It’s been a tough start to the year, with a lot of change and upheaval. We’ve all had to make significant adjustments to our daily lives and it’s good to see some positive moves in the right direction.
Markets are showing glimpses of positivity. COVID-19 restrictions are easing in some locations. Slowly we are starting to transition into a new kind of normal.
With a little optimism in the air, its timely to provide an update about what’s been happening with your super and to highlight some new resources to help you through these difficult times.
The impacts of COVID-19 have caused major upheaval on investment markets worldwide.
In March, US equities dropped nearly 34% from their February high. Australian markets fell by almost 37% affecting investment returns as well as your account balance.
While these losses were concerning, please remember that super is a long-term investment. How long it will take for markets to recover is difficult to know, but already there have been signs of improvement.
In April we experienced some positive returns across key asset classes, with both listed assets and alternatives assets providing positive investment returns. The Australian equity market posted strong returns across both April and May, as did the United States and other international equities markets.
We are also seeing the easing of some COVID-19 restrictions in some jurisdictions, which will help get the economy up and moving again.
However, some impacts on businesses, households and the broader economy will prevail beyond the full unwinding of restrictions. For this reason, market volatility remains high.
There are also other factors at play, such as low oil prices, the trade conflict between the US and China, and a likely recession. And, of course, there remains a risk of a second wave of infections.
As a result, we expect to see market volatility for some time to come.
This may mean lower investment returns in the short term. However, we are confident that our investment strategy will see us through the storm.
More importantly, it will allow us to be well placed to benefit from the recovery.
Early Release of super payments
Earlier this year, the Government changed super rules to allow individuals affected by Coronavirus to access up to $20,000 of their super — $10,000 this financial year, and $10,000 next financial year.
So far, we have processed over 30,000 early release payments to MTAA Super members under this scheme.
Pleasingly, we entered 2020 in good shape in terms of liquidity and cash. This ensured we had sufficient cash to meet all member payment requests, including investment switches and early release payments.
We apologise to anyone that has been affected by any delays with payments and assure members that all measures are in place to make payments as quickly as possible.
Currently we aim to make payments within 5 business days of receiving details from the ATO. Please note, this does not include ATO processing time or the time it takes for your bank to put the payment into your account, so it may be longer in some circumstances.
Withdrawing super early can have a big impact on your retirement savings. For low-balance accounts, it can also affect your insurance cover.
If you are experiencing financial hardship, we recommend you seek financial advice and consider all financial assistance programs available to you before electing to withdraw your super.
While social distancing has reshaped our day-to-day life, it’s fantastic to see so many people finding innovative ways to stay connected with their friends, families, and communities.
Recently MTAA Super took part in the annual Mother’s Day Classic fun run to raise funds for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
This year the event was run virtually, with participants getting active from their living rooms, local parks, and garages.
MTAA Super has always been a big supporter of the Mother’s Day Classic, providing volunteers, teams, and committee support to help the event grow each year. We are also the proud official partner of the Canberra event.
I am pleased to say that this year the MTAA Super Stars team of staff, friends, and family from all around the country raised over $2,500 for the cause.
Big thanks to everyone that donated. It’s a great demonstration that even apart we can achieve wonderful things together.
The curve has flattened and already some Australian states are starting to ease COVID-19 restrictions. But we still have a long way to go.
So, stay safe, follow the Government’s social distancing guidelines, and most importantly, take care of one another.