COVID-19 - Should you access your super to pay the rent?

In the last few weeks the Government has made some unprecedented economic decisions that have had a major impact on a lot of people's financial situations.

One of the decisions that the government has made is in regards to the criteria surrounding the early release of superannuation. Due to the unprecedented effects of COVID-19, the government is allowing individuals affected by the pandemic (who satisfy one or more of the requirements) to access up to $10,000 in 2019-2020 and a further $10,000 in 2020-2021 from their superannuation fund.

With everything going on in the world, it is extremely tempting to take up the government's offer without a second thought and access these funds. The concern at the moment is that there are situations unfolding whereby unlicensed financial advice about the early release of superannuation is being given to satisfy personal interest, such as real estate agents advising tenants in financial hardship to access money from their superannuation fund to pay their rent. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has expressed concern about this kind of conduct because it may constitute as unlicensed financial advice and may not be in the best interest to the individual. For more information, see the attached article from the ABC.

Karyn Hicks is a Financial Counsellor with the Salvation Army. Earlier today she was interviewed by Sonya Feldhoff on ABC Radio Adelaide. Karyn spoke of the sorts of things that people are struggling with over this period and how a financial counsellor can help. You can listen to the audio below

We can appreciate that this is an overwhelming and confusing time for a lot of people, therefore if you are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 please consider speaking to a trained financial counsellor first to discuss your options. To speak to a free financial counsellor call the Affordable SA Helpline on 1800 025 539 or search for Financial Counselling on the Affordable SA App.

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