Treasury has revealed it did not float the three-month early release extension past the superannuation sector before it made the call.
Speaking to the Senate Select Committee on COVID-19 on Friday, Robert Jeremenko, Treasury’s division head of the retirement income policy said the government department had not consulted with banks, super funds or industry bodies on the extension to the end of the year.
Similarly, it had not talked to superannuation funds before the announcement of the early access arrangements in March, but it did consult the sector before the scheme was implemented.
Initially Treasury estimated the scheme would see around $30 billion withdrawn in total, but with the extension the total was updated to $41.9 billion.
Treasury and ATO officials told the committee on Friday that to date, $33.3 billion has been approved for early release, for 2.72 million applicants. The majority at 83 per cent, or around 2 million people, have double dipped – coming back for more in the second tranche of payments.
Mr Jeremenko also told the committee no consideration is currently being given to extending the scheme into 2021.
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.
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