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COVID-19 FAQs

COVID-19 and your business

Visit page We have developed a dedicated Hostplus COVID-19 webpage for our contributing employers to access the latest information and resources to support their business and employees.

Frequently asked questions about early access to super

Please note that applications under the COVID-19 Early Release of Super scheme are now closed. Visit the ATO website for more information.

Here are some simple tools to help you plan for your future:

  • Accessing your super early contains information about accessing your super early under certain circumstances. 
  • The National Debt Helpline provides a wide range of information about ways to manage debt and offers a free financial counselling service.
  • Moneysmart, the government resource can help you understand and manage your finances via range of tools including easy budget trackers.

But be especially cautious of so-called ‘payday’ lenders. It pays to be aware that many of these types of loans are offered at interest rates well above those offered by more credible lenders and may include significant additional costs as well as onerous penalties for late or missed payments.

According to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) Moneysmart website, a $2,000 payday loan today could cost as much as $3,360 even if you paid it back within a year and did not incur any penalties. 

You can return or repay any money you’ve withdrawn under the scheme by making a personal contribution to your account. Personal contributions can be made easily via BPAY, check the Hostplus App, your Member Online Account or your Hostplus statement to find your unique BPAY details. Annual limits apply to personal contributions, visit the ATO to learn more

If your contribution is likely to exceed your non-concessional contributions cap, you may be eligible to class it as a ‘re-contribution’ of COVID-19 early release withdrawal. These re-contributions are excluded from the contributions cap. You can make multiple re-contributions, but the total must not exceed the amount you accessed through the early release scheme.

You may be eligible to make a re-contribution of COVID-19 early release payments if:

  • you accessed your super through the COVID-19 early release of super program 
  • the total amount, including any previous re-contributions, is equal to or less than the total amount you accessed through early release
  • you submit a re-contribution form (see below) on or before the date you made the contribution
  • you re-contribute to your fund between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2030
  • you are not claiming a deduction on your income tax return for the amounts you re-contribute.

To class your contributions as re-contributions, you will need to complete a ‘Notice of re-contribution of COVID-19 early release amounts’ from the ATO.

Please send the completed form to:

Locked Bag 5046
Parramatta NSW 2124

Your Hostplus insurance cover is provided by Metlife.  

If you have questions regarding your insurance cover and COVID-19 or the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit the Metlife Frequently Asked Questions page

Your insurance may help if you can’t work due to injury or illness 

Hostplus offers and provides Income Protection (previously called Salary Continuance) insurance, which can protect your income if you temporarily can’t work due to illness or injury.

If you have Income Protection insurance, and you are temporarily unable to work due to contracting COVID-19 or another illness or injury, you may be eligible to claim a short-term regular payment to help meet your daily costs and expenses.

To learn more, or review your existing insurance arrangements, login to Hostplus Member Online.

If you have existing Income Protection cover, you may be able to make a claim if, due to injury or illness, you are:

  • unable to perform at least one Income Producing Duty of your occupation
  • not working in any occupation, whether or not for reward and 
  • under the regular care and following the advice of a medical practitioner.

You can submit a claim at any time. However, payments will only occur once you have been assessed by the insurer as meeting all eligibility criteria, including satisfying your waiting period.

Please note, Income Protection insurance does not provide coverage against job loss (temporary or otherwise), redundancy or incidences of being ‘stood down’. However, if you are unemployed or have been stood down under the Fair Work Act and subsequently suffer an injury or illness, you may still be eligible to make an Income Protection claim if you meet the criteria outlined above.

To learn more, or review your existing insurance arrangements, login to Hostplus Member Online

If you are eligible to make a claim, please call us on 1300 467 875. Our dedicated claims team are here to help you through the process.

On joining Hostplus, eligible members receive a default level of Death and Total & Permanent Disability (TPD) insurance.

Death insurance protects your loved ones if you die and provides financial peace of mind during a difficult time. TPD insurance provides support in the event of an accident or illness which prevents you from ever returning to work.

We encourage all members to pay particular attention to the impact an early withdrawal may have on their insurance cover. Please note that where an account balance reaches $0 due to a full withdrawal of retirement savings, the member’s account will be closed and any insurance cover will cease.  

If Hostplus subsequently receive a contribution from a registered Hostplus employer after the member’s account has been closed, this may result in the creation of a new Hostplus account (and new member number) in the member's name. Under the Putting Members’ Interests First legislation, new memberships may not include the same insurance arrangements as your previous Hostplus account.

On and from 1 April 2020 super funds cannot provide automatic default insurance cover to any new members with balances less than $6,000 and/or under the age of 25, unless an exception (such as the 'dangerous occupations exception' or ‘employer-sponsor contribution exception’) applies or the fund receives an election from the member to receive default or tailored insurance cover.

Members who wish to opt-in to insurance cover, despite being under age 25 or with a balance below $6,000, can do so on their new account via their Member Online. In some cases, this may be restricted cover.  For more information relating to restricted cover please refer to our Product Disclosure Statement.

