The Australian Government has implemented a COVID-19 stimulus package that aims to assist individuals and households through income support payments and temporary early releases of superannuation.
For unemployed and job-seeking individuals, the Government will be expanding income support eligibility with a new temporary Coronavirus supplement paid at $550 per fortnight for the next six months. The new fortnightly payment will be available to both existing and new recipients of the JobSeeker Payment, Parenting Payment, Special Benefit, Youth Allowance Jobseeker and Farm Household Allowance.
Social security, veteran and other income support recipients and concession card holders will receive two separate $750 payments. The first payment will be made from 31 March 2020. The second payment of $750 will be made from 13 July 2020 but will exclude those eligible for the separate Coronavirus supplement. These payments are aimed towards pensioners and will help support domestic demand and improve cash flow within the Australian economy.
Eligible individuals impacted by COVID-19 will also be granted temporary early access superannuation up to $10,000 in the current financial year and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. Individuals will not need to pay tax on withdrawn amounts and any existing welfare payments will not be affected either.
Superannuation minimum drawdown rates will also be temporarily reduced by 50% for account-based pensions and others similar until 2021. The Government has also reduced the upper and lower social security deeming rates by a further 0.25 percentage points, with upper at 2.25% and lower at 0.25% which will come into effect on 1 May 2020.