A number of measures have been announced to support Australians and the economy in response to the Coronavirus. We have put together some information to summarise the key measures and to assist you in understanding the help that could be available to you.
When will these announced measures be implemented?
The Government wishes to implement many of their stimulus measures as soon as possible and a package of Bills will be introduced into Parliament in the final Autumn sitting week (23 – 26 March 2020) as legislation needs to pass to give effect to these proposals. These Bills will provide more detail on the announced measures.
Outlined below is a summary of some of the key measures announced.
Access to super savings Access to superannuation savings will be broadened where you’re in financial distress because of the Coronavirus and meet certain eligibility conditions.
If you’re eligible you’ll be able to access up to $10,000 before 30 June 2020 and an additional $10,000 from 1 July for approximately three months (depending on the timing of legislation).
To be eligible, you must meet one of the following conditions:
- you’re unemployed
- you’re eligible to receive Jobseeker Payment, Youth Allowance (jobseekers), Parenting Payment, Special Benefit or Farm Household Allowance
- on or after 1 January 2020, you were made redundant, your hours of work reduced by at least 20%, or if you’re a sole trader, your business was suspended or your turnover reduced by at least 20%.
Applications will be through MyGov and you’ll need to certify that you meet one of the above eligibility requirements. Once the ATO confirms you’re eligible, they will issue you and your super fund with a determination and the payment will be made to you. If you have a self-managed super fund, arrangements will differ.
Payments will be tax-free and amounts received will not impact Centrelink or DVA entitlements. It is expected that claims can be made from mid-April.
The Coronavirus supplement of $550 per fortnight will be paid to new and existing recipients of:
- JobSeeker Payment
- Youth Allowance (Jobseeker)
- Parenting Payment
- Farm Household Allowance, and
- Special Benefit.
The supplement will be paid over the next six months and will be paid automatically with the person’s ordinary fortnightly entitlement. It will be paid from 27 April.
Income stream drawdown rates
There will be a temporary reduction in the minimum annual amount that you’re required to withdraw from your super income stream. The reduction in the minimum drawdown rates will apply for the duration of this financial year and for the 2020/21 financial year.
Minimum Pension withdrawal rates
Minimum Pension withdrawal rates
|65 – 74||5%||2.5%|
|80 – 84||7%||3.5%|
|90 – 94||11%||5.5%|
Reduction in deeming rates
A further reduction in deeming rates was announced on 22 March. The deeming rates will reduce as follows:
|Current||From 1 May 2020|
|Lower Deeming Rate||1.00%||0.25%|
|Upper Deeming Rate||3.00%||2.25%|
The deeming thresholds are unchanged at $51,800 (single) and $86,200 (couple) which are generally indexed on 1 July each year. The rates will take effect from 1 May 2020, and any additional entitlement will be paid from 1 May 2020.
Social security and Centrelink
Two payments of $750 each will be paid to eligible income support recipients and concession card holders. The first tax-free payment will be available to eligible income support recipients as at 12 March 2020 and is expected to be automatically paid to eligible recipients from 31 March 2020. The second payment will be available to those who aren’t eligible for the Coronavirus supplement (see above) and will be automatically paid from 13 July 2020.
Eligibility for payment one
To be eligible, you must be residing in Australia and receiving one of the income support payments, or a holder of one of the concession cards listed in the table below. However, in relation to the first $750 payment you must also have been receiving an income support payment on 12 March 2020. If you had applied for an eligible payment before 12 March 2020 and are subsequently granted the payment, you will also be eligible for the one-off payment.
|Income Support Payments||Concession Cards|
|Age Pension||Newstart Allowance||Pensioner Concession Card|
|Disability Support Pension||Austudy or Youth Allowance||Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card|
|Carer Payment||Family Tax Benefit||Veteran Gold Card|
|Carer Allowance||Veteran Service Pension|
|Wife Pension||Veteran Payment|
|Parenting Payment||Partner Allowance|
|Widow Pension||Special Benefit|
Additional measures announced include:
- Support for regions and communities impacted by the virus with reliance on tourism, agriculture and education
- Administrative relief provided by the ATO for certain tax obligations, such as lodging tax returns and activity statements, which will be assessed based on individual circumstances, and
- Comprehensive health package of $2.4 billion.
You may wish to contact the ATOs Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218 or COVID-19@email@example.com.