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Living Super FAQs - COVID-19

Why is my balance going down?

Market volatility is not unusual, particularly in times of uncertainty. In the current market we are seeing significant fluctuations in the prices of securities, however ING Living Super will continue to function as it has done in the past, providing you with a flexible and easy to use solution to save your super for your retirement.

It is natural to be concerned about the events unfolding around us both in Australia and globally. We understand you may be concerned about your super balance. For many people superannuation is a long term investment. Whilst investments like shares can attract more risk in the short-term they are generally considered by many experts to be better investments over the long-term. On the other hand, investments that may appear safe in the short-term, such as cash, may not help you to grow your super balance over the long-term, after inflation. Often, many people diversify their investments across a mix of different types of assets within their superannuation account, targeting an overall level of risk that seeks to balance their ability to accept short-term volatility, their time-horizon until retirement and their desired income in retirement.

Generally, things you want to keep in mind are:

Your super is intended to be a long-term investment to support you when you retire;

Decide how comfortable you are with accepting short-term risk and long-term risk for potential future reward;

Understand how your super balance is currently invested;

Understand the alternative investment options available to you; and

Get help if needed from a qualified Financial Adviser

How do I check what I am currently invested in?

You can check your portfolio's current investment allocation by logging into your account at ing.com.au and going to My Accounts > Superannuation > My Investments > Investment Allocation

Should I change how I am invested?

While it may be tempting to change your strategy to one with a lower risk profile when markets are falling, there are pros and cons in doing so, depending on your personal risk appetite and financial circumstances. For example, by changing to a lower risk option during a market decline, you risk selling at a time when prices are low, and may miss the potential advantage of gains when markets eventually recover. It is important to consider that often market falls are followed by a sustained period of positive returns. Once you have considered what is appropriate for you, taking into account any advice received from your financial adviser you can make the necessary changes through the online portal.

We cannot give you any suggestions, recommendations or advise you on whether it's a good or bad time to make a change in the current market. You should consider getting appropriate financial advice from a qualified financial adviser.

How do I find out more about the different investment options available?

With Living Super, there are wide range of investment options, ranging from low risk options such as cash to high risk options such as Australian or International shares. You can choose a single diversified investment option that already includes multiple asset classes, such as the Growth option, or you can customise your investments by mixing and matching a combination of different options to suit your individual preferences.

You can find more information on pages 15 to 20 of the Living Super Product Guide located here.

How do I change my investments?

You can change your investment by logging into your account and going to My Accounts > Superannuation > Change your investments and submitting a change.

It generally takes 3 to 5 business days to complete a switch, but if you make your request before 10:30am (Sydney time) on a business day the sell down of your current investment is effective at the unit price for that same day. If your request is received after 10:30am (Sydney time) on a business day or on the weekend, the sell down of your investments will occur on the following business day at the unit price effective that day.

Can I access my Super early due to COVID-19?

On 22 March 2020 the government announced some changes to allow some people who have been financially affected by COVID-19, to access some of their superannuation early. These changes came into effect 20 April 2020. Eligible people can access up to $10,000 of their superannuation for the financial year 2019-2020 and up to a further $10,000 for the financial 2020-2021. Applications can be submitted online through the myGov website: www.my.gov.au. For the financial year 2019-2020, applications must be submitted before 1 July 2020. For the financial year 2020-2021, applications can be submitted from 1 July 2020 to 24 September 2020.

Please note, the ATO has stipulated that you can only submit one application in each financial year. This is even if the total amount you request to be released, or the actual amount released by your fund, is less than $10,000. For example, if you request $8,000, you cannot make another application to request the additional $2,000.

The online application form on myGov will display all your superannuation accounts, as reported to the ATO by your respective superannuation funds. You can request the release of your super from up to five super accounts. For example, if you want to receive a total of $10,000 you can request $5,000 from one fund and a second $5,000 from another fund. This must be done within one myGov application form.

We encourage you to check your Living Super account (by logging on at ing.com.au) to see your current balance, which may be lower or higher than what is shown in the myGov application form.

Also please double-check that the BSB and account number you provided the ATO in your COVID-19 early release application is correct. Account names aren’t used by us or our bank to process the payment. We do not validate that the payment details (like the account name or any reference information you provided the ATO) match the destination account (BSB and account number). Incorrect details could result in a payment to the wrong account and may result in loss of your funds.

If you realise you had provided the ATO with incorrect BSB and/or account number, please contact us immediately on 133 464, 8am-8pm, Mon-Fri (AEST/AEDT).

