The dimensions of the Government’s hardship superannuation early release package on the largest industry fund in the retail sector, REST, have been revealed.
REST has used a response to written questions from the House of Representatives Standing Committee on economics to reveal that, as at the week ended 26 April it had dealt with 65,457 early release requests via the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) amounting to $484,291,161.
However, the fund made clear that it did not have 100% visibility on the exercise.
“Requests for payment under the conditions of compassionate grounds, including existing criteria as well as the new COVID-19 Temporary Early Release conditions, are received and assessed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), and REST do not have visibility of the requests made to the ATO that are not approved, and are not received by the fund,” it said.
The fund said that, on this basis, it was not able to provide information on the number of members who had requested early release.
The large numbers of REST members access the Government’s COVID-19 early release package was compared to those who had sought early release under the more normal criteria.
REST revealed that 288 members had sought and gained early release on compassing grounds with the monies involves totalling $4,926,821 while 614 severe financial hardship cases had been dealt with totalling $4,662,406.
There were also 15 permanent incapacity cases which had resulted in the release of $561,076.