The median superannuation balance left for 25 to 39-year-old members is $2,500 to $2,600 after the first tranche of the early access to super scheme, according to HESTA.
Speaking at a QIC webinar, HESTA chief executive, Debby Blakey said the female members in her fund tended to claim more and that it was significant that many had claimed their entire account balance or the maximum $10,000 that could be claimed during the first tranche of the Government’s hardship scheme.
“It is the 25 to 39-year-olds that have seen very big falls in their super balances. The median left is $2,500 to $2,600 and for the 18 to 24-year-olds it is even lower as many have taken their entire balances leaving just over $1000 as a median account balance,” Blakey said.
“This is quite critical because the super gap in retirement is already at 40% for women and 80% of our members are women.”
Also speaking on the panel, Cbus chief executive, David Atkin said his fund was trying to make sure his members were making an informed decision before accessing their super early.
“By accessing super they are robbing their futures to pay for the now and averages mask the real impact. While what has been access is only 2% of assets across the whole system, up to 20% of our membership have accessed early release,” Atkin said.
“That means on average, they’re going to need to work another 1.5 to two years to get back to where they were and based on fortnightly payments of the pension, when they retire they’ll have 5% less per fortnight as a result of dipping into the first tranche.
“These are very significant issues that we need to make sure people are aware of.”
Atkin noted that while 90% of his members were male, there was a slightly higher proportion of women who applied for the scheme, and also from members in Queensland.
Both Atkin and Rest Super chief executive, Vicki Doyle, said it was the younger members that had access the scheme. Doyle said it was primarily members in their 30s, followed by those in their 40s and 20s, and those under 20 and over 60 had next to no requests.
The funds said that they were bracing for a second wave of members accessing their super during the second tranche which is to start on Wednesday but that they expected there to be less applications given some members can wiped out their entire account.