Maranoa residents pull $204m from super during COVID-19
MARANOA electorate residents have withdrawn close to $204 million from their superannuation since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Data from Industry Super Australia revealed that residents in the region have sent close to 27,000 applications to dip into their superannuation since April, when the Federal Government changed its laws around super funds access.
Of those, just over 25,000 were approved, giving locals on average $8039.
More than 3517 actually wiped out their superannuation entirely.
Industry Super Australia Chief Executive Bernie Dean said about 145,000 people wiping out their super is a tragedy waiting to happen for Queensland.
“The only way to repair the retirement savings of Queensland is to lift the super rate,” he said.
“It is critical to helping rebuild savings wiped out and to avoid tax hikes on working people to prop up more people drawing a full pension.”
Roma account and Maranoa Regional councillor Mark Edwards said the numbers were a sign of the times.
“I understand why people want to access their super, due to COVID people are looking to obtain money from anywhere just to sustain themselves and provide for their livelihoods and get by,” he said.
“However, it’s prudent to check with a licensed financial advisor or their super fund before withdrawing the money because there are strict conditions people have to follow and ensure before seeing that money.”
Local worker, Joanne Smith* has taken advantage of accessing her superannuation at 32-year-of-age.
Ms Smith has withdrawn two lots of $10,000, one last financial year and one this financial year.
“The first time I did it because I lost for job for two months and because my partner earnt a certain amount, I wasn’t entitled to anything,” she said.
“I was able to pay off what remained on my car loan and essentially keep a roof over my head because I was chewing through my savings with no money coming in.
“The second lot was more to have a nest egg because I did go through all my savings, so it was to put money back into my house account but majority of it went to bills.”
Ms Smith said being able to access her super has been extremely beneficial.
“To be able to get into the housing market sooner rather than later, it’s extremely difficult and so why not help ourselves out now rather than just hoping to see the money when we reach retirement,” she said.
“About $9500 is sitting in a high interest savings account so we can hopefully buy a house in the next couple years.”
Neighbouring residents in the Groom electorate, which encompasses Toowoomba, have withdrawn more than $215 million, with 27,000 people getting on average $7913.