In the first week of the government’s COVID-19 temporary early release of its superannuation scheme, trustees paid members $1.3 billion.
According to the industry-level data gathered by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) for the week ending April 26, a total of 665,310 applications for early release were received in the period. Processed applications stood at 162,879.
Based on the information APRA requested from 167 funds, it found that in the scheme’s first week trustees took an average of 1.6 days to make payments to eligible members after receipt of the applications from the Australian Tax Office (ATO).
The average benefit paid was $8,002.
“This new data collection enables the APRA, Government, and other stakeholders to monitor the take-up of the new scheme, and ensure trustees are processing eligible applications in a timely manner,” said APRA deputy chair Helen Rowell.
“Although this publication only covers the first week of a scheme that will run for several months, the initial data indicates trustees are moving quickly to make payments after receiving determinations from the ATO.”
Rowell added that the regulator will consider taking appropriate action if evidence emerges of funds not releasing valid benefits as soon as practicable.