Insurance cover may also cease on a member's account where there are insufficient funds to pay for premiums and/or where a contribution has not been received for 16 months or more. If your cover ceases on or after 1 April 2020, as a result of insufficient funds in your account or because it has been inactive for 16 consecutive months, and we receive a contribution or rollover for you at any time after your insurance ceases , your cover will recommence from the Recommencement Date at the default cover level. In some cases, this may be restricted cover.  For more information relating to restricted cover please refer to our PDS.

If as a result of you having made a successful Early Release application your account balance has been reduced to $0, your account will be closed, and you will also no longer be a member of Hostplus.

What happens once my account is closed?

Once we close your account any death, total and permanent disability or salary continuance insurance cover associated with your account will cease. For more information about impacts on your insurance please refer to “Consider your insurance cover”.

If your account is closed Hostplus will send you an Exit Statement in the post which outlines your final transactions and confirms the account closure. Additionally, you will no longer be able to access details of your closed account information via Member Online. 

What happens if a new account is created for me?

If we receive a superannuation contribution from a registered Hostplus employer on your behalf after your account has been closed, Hostplus set up a new account in your name and issue you with a new member number.

We will notify you about your new account and provide you with a Welcome Pack in the post. Your Welcome Pack will include details of your new account, including your new member number.

What do I do if I receive a Welcome Pack?

If you have received a Welcome Pack from Hostplus it means we have set up a new super account in your name.  Even if you were recently, or at any time in the past, a Hostplus member you should review your Welcome Pack and consider a few key actions to make the most of your new account. Login to Member Online or follow the links below for more information.

  1. Consider your insurance cover requirements
  2. Consider your investment choices
  3. Nominate a beneficiary

Can I, or my employer, who uses a different default super fund, still have my super contributions  made to Hostplus?

Yes! You can create a new account quickly and easily online. You’ll be given an opportunity to consider your insurance and investment options as part of the application process.

Be sure to provide your new member number to your employer using our fund nomination form.


Further information

Due to the rapidly changing events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a heightened risk that scammers and fraudsters will seek to take advantage of these occasions to exploit people’s vulnerabilities, confusion and anxiousness to attempt to embezzle and steal from Australians.

At these times, and especially under circumstances when people may be considering making application to withdraw some of their superannuation under current special early release provisions, increased levels of watchfulness and scrutiny need to be applied by everyone.

Hostplus has a range of controls and measures designed to protect your super. But there are also some important steps you can take to ensure your super stays safe now and into the future.

There is an increased risk that scammers may attempt to either assist you in an application for early release of your super, or may pretend to be the ATO itself and seek personal details, including your bank account and superannuation fund details.  If you are so contacted, receive a suspicious email or phone call relating to this, odds are it is unlikely to be genuine and instead someone trying to steal your personal details and your super.

What to look out for:

  • Being charged for unnecessary services that you didn’t ask for or that we didn’t tell you about.
  • Suspicious calls from unknown persons claiming to be a financial adviser or investment manager trying to obtain your personal information over the phone or email.
  • Any unsolicited advice from a third party (via phone or email) that is not your super fund.
  • Being pressured into taking action over the phone; and
  • Investment opportunities that promise a high return with little or no risk during this time.

What you can do:

  • Always log into your Hostplus account through the Hostplus website at hostplus.com.au, ensure all your details are up-to-date and reset your password if necessary.
  • Never give out your super account or bank account information, including your tax file number to any unknown caller. If you need to speak to us, call us directly.

If you think a scammer has contacted you:

  • You should also report them to the ACCC via the report a scam page. For tax related fraud, contact the ATO (13 10 20) or the financial regulator, ASIC (1300 300 630).

If you think a scammer has your details, change your myGov details and all your passwords and PINs as soon as possible.

If you suspect your personal details have been compromised, you should immediately update your passwords for Hostplus Member Online, and myGov as well as any other sensitive accounts you may hold. You should also contact the ATO directly on 13 10 20 to discuss the matter further.  

In March 2020 the Federal Government announced the temporary reduction in the superannuation minimum drawdown requirements for Account-Based pensions (ABP) and Transition to Retirement (TTR) pensions. This step was taken to assist retirees whose account balances may have been impacted by the recent investment market downturn and volatility due to the coronavirus crisis.

These reductions in the minimum pension drawdown rates have been set at half the standard rates for the 2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22 financial years. The changes mean that members who do not wish to draw more than the new revised minimum annual limits will not be required to do so.

The following reduced minimum draw-down rates will be applicable to both ABP’s and TTR pension accounts:

Age

Default minimum
draw-down rates

Reduced minimum
draw-down rates

Under 65

4%

2%

65-74

5%

2.5%

75-79

6%

3%

80-84

7%

3.5%

85-89

9%

4.5%

90-94

11%

5.5%

95+

14%

7%

 

The following information applies to members who have elected to receive their Hostplus pension payments in line with the minimum government requirements.

For the financial year commencing 1 July 2021, your default payment amount will automatically be set at the temporary reduced rate and you will receive half the amount you would normally receive, unless you instruct us to change your payment amount.

