A message to our customers

For more than 50 years, BT has supported our customers and community through the good and tough times.  At BT our priority is to remain open for business, while protecting our people, so we can support you and the Australian economy through this difficult period.

We’re confident in being able to facilitate all early access to super requests from eligible members, as BT’s Lifestage Funds and other investment options have minimal exposure to illiquid assets.

Apply from 20 April 2020 directly to the ATO.

Changes to pension drawdown and JobKeeper payments.

Answers to common questions from our customers.

Details about insurance coverage during a pandemic.

Contact BT for assistance.

What you need to know

  • If you are in financial stress as a result of the coronavirus related downturn, you may be able to access a single payment capped at up to $10,000 in 2019-20. A further single payment of up to $10,000 can be accessed in 2020-21 for applications made up to and including 24 September 2020. However, the Government has announced they will extend the application period to 31 December 2020.
  • Before applying, make time to understand how an early withdrawal could impact your financial future. Read the five things to consider before accessing superannuation early.
  • You can apply directly to the ATO through the myGov website for early access from 20 April 2020 up to and including 24 September 2020.  The Government has announced they will extend the application period to 31 December 2020.

Read more about early access to super

Read FAQs for people who have already applied

Message from the ATO about integrity and compliance

The ATO is managing the eligibility criteria with strict guidelines, and will take action when they uncover fraud or people seeking to exploit the program.

Read more from the ATO

Protect yourself from COVID-19 related scams

Changes to pension drawdown rate

The Government has also announced a proposed temporary reduction in superannuation minimum drawdown rates for account-based pensions and similar products. This will be a 50% reduction in the rate for 2019-20 and 2020-21, which the government says will benefit retirees by providing them with more flexibility for managing their superannuation assets.

If you have an existing pension account with us, we will be communicating with you directly on how this may affect your remaining income payments for the 2019/2020 financial year. This will also include details on payments for the 2020/2021 financial year. 

If you have already been paid more than the reduced minimum drawdown amount, you can choose to recontribute these amounts to a separate super account if you’re eligible to make superannuation contributions, subject to other rules or limits such as contributions caps.

Read this Frequently Asked Questions document to help you understand the changes relating to the Government’s temporary reduction in superannuation minimum drawdown rates for account-based pensions and similar products.

Read more about these changes at ato.gov.au/coronavirus

JobKeeper payments

The JobKeeper payment will help eligible businesses subsidise the cost of paying their employees and keep them connected throughout the pandemic.

Read about JobKeeper payments for individuals (PDF)
Read about JobKeeper payments for businesses (PDF)

BT’s General Manager Superannuation, Melinda Howes, discusses the Superannuation Early Release Scheme.

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How do I apply for early access to my super?

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply directly through my.gov.

For details about the eligibility criteria and application process, read more about early access to super

When will the payment be made once I have made the request to the ATO?

The ATO will review your information and determine if your application is approved or declined. For approved applications, the ATO will provide a copy of the determination to you and another to your super fund.

My application has been approved by the ATO, when will I receive my payment?

We are working hard to process requests as quickly as possible to support our customers through this challenging time.

Generally, we expect to make payments within five business days from when we receive an approval from the ATO. The daily ATO file of approvals can be sent at any time of the day, and sometimes overnight, which may extend the time for us to start processing by 1-2 days.

If we have incorrect information, or we need to sell investments in your super account to fund the payment, which can be the case with products such as BT Wrap and Asgard, it may take longer than five days. If we have incorrect information, we may need to contact you to confirm your details.

We will send you an SMS or email (using information we have on file) when we have made the payment to your bank account. Depending on your bank, it can take a further one to two business days for the money to arrive in your account. We recognise this is a challenging time and we appreciate your patience.

Why is my super balance appearing as $0 in myGov?

Your super balance in myGov and ATO online may be appearing as $0, or ‘not reported’ as you may have commenced a new account with BT after 30 June 2019. This includes instances where we may have moved your account to a new BT Super account which we have previously communicated to you. Please note, even though the amount displayed for your current balance is $0, you can still enter a specified amount (up to the maximum of $10,000) to apply for your early access to super.

We provide super balances to the ATO at the end of each financial year and therefore your account may not have been included in the last report provided to the ATO.

Log in to your super account at bt.com.au/login to check your current super balance.

Why is the amount I received different?

The amount you receive may be different to the amount you requested if the amount you requested is higher than your account balance at the time we processed your payment.  

The ATO receives super balance updates each year around 30 June, so the balance that appears in your myGov account may be several months out of date. The most accurate balance is available at the online portal for your fund or by contacting us over the phone.   

We have recently sent updated balances to the ATO for members that were transferred to BT Super earlier this year, so that the balances that appear in myGov are closer to your current balance. Super balances can go up or down on a daily basis due to movements in the underlying investments, such as shares, contributions being paid into the account or fees or insurance premiums being deducted from your account.

It’s important to note that share markets have fallen significantly since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, meaning many people have seen their super balances reduce.

If you have requested to withdraw your full balance, we’ll keep your super account open to make it easier for you if you would like to make future super contributions or for tax purposes (for BT Wrap, Panorama and Asgard).  This will also ensure your insurance cover will continue, if you had any. To maintain your insurance you’ll need to make a contribution for the amount of the insurance premium. If you would like to close your account please contact our Customer Relations team.

Will BT be able to facilitate all requests for super?

We’re confident in being able to facilitate all early access to super requests from eligible members, as BT’s Lifestage investment option and super choice products have minimal exposure to illiquid assets.

I’ve been told the details I have provided you are incorrect or need to be changed?

If the details that the ATO sends to us do not match the details we have on file, we may need to contact you to confirm these details prior to processing the payment. We have increased our number of Customer Relations Consultants so this process can be accelerated. 

You have had my request more than 5 days, where is my payment?

Generally, we expect to make payments within five business days from when we receive an approval from the ATO. The daily ATO file of approvals can be sent at any time of the day, and sometimes overnight, which may extend the time for us to start processing by 1 to 2 days. It’s possible that we have incorrect information in relation to your request, which is delaying our processing, or that we need to sell investments and in these instances it may take longer than five days. We may also need to speak to you to confirm your details.

We are doing everything possible – including boosting our Operations team by several hundred people - so we can process requests as quickly as possible.

We will send you an SMS or email (using information we have on file) when we have made the payment to your bank account. Depending on your bank, it can take a further one to two business days for the money to arrive in your account. We recognise this is a challenging time and we appreciate your patience.

More FAQs

If you have already submitted an application to access your super, here are some frequently asked questions from our members.

Insights into recent market impacts as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Frequently asked questions about BT life insurance coverage and COVID-19.

If you hold a BT Protection Plans, BT Super, BT Super for Life or Asgard Personal Protection Plan insurance policy* there are no exclusions for pandemics. This means you are covered if you contract the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and also meet the terms, conditions and disclosure requirements of your policy. Income protection, business expenses, living (trauma), total and permanent disability (TPD) and death policies may all provide cover, depending on your circumstances.

If you need to make a claim, our team is ready to assist. Contact us to discuss your personal situation.

*This information applies to insurance policies issued by AIA. Business expenses and living (trauma) are not applicable to BT Super For Life. If your insurance is provided by another insurer, please contact them for information about what is covered by your policy.

Frequently asked questions about BT life insurance coverage and COVID-19.

For up-to-date information about your funds, login to the app, online portal or online banking site relevant to your investment.

During this changing environment, we know you may be looking for information on how we are managing this event now and in the future.