

Yes. Applications for the second $10,000 payment opened on 1 July 2020 and will close on 31 December 2020. However, the Australian Government may choose to change the date. If there are any changes, we will let our members know via our website.

No, you will not pay tax on the amount released from your superannuation. These payments will not affect your Centrelink or Veteran's Affairs payments.

No, you can apply for up to $10,000. You are able to apply for one payment of up to $10,000 in the current 2020-21 financial year.

Making decisions about, or making changes to, your superannuation now may help in the short term but you risk locking in potential losses – which, in the long run, may end up costing you a lot more in lost earnings from compounding interest and market recovery.

If you apply for the balance, your account will be closed and the insurance/s cover you hold within your account will cease.

A financial counsellor or financial adviser may be able to help you with your decision.

After the ATO have processed your application, they will issue you with a determination. You do not need to do anything more. Your super fund will then make the payment to you.

The information is correct as at 7 September 2020. Information may be subject to change, please refer to for information updates.

Temporary visa holders were able to apply for a single payment release of super up to $10,000 before 1 July 2020. No further access applies.

For the latest information, please go to for further information.

Temporary reduction in superannuation minimum drawdowns

The Government is temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown requirements for account-based pensions and similar products by 50 per cent for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 income years. This measure will benefit retirees with account-based pensions and similar products by reducing the need to sell investment assets to fund minimum drawdown requirements.

Age Default minimum drawdown rates (%) Reduced rates by 50 per cent for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 income years (%)
Under 65 4 2
65-74 5 2.5
75-79 6 3
80-84 7 3.5
85-89 9 4.5
90-94 11 5.5
95 or more 14 7


From 1 July 2020 onwards, Bendigo SmartStart Pension and Bendigo SmartOption Pension members who were on the previous (default) minimum rate have automatically reduced to the new temporary minimum unless you let Sandhurst Trustees know otherwise. As part of the annual review process, all pension members received a review pack in July which prompted them to provide instructions for the 2020-21 income year.

New pension applications requesting the minimum from now will receive the new temporary minimum up to the end of the period of this reduction, which is currently 30 June 2021.

The reduced rates will apply until 30 June 2021. However, the Australian Government may choose to extend the period. If there are any changes, we will let our members know via our website.

The government has also advised changes to social security deeming rates. As of 1 May 2020, the upper deeming rate will be 2.25 per cent and the lower deeming rate will be 0.25 per cent. The reductions reflect the low interest rate environment and the impact on the income from savings.

Information may be subject to change, please refer to for information updates.

Mike is a 66 years old retiree with a superannuation account-based pension.

The value of Mike's account-based pension at 1 July 2019 was $200,000. Under the 2018-19 income year minimum drawdown requirements, Mike was required by legislation to drawdown 5 per cent of his account balance over the course of the 2019-20 and 2020-21 income years.

This means Mike had to drawdown $10,000 by 30 June 2020 and 2021 to comply with the minimum drawdown requirements.

Following the temporary reduction in minimum drawdown requirements, Mike can reduce his drawdown to 2.5 per cent of his account balance, that is $5,000 (if it meets Mike's cashflow needs) for 2019-20 and 2020-21 income years. If Mike has already withdrawn over $5,000 for 2019-20 and 2020-21, he is not able to put the amount above $5,000 back into his superannuation account.

As a result of this change to minimum drawdown requirements, Mike is able to preserve his capital while still drawing an income from his superannuation.

Important information about your Income Protection cover within your super

Events such as the bushfires, drought and of course, COVID-19, have had a big impact on us all.

With many changes to our everyday lives, it is important to know how these impacts could affect you and the protection your insurance cover offers.

Income Protection cover is taken to provide a replacement income if you become ill or sustain an injury preventing you from working and earning an income. If you become ill or injured and you are unable to work and earn an income, you will be able to claim Income Protection benefits subject to any terms or conditions set out in your Policy. Income Protection, however, does not cover workplace closures, times of quarantine and where there is no sickness or injury.

If you are still working 15 hours or more a week, your Income Protection cover will still be active. If your employment has dropped below 15 hours per week, you may no longer qualify for cover. If you are no longer working at least 15 hours per week or if your salary has reduced, please contact our Client Services Team on 1800 033 426. Alternatively, you can log into our secure member portal for details of cover you may have within your super.

If you haven't previously registered for our online portal, you will need your member number to get started. Visit to register now.

The share market and the impacts of COVID-19

The disruption to businesses, share markets and consumers globally from COVID-19 continues to evolve and is currently reflected in share market and investor confidence. In response, global central banks are lowering interest rates and governments are implementing various stimulus packages and preventative measures.

Some facts to consider about your investments

The market volatility we are experiencing and may continue to experience in the short-term, is a normal financial market response to a significant economic event. Financial markets do not like uncertainty - however temporary – but with history as our guide, we know that markets eventually recover. You may be familiar with other historic disruptive events such as the Spanish Flu, World War II and the Global Financial Crisis. These events eventually came to an end. It is very likely this latest downturn will be no different. The following graph highlights the many significant market disruptive events from the past 100+ years and the impact on the Australian share market over time.

Line graph showing the historical trends in Australian Share Market value with previous market events highlighted.
Source: Sandhurst based on All Ordinaries: Australian Shares 1875-2020 (Log Scale)


It is understandable you may be worried about the value of your super or other investments. But whilst these disruptions are undesirable, here are some facts to keep in mind:

  • Super is a long-term investment and generally can only be accessed when you retire. For many people, this means there should be enough time to recover from short-term movements.
  • Higher returns do come with some risk. Ensure you understand how much risk you are comfortable with for your investment. It's important to put the current market movements in the context of your long-term investment objectives.
  • Sandhurst Trustees has a team of highly experienced managers continuously monitoring this situation for you; many having worked through the Global Financial Crisis. The team is trained to deal with stressed market events and will continue to monitor this situation closely.

It may be tempting to change your investment strategy to cash. However, it's important to understand the impact of doing so, which could include:

  • You risk locking in a loss. Furthermore, you may not be able to take advantage of the market upturn.
  • Your request may not happen immediately; it can take time for changes to your investment to be processed.

We appreciate such events can be unsettling. If you are still concerned about the recent market volatility, speak with your financial planner about your investment options. We can arrange a financial planning appointment for you by calling us on 1800 033 426.

Prepared as at 17 March 2020 by Sandhurst Trustees Limited ABN 16 004 030 737 AFSL 237906, a subsidiary of the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited ABN 11 068 049 178 AFSL 237879 (the Bank). The information contains general information only, it does not constitute any recommendation or advice. It has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and you should consider its appropriateness before acting on it. You should seek advice from a professional financial planner before making any financial decisions. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance and you should consider other factors before choosing a fund or changing your investments. You Investments in these products are not deposits with, guaranteed by, or liabilities of the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank.

© Copyright 2020 Sandhurst Trustees