As the COVID-19 pandemic re-shapes the way we live and work, we have created a new dedicated information hub to keep you up to date about its effect on your super.
Here you will find details about our response to COVID-19 as well as important information about super changes happening in response to the pandemic.
An update from the CEO
Updated 30 March 2020
In light of recent market volatility, MTAA Super CEO Leeanne Turner has recorded an important update about how we are managing the impacts of COVID-19 and supporting you and your super through this difficult time.
The Australian Government has made several changes to super as part of its economic response to COVID-19. This includes changes to the early access rules for super and a reduction in super minimum drawdown requirements.
MTAA Super and Tasplan have extended the timeline of their planned merger due to the COVID-19 global crisis.
The merger date was originally set for 1 October 2020 but has now been extended to no earlier than 31 March 2021.
The decision came after a joint recommendation from MTAA Super CEO Leeanne Turner and Tasplan CEO Wayne Davy to the Chairs of both Boards, with sustained market volatility and concerns about supplies of specialist services being key factors behind the extension.
Despite the new timeline, Turner said today that the decision behind the merger and the benefits to members of both funds remain unchanged.
“We still believe the merger is in the best interest of members of both funds. A combined fund will provide greater efficiencies, improved products and services, increased capability, and better value to members. So, we remain fully committed to the merger — just with an extended time.”
She also acknowledged that recent restrictions as a result of COVID-19 have put extra strain on people.
“Clearly things have changed rapidly for all Australians in the last few weeks. We recognise the pressure that this is putting on our members and our staff, both at work and at home. We think extending the merger timeline will ease stress and help our staff better manage workloads and their personal arrangements.”
Member support is also a key priority for both funds, with members expressing concern about market volatility and financial hardship.
“Understandably, members are concerned about their retirement savings. And we’ll likely see an increase in the number of people facing financial difficulties in the coming weeks and months,” Davy said. “By extending our merger timeline we can focus on getting members the service, advice, and support they need right now. That’s always been a priority for us, but now it’s more important than ever.”
We have heard reports of scammers looking to take advantage of new early access to super rules to unlawfully access people’s super
Currently, there are two types of scams happening:
Deceptively obtaining personal details to impersonate members: Scammers use stolen identity credentials to access super accounts and send early release money to themselves.
Charging members for an unnecessary ‘service’: Scammers charge members a fee to help them to apply for early release of super via the free online myGov portal.
If anyone calls you and offers to assist you to access your super early, please hang up and contact us immediately on 1300 362 415.
If you’ve given your details to possible scammers, you need to change your myGov details as quickly as possible. You should also report the matter to the ATO on 1800 008 540 or ACCC’s Scamwatch on 1800 941 126.
The Australian Government has made several changes to super as part of their economic response to COVID-19. Details of these changes are listed below.
Temporary early access to super
The Government is temporarily allowing people affected by COVID-19 to access up to $10,000 of their super in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. While super is designed to help you save for retirement, the Government has decided that those significantly financially affected by the COVID-19 may benefit from accessing some super now.
Applications for early release of super open on 20 April 2020.
What you can apply for
Before 1 July 2020, you can apply to access up to $10,000 of your super.
Between 1 July 2020 and 24 September 2020, you can apply to access up to a further $10,000.
To apply, you must meet at least one of the following conditions:
you are unemployed
you are eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment (including single and partnered payments), special benefit or farm household allowance
on or after 1 January 2020:
you were made redundant
your working hours were reduced by 20 per cent or more
you are a sole trader and your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20 per cent or more.
You don’t need to pay tax on any super you access under these arrangements. These payments will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.
How to apply
The temporary early release of super scheme is being run by the ATO, not super funds.
If you are eligible, from 20 April, you can apply directly to the ATO through the myGov website at my.gov.au.
If you are unable to access online services, you can call the ATO to confirm your identity and complete the application over the phone.
During the application process you will need to:
provide evidence that you meet the eligibility criteria
review a list of your open super accounts
input the amount you would like to release from each account (up to a total of $10,000)
provide your bank account details (account name, BSB and number) of the account you want your super paid into
authorise the ATO to provide these details to us and for us to release the money into that account
After the ATO has processed your application, it will contact us within 1 or 2 business days, asking us to release your super payment. We will then process your payment as soon as possible.
For more information about this measure, go to ato.gov.au.
Temporary reduction in super minimum drawdown requirements
The Government is temporarily reducing super minimum drawdown rates for account-based pensions by 50 per cent for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years.
The reduced minimum drawdown rates are shown in the table below.
drawdown rates (%)
New reduced rates for
2019-20 and 2020-21 (%)
95 or older
This measure may benefit retirees with account-based pensions by reducing the need to sell investment assets to fund minimum drawdown requirements. By reducing how much you are drawing down on your pension, you can preserve capital in your account while still drawing an income.
From 1 May 2020, the Government will reduce the upper and lower social security deeming rates by 0.25 percentage points. This in addition to the 0.5 percentage point reduction to both rates announced on 12 March 2020.
As of 1 May 2020, the upper deeming rate will be 2.25 per cent and the lower deeming rate will be 0.25 per cent.
What are deeming rates?
Deeming rates are used by Centrelink for income test calculations. It is a key consideration in the Age Pension income test, which you must pass to access this payment.
How will changing deeming rates help?
The change will benefit around 900,000 income support recipients. This includes around 565,000 people on the Age Pension, who will receive around $105 (on average) more from the Age Pension in the first full year that the reduced rates apply.
