During this difficult time we are committed to continuing to provide our services, systems and products to you so that you can continue to serve your clients. We have business continuity plans in place and our team remains available to help you and your business at this challenging time.
To help you stay informed and to support your client conversations we will load new information and updates onto this page over the coming weeks.
For latest government announcements visit the Department of Health web page.
Kathy Vincent, BT's General Manager Platforms, Investments & Operations explains how Australian advisers have rapidly adapted to the impacts of COVID-19, including how technology has transformed and enhanced behaviours and relationships between advisers and clients.
Fraudsters often use world events, such as COVID-19, to lure people to click on links or download attachments, resulting in malware being downloaded to devices. Stay vigilant and use these tips to protect against cyber-attacks:
Incorporating the use of case studies, our technical team has created this article outlining four common social security/Centrelink strategies. For clients who may need to access the social security system due to COVID-19, one or more of these can be used to improve their eligibility and rate of payment.
Register now to explore the key EOFY considerations which you may need to consider for your clients to ensure they are well positioned into the new financial year.
For your information, if you or your client requested a change to their pension payments, that client will automatically receive a letter confirming the change. This includes where you may have changed their pension payment frequency to June 2020 to avoid further pension payments before our system solution was available on 20 April 2020. You may wish to contact these clients and position with them that the letter is reflective of the deferred payment approach.
To help you enact the Government’s temporary reduction of pension minimums we’ve put together instructions for reducing pension minimums on BT Wrap, Asgard and BT Panorama platforms.
Interest rates on BT Platform transaction accounts will be reducing effective 7 April in response to the RBAs recent decision to decrease the Official Cash Rate. For Open badges there will also be a temporary change to the calculation of administration fees.
The Government has announced a package of measures to provide assistance to Australians financially impacted by the COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Here we provide an overview of those changes and how clients can access the relief measures.
Westpac has announced a relief package for customers who are impacted by COVID-19, including the freezing of mortgages for people who lose their job, higher interest rate term deposits for over 65s or credit options for small businesses.
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.
As part of our COVID-19 support effort we are sending communications to clients on topics such as the reduced pension minimums. We have made copies of these communications available here.
We have answered some of the common questions clients ask about market volatility in this document which you can download and share with your clients.
The Government will allow eligible individuals affected by the COVID-19 related down turn to apply to have limited access to their superannuation savings. The amount each person can access will be 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 approximately 3 months (timing depends on the passage of relevant legislation).
Super members will be able to access their superannuation under these circumstances if they are: unemployed; or eligible to receive a jobseeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment, special benefit or the farm household allowance; on or after 1 January 2020 they were made redundant or their working hours were reduced by 20% or more or if they are a sole trader where their business was suspended or there was a reduction in their turnover of 20% or more. Access can be obtained through MyGov online. No tax will be payable on amounts released and money withdrawn will not affect welfare payments.
The Government has also announced a 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 as to how they manage their superannuation assets.
Bryan Ashenden, BT’s Head of Financial Literacy and Advocacy, provides an overview of the stimulus measures for individuals announced by the Government in response to COVID-19.