An industry body has warned consumers could be vulnerable to scams involving the new early superannuation release measure.
According to the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST), operators have already commenced targeting super fund members and offering to assist them in taking up the new early release super mechanism, which the government launched as part of its second coronavirus stimulus package.
The new measures allow individuals in financial hardship to access up to $10,000 of their super before July and a further $10,000 in the next financial year.
AIST chief executive Eva Scheerlinck said everybody needed to be on their guard if they receive unsolicited calls about super.
“Unfortunately, as we’ve seen before with any early release super measure, there are unscrupulous operators who take advantage of people in financial hardship, either through outright fraud in an attempt to steal their super or by offering unnecessary services for which a fee is charged,” Ms Scheerlinck said.
“The ATO is managing the new early release process though its MyGov website. There is no need to involve a third party and there are no fees involved.
“Nor is there a need to panic and rush through an application. Anyone who is considering applying for early release superannuation under the new financial hardship provisions should be aware the scheme does not commence until mid-April.”
Ms Scheerlinck suggested that, in the interim, those who were planning to apply through MyGov for early release should firstly ensure their personal details were up to date by visiting their super fund’s website.
But the AIST has said the measure should be a last resort, urging people who are suffering financial hardship to explore all the various government income-support measures available before accessing the early super raid.
Sarah Simpkins is a journalist at Momentum Media, reporting primarily on banking, financial services and wealth.
Prior to joining the team in 2018, Sarah worked in trade media and produced stories for a current affairs program on community radio.
You can contact her on [email protected].
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