For more information on the Australian Government’s Economic Response to the Coronavirus visit The Treasury's website.
Currently, all super workshops and site visits have been postponed until further notice. These events will be rescheduled when conditions are more appropriate. We have a responsibility to our members, the community and our staff to do what we can to minimise the spread of the COVID-19 (coronavirus).
Information provided by the Australian Government suggests there is evidence that the coronavirus can spread from person to person.
We are following the guidance of the World Health Organization and the Australian and State Governments when deciding if we should hold events. We will let members know when these restrictions change.
How can I get advice about my super or account?
We know events like these can be unsettling, and that everyone’s situation is different. To help, our Super Advisers are still offering advice to individuals via telephone or video. To get advice, call our Financial Education and Advice Team (FEAT) on 1300 362 415.
Who do I contact about my account?
Our call centre is open. We’re more than happy to help you with any questions you have about your account. We are open 8am – 7pm (AEST/AEDST) Monday – Friday. Call 1300 362 415.
How deep, long, or widespread any economic fallout will be is hard to predict.
Although the number of people currently infected by Covid-19 is small on a global scale, further spread of the virus is unpredictable and the economic implications of efforts to contain the virus will likely be significant.
If efforts to contain the virus are effective, disruption to global economic growth could prove relatively short-lived. However further outbreaks such as those seen in Italy could have greater and longer lasting impacts.
We anticipate the effects of the outbreak to last months, perhaps longer.
Should I switch my investment option?
Changing your investment option in reaction to short term market fluctuations is an important decision and depends on several factors including your age, life stage, and risk appetite.
If you’re approaching or are in retirement, it’s important to stay focused on your long-term investment strategy and consider all your options before making any significant changes.
You should always seek professional advice before changing your investment strategy. To talk to a Super Adviser, call 1300 362 415.
At MTAA Super our investment goal is to deliver solid returns within an acceptable level of risk.
We aim to maximise returns during your working life and in retirement while protecting your accumulated retirement savings from large fluctuations.
To do this we invest in a diversified portfolio of assets that balances investment returns and risks. This includes investing in a combination of growth assets and defensive assets.
We also invest in several ‘alternative’ investments or asset classes such as private equity, alternatives credit, property and infrastructure. These provide income streams that provide a buffer against the short-term fluctuations of share markets.
We are monitoring our portfolio and markets closely and will make changes to our investment strategy as required.
We are confident that our investment philosophy has us well placed to ride out the current market volatility.
Currently, our insurance offerings do not exclude pandemic illnesses. If you contract COVID-19 and you have cover for income protection, total and permanent disablement or death and meet the other eligibility requirements, you would be eligible to make a claim.
There are only a few specific circumstances when you may be able to access part or all your super early.
These include permanent incapacity, severe financial hardship, compassionate grounds, terminal illness. For details see the Accessing your super before retirement fact sheet at mtaasuper.com.au/fact-sheets
It’s important to note that accessing your super early means you will have less money in retirement. Generally, it should only be considered under extraordinary circumstances and not used as a short-term fix to immediate financial problems.
Regardless of how and when you access your super, you should always get advice from a licensed financial adviser first. To talk to a Super Adviser, call 1300 362 415.
After a long period of continued growth and record highs, Australian and global share markets have experienced significant falls over the last month in response to the worsening impacts of the global outbreak of the Covid-19 virus (also known as Coronavirus).
As of 13 March, global equity markets in most countries have fallen around 20% in the last month; the US S&P500 Index is down 20% from its February high, and the ASX200 Index has fallen 23%. Market volatility has spiked and equity markets have experienced historically high single day movements.
Some commodity prices and currencies have also moved significantly. The oil price has dropped 25-30%, taking its year to date price fall to 50% due to a disagreement between Russia and Saudi Arabia as to how to respond to the coronavirus event.
Although the number of people currently infected by Covid-19 is small on a global scale, the further spread of the virus is unpredictable and the economic implications of efforts to contain the virus are significant.
Many analysts are concerned that the measures being taken to constrain the virus’s spread will slow economic growth in most countries around the world.
All super funds invest in Australian and international share markets. The value of your super can change daily depending on how your super is invested.
When you join MTAA Super your super is automatically invested in the My AutoSuper (Balanced) investment option — unless you select another of our seven other investment options.
The My AutoSuper (Balanced) option seeks medium to high long-term returns through a balanced exposure to risk. It is a diversified option with investments in both growth assets, such as shares, and defensive assets, such as cash and fixed interest. Over 20 years, we expect 3-4 years of negative returns.
If you’re invested in the My AutoSuper (Balanced) option or other options with growth assets, you may have noticed your super balance has fallen in recent weeks.
We are monitoring our portfolio and markets closely and will make changes to our investment strategy as required. We are confident that our investment philosophy has us well placed to navigate the current market volatility.
We are here to help
We know events like these can be unsettling, and that everyone’s situation is different.
If you’re worried about your super, you should speak to a financial adviser. They can provide you with over the phone advice and help you consider the appropriateness of your investment strategy. To get in touch, call 1300 362 415.
This website contains information or advice that's intended to be general in nature and which was prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of that, before acting on any information or advice please consider whether it's appropriate to your personal circumstances, talk to a financial planner and consider our guides, available on this site or by calling 1300 362 415 before making a decision about whether to acquire the products.