All other pension members will continue to receive their Hostplus pension payments in line with their current instructions. If you would like to adjust your pension payment amounts, you can do so via Pension Online.

How to change your payment amount.

Members can change their payment limits and annual or instalment amount using the ‘change payments’ function under ‘My Account’ in their Pension Online account. Members will need to submit the change after clicking ‘preview’ on the change payment page.  Importantly, changes to payments must be made 5 business days before the next payment date to take effect. 

Further information

Please see attached Treasury factsheet that contains case studies and further information about these pension drawdown changes to assist retirees.

Timing

The updated minimum drawdown rates were announced on Sunday 22 March 2020 and came into immediate effect.  

Financial Advice for members

We understand the COVID-19 pandemic and related business and social disruption has led to a deal of anxiousness, and in some cases significant financial stress, for some Hostplus members. And while the longer-term need to plan for retirement is important, we recognise that for some people there are more immediate needs and requirements.

Hostplus Superannuation Advisers licensed by Link Advice Pty Ltd and Hostplus Financial Planners licensed by Industry Fund Services Ltd are here to help you. The experienced team can provide timely, personal, advice to help members with guidance and support, whether it is an immediate, short-term cashflow or budgeting need, or a longer-term objective, including:

  • budgeting advice including fixed vs flexible expenses
  • options for deferral or temporary relief, including loans and utilities
  • Services Australia (Centrelink) eligibility, including JobKeeper, JobSeeker benefits
  • Financial product advice recommendations, including eligibility for special COVID-19 related early access to super.

Contact a Hostplus Superannuation Adviser or Financial Planner

To arrange a discussion with a Superannuation Adviser or Financial Planner, please complete the Contact a Financial Planner form and select the ‘COVID 19 cash flow assistance’ option for the ‘How can we help you?’ question.   

Consider the relevant Hostplus Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) available at hostplus.com.au and your objectives, financial situation and needs, which are not accounted for in this information, before deciding if Hostplus is appropriate for you. Hostplus has engaged Industry Fund Services Limited (IFS) ABN 54 007 016 195, AFSL 232514 to facilitate the provision of personal financial advice to members of Hostplus. Advice is provided by financial planners who are Authorised Representatives of IFS. Fees may apply. Further information about the cost of advice is set out in the relevant IFS Financial Services Guide, a copy of which is available from your financial planner.

Hostplus Superannuation Advice Consultants are Authorised Representatives of Link Advice Pty Ltd ABN 36 105 811 836, ASFL 258145 and facilitate the provision of limited personal advice about Hostplus products to Hostplus members through Super Adviser.  Please call 1300 734 007 to obtain a Link Advice Financial Services Guide. Link Advice is responsible for any advice obtained through Super Adviser.

We're here for you

We are, literally, all in this together.  And we will continue to support our members, our contributing employers, our stakeholders and our community, in and through this challenging period.

We have made considerable changes to the way in which we are operating during these unprecedented times, so that we can continue to serve your needs to the high standard that you rightfully expect. Understandably, however, we are currently managing a much greater volume of member enquiries than normal and as such you may experience greater wait times for phone-based assistance.

With this in mind, we encourage you to make non-urgent enquiries via other channels, such as our online enquiry form. We also ask our members to consider self-service options for basic account management inquiries and actions, such as address updates, via Hostplus Member Online and Hostplus Pension Online

Be sure to check back here for regular updates as they unfold. 

The information in this update is general in nature. Consider your own objectives, financial situation and needs, which are not accounted for, before making a decision.

 


Tip: You can find your member number on your most recent member statement or electronic statement email


 
 

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This website is issued by Host-Plus Pty Limited ABN 79 008 634 704, AFSL 244392 as trustee for the Hostplus Superannuation Fund (the Fund) ABN 68 657 495 890, MySuper No 68657495890198. Hostplus Self-Managed Invest (SMI) is issued by Host-Plus Pty Limited ABN 79 008 634 704, AFSL 244392 as trustee for the Hostplus Pooled Superannuation Trust (PST) ABN 13 140 019 340. It contains general advice only and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider if this information is appropriate for you in light of your circumstances before acting on it. Please read the relevant Hostplus Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) or Hostplus SMI PDS before making a decision about Hostplus. For a description of the target market, please read the Target Market Determination (TMD), available at hostplus.com.au. You can view detailed disclaimers here. Hostplus has engaged Industry Fund Services Limited (IFS) ABN 54 007 016 195, AFSL 232514 to facilitate the provision of personal financial advice to members of Hostplus. Advice is provided by financial planners who are Authorised Representatives of IFS. Fees may apply for Comprehensive Financial Advice, further information about the cost of comprehensive advice is set out in the relevant IFS Financial Services Guide, a copy of which is available from your financial planner. Hostplus has engaged Link Advice Pty Ltd ABN 36 105 811 836, ASFL 258145 to facilitate the provision of limited personal financial advice to members of Hostplus via the web-based product Super Adviser.