A message to our customers

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

Government changes to super and pensions

Early access to super

Eligible individuals affected by the coronavirus related downturn will be able to apply to have limited access to their superannuation savings.

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.
  • You can apply from Monday 20 April 2020, directly to the ATO through the myGov website.

Read more about early access to super

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 already been paid the reduced minimum drawdown amount, payments can be stopped for the remainder of the year. If you have already been paid more than the reduced minimum drawdown amount, you can 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 more about these changes at ato.gov.au/coronavirus

Our technical team has produced an overview of the Government’s latest stimulus package, JobKeeper payments for individuals and for businesses.

What's happening in the markets

Global markets continue to experience record levels of volatility since the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19). This volatility in markets is an indicator of the level of investor uncertainty, which has increased as COVID-19 has spread and governments around the world attempt to swiftly contain it.

Whilst most asset classes suffered significant declines throughout the latter part of February and into March, investors with a diversified portfolio have seen a degree of insulation from some of that volatility, particularly in equity markets.

Diversification is based on the old adage “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” which is about spreading money across different types of investments. This can help reduce exposure to any one asset class or risk by choosing how many eggs and in which basket.

Here are some resources about how the current market volatility may be affecting your investments:

Insights into recent market impacts as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Share markets around the world have been volatile in recent months, so if your super has exposure to international shares, it may have been affected by this.
An update on current market developments as at 6 April 2020.

Westpac has revised its growth forecasts for the Australian economy in 2020 to take into account the expected impact of Coronavirus.

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How is life insurance affected?

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.

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

*This information applies to insurance policies issued by Westpac Life Insurance Services Limited (WLISL) only. If your insurance is provided by another insurer, please contact them for information about what is covered by your policy.

We're here to help

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.