An industry body has warned that Australians should seek financial advice before accessing their superannuation under the government’s new scheme, saying it should be a “last resort”.
The scheme would allow people who lose their job to withdraw up to $20,000 from their superannuation in two rounds – $10,000 before 30 June and a further $10,000 from July.
But the Financial Planners Association (FPA) said that early access to retirement savings come with strict conditions – limiting access to those who are unemployed, have had their working hours/businesses income reduced by 20 per cent, or are on Centrelink payments – and that people experiencing hardship speak to an adviser before they withdraw funds.
“Superannuation access should be used as a last resort,” said FPA chief executive Dante De Gori.
“It is to be used to fund retirement and its primary purpose must be respected, even in these increasingly uncertain times.”
The FPA recommends that anybody who meets the requirements consider whether using their retirement savings is really their best option.
“If you have a financial planner you should speak to them first about how to manage your financial situation at this time,” Mr De Gori said.
“For those who do not have access to a qualified financial planner, they should consider all their options such as speaking with their bank, utility providers, landlord and other service providers to see what relief and other options are available to you before you decide to access your super.”
The FPA has seen a spike in the use of its Match My Planner service as more Australians look for a CFP professional to help them. However, Mr De Gori said that some people may need to access their super and should do what’s best for their immediate financial situation.
“But obviously if you need to access your super you should and if possible, make a promise to yourself to replace what you access when your situation turns around in the future,” he said.
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