Superannuation trustees have taken an average of 1.6 days to make early superannuation access payments to members financially suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data.
Data from the Australian Prudential and Regulation Authority (APRA), said for applications paid in the first week of the scheme, payments took 1.6 days was after receipt of members’ applications from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
However, APRA noted that given this was the first week of the early release initiative, trustees had no applications that were more than five business days old.
The data said for the week ending on 26 April, 167 trustees:
- Received 665,310 applications for early release;
- Processed 162,879 applications; and
- Paid members $1.3 billion. The average benefit paid was $8,002.
APRA deputy chair, Helen Rowell said: “Although this publication only covers the first week of a scheme that will run for several months, the initial data indicates trustees are moving quickly to make payments after receiving determinations from the ATO.
“Under the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993, trustees are legally required to make early release payments to eligible members ‘as soon as practicable’. We expect trustees should generally be able to achieve this within five business days, however we recognise this may not be practicable in all cases, as trustees conduct fraud checks, and fulfil their legal obligation to look out for the best interests of all fund members.
“APRA is closely monitoring trustee performance in this area and will consider taking appropriate action if evidence emerges of funds not releasing benefits to eligible members as soon as practicable.”