The chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics, Tim Wilson appears to have made political the issue of allowing people to access superannuation for first home deposits onto the committee’s agenda via a series of questions on notice to superannuation funds.
Wilson’s questioning of superannuation funds has been revealed in questions on notice filed by Wilson as part of his committee’s Review of the Four Major Banks and other Financial Institutions with industry fund, Prime Super being amongst the first to provide answers.
Wilson’s use of the questions on notice comes amid claims by some member of the Federal Opposition that his actions are inappropriate and represent a politicisation of the committee process.
Among the questions asked of Prime Super by Wilson were: “What data do you have on the home ownership rates of fund members?” and whether the fund has ever:
- Completed internal research that includes retirement outcomes for fund members who own their home in retirement, compared to those who do not?
- Commissioned external research that includes retirement outcomes for fund members who own their home in retirement, compared to those who do not?”
Wilson also asked the superannuation fund to outline its policy on fund members using their superannuation fund for a deposit to buy their first home and retirees using their superannuation to renovate their home or pay rent.
Prime Super has responded to Wilson stating it does not have a specific policy relating to his questions on the use of superannuation to fund a deposit on a first home or for retirees to use their superannuation to renovate a home.
“Withdrawals from the fund are governed by the rules of superannuation. Therefore, fund members can only withdraw funds under certain circumstances (retirement and financial hardship for example),” Prime Super said in its response.
“Where a member meets the requirements for the release of their superannuation Prime Super will pay the member the balance of their account. Given the legislative requirements around release of superannuation monies it is unlikely that any money paid as a benefit from Prime Super would be utilised by a member as a deposit for their first home.”
“Where members of Prime Super retire and receive a lump sum, or receive an ongoing pension payment, Prime Super does not seek, nor retain, any information in relation to how the member intends to utilise those funds.”