Eligiblity

If you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, to be eligible for this early release you'll need to meet one or more of the following:

you are unemployed; or

You are eligible to receive one of the following:

job seeker payment;

youth allowance for jobseekers (unless you are undertaking full-time study or are a new apprentice);

parenting payment (which includes the single and partnered payments);

special benefit; or

farm household allowance.

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.

People accessing an early release of their superannuation will not need to pay tax on amounts released and the money they withdraw will not affect Centrelink or Veterans' Affairs payments.

If you are a temporary resident and are eligible, you are able to apply to access up to $10,000 of your super until 30 June 2020. To be eligible for this release you must satisfy one or more of the following requirements:

You hold a student visa that you have held for 12 months or more and you are unable to meet immediate living expenses.

You are a temporary skilled work visa holder, your working hours have reduced to zero and you remain engaged with your employer.

You are a temporary resident visa holder (excluding student or skilled worker visas) and you cannot meet immediate living expenses.

You will not be required to attach evidence to support your application; however, you should retain records and documents to confirm your eligibility.

How do I apply to access my Super early due to COVID-19 if I'm eligible?

If you are eligible you can apply directly to the ATO through the myGov website: www.my.gov.au.
As mentioned above, it’s worth checking your Living Super balance by logging into your account at ing.com.au and going to My Accounts > Superannuation as it may be higher or lower than what's shown in myGov.
After the ATO has processed your application and determined you are eligible, the ATO will pass the information on to you as well as us. We’ll then send you an SMS confirming we’ve received notification from the ATO, payment should be in your account in around 5 business days. If we expect this to be longer because we need more information, we'll contact you.

What is changing with minimum pension payment withdrawals?

With the impact of the COVID-19 on the financial markets and flow on effect on superannuation account balances, the government has reduced the percentage on the minimum pension payments that retirees must withdraw from their superannuation accounts for the financial years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021. This reduction will assist retirees who do not wish to sell investment assets held within their superannuation to meet the usual minimum pension withdraw amounts as they can now elect to withdraw the new lower minimum pension payment amount. This change applies to retirees who hold Pensions and Transition to Retirement accounts. The minimum pension payment withdrawal amount is calculated based on the individual’s age and their Pension balance at the commencement of their account, or at 1 July each year.

Old vs Temporary New Pension withdrawal minimums

Age at commencement of Pension or 1 July Previous minimum Pension Withdrawal New minimum Pension Withdrawal
Under 65 4.0% 2.0%
65-74 5.0% 2.5%
75-79 6.0% 3.0%
80-84 7.0% 3.5%
85-89 9.0% 4.5%
90-94 11.0% 5.5%
95 or more 14.0% 7.0%

The Government has provided this example to show how it works

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

The value of Mike’s account-based pension at 1 July 2019 was $200,000. Under current minimum drawdown requirements, Mike is required by legislation to drawdown 5% of his account balance over the course of the 2019-20 and 2020-21 income years.

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

Following the temporary reduction in minimum drawdown requirements, Mike will now only be required to drawdown 2.5% of his account balance, that is, $5,000, by 30 June 2020. If Mike has already withdrawn over $5,000 for 2019-20, he can choose to not make any further withdrawals if he wants, but he cannot put the amounts withdrawn above $5,000 back into his superannuation account.

On 1 July 2020 the value of Mike’s account-based pension is $180,000 (after drawdowns and investment losses). During 2020-21, Mike is required to drawdown 2.5 per cent of his account balance, which is $4,500, instead of $9,000.

Source: Australian Government

Does this impact both Pension & Transition to Retirement accounts?

Yes, this change impacts both Pension & Transition to Retirement accounts.

Will my pension be reduced to the new minimum?

For any payments made prior to 1 July 2020; we will not change your current pension payment(s) to the new minimum. We decided this was the least disruptive approach for our pension members collectively. If however, for the remaining period up to 30 June 2020, you would like to reduce your pension payment(s) to the new minimums detailed above, or cease payment(s) (where applicable), you can do so by logging in to your Living Super account at ing.com.au, or contacting us on 133 464, 8am-8pm, Mon-Fri (AEST/AEDT)

For any payments made from 1 July 2020; if you have chosen to receive the minimum pension amount allowable, the new minimum will automatically apply for any payments made after 1 July 2020. However, if you would like to change your pension payment amount from the new minimum, you can do so at any time by logging in to your account at ing.com.au. We will also write to you in July 2020 to confirm what your new pension payment amount will be.