We would never contact you to ask you for the password to your super account. Please do not share your password with anyone and be very cautious about emails or calls you receive about early access to your super. If you have any questions, please contact us directly.
‘I want to reassure you, our members and contributing employers, that we are actively monitoring and managing these unprecedented circumstances to ensure that your hard-earned retirement savings continue to be well managed and in good hands.’ - David Elia, Chief Executive Officer
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.
Step 1: Check your details.
Visit my.gov.au to submit your application. It’s important to ensure that your bank account details are correct on your application. The ATO will review your application and notify us within 4 business days. We will text you once we receive notification from the ATO.
We receive, check, process and pay your application, normally within 5 business days of receiving notification from the ATO. We will text you when we make the payment.
Your bank may take a further 3-5 days to process your payment. If your bank rejects payment, it can take up to 7 days for them to notify us, then a further 5 days for us to reprocess the payment.
Update: Early access to super scheme extended to 31 December 2020
On 23 July, the Federal Government announced that phase two of the early access to superannuation scheme, which began on 1 July and was due to end on 24 September, has been extended to 31 December 2020.
The Government is allowing individuals affected by the Coronavirus to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in the 2019-20 financial year and up to a further $10,000 in the 2020-21 financial year.
While superannuation helps people save for retirement, the Government recognises that for those significantly financially affected by the Coronavirus, accessing some of their superannuation today may outweigh the benefits of maintaining those savings until retirement.
Eligible individuals will be able to apply online through myGov to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation before 1 July 2020. They will also be able to access up to a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 until 31 December 2020.
To apply for early release of super, you must satisfy any one or more of the following requirements:
Temporary residents are not eligible to apply in the 2020–21 financial year.
To apply for a COVID-19 early release of superannuation, you need to apply directly to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) through the myGov website: my.gov.au.
The ATO is managing all applications and approvals for early release of your super.
Once Hostplus has been notified that the ATO has approved your application, we will aim to process your payment within 5 business days. Your funds will then be transferred to your nominated bank account.
Separate arrangements will apply if you are a member of a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF). Further guidance will be available on the ATO website: www.ato.gov.au.
Applications can be submitted online through myGov:
If you are a Choiceplus member, you need to ensure that you have sufficient funds outside of your Choiceplus account to make the early release payment.
This is so that you can maintain the minimum required balance of $2,000 in one of your Hostplus premixed, sector, or individual manager investment options (as per the Choiceplus Investment Guide requirements).
Please note, the standard timeframe for the proceeds of security sales in Choiceplus to be credited to your Choiceplus Cash Account is ‘sale date + 2 days’. Once these funds are available, you can execute an instruction to transfer cash from your Choiceplus Cash Account back to another Hostplus investment option. These funds will be available in your Hostplus investment option two business days from the date of your transfer instruction.
Once your Hostplus account has sufficient funds available, we will process your special early release payment within three business days.
Step-by-step guide to transferring funds from Choiceplus to other Hostplus investment options:
Please allow up to 14 business days from the time you submit your application to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) to the time you receive your funds to your nominated bank account.
After you have submitted your application with the ATO, you’ll receive an SMS or email from the ATO confirming that you have been approved for early access. The ATO will notify Hostplus within 4-5 working days, advising of the approved amount and the bank account to be used for electronic transfer.
Hostplus will process this withdrawal and initiate the bank transfer within 5 working days. However, this time may increase where we need to contact you to clarify information. You will receive an SMS from Hostplus to the mobile number listed on your Member Online account confirming the transfer to your bank account has been initiated. Please ensure we have your current mobile number. Once you have received Hostplus’ payment SMS, your bank can advise when this payment will be available in your nominated account.
If you are experiencing a delay in your payment, please be assured we are working hard to ensure your money reaches you safely and securely. It’s important to understand that we aim to process payments within five working days of receiving approval of the application from the Australian Tax Office (ATO).
The majority of applications will be processed within five working days. However, there are a number of reasons an application may be delayed. One of the main reasons is if there are inconsistencies in the application that require further checks for fraud. While most applications will ultimately pass these fraud checks, they are critical in ensuring that payments are processed securely. To date, our checks have protected a number of members’ accounts from fraudulent attempts.
Here are some steps you can take to help ensure your payment gets processed quickly:
There are also other reasons that an application may exceed the five-day turn-around, which include:
When you submit your application through My.Gov.au, it’s important to ensure that your BSB number and bank account number are both correct on your application.
If you have entered incorrect bank account details on your MyGov application, your bank will reject the payment.
If this happens, your bank may take up to 7 business days to notify Hostplus that the payment has been rejected. Once we receive that notification, we need to contact you to verify your bank account details before we can process your payment again, which can take up to 5 business days. Your bank may then take a further 3-5 business days to process the payment.
Step 1: If your bank rejects your payment, they may take up to 7 business days to notify Hostplus
Step 2: Once we’ve been notified by your bank, we will contact you to verify your bank account details so we can process your payment again, which can take up to 5 business days
Step 3: Your bank may then take a further 3-5 business days to process the payment.
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 you plan on claiming a tax-deduction for a personal contribution to your super, you should speak with an accountant, tax agent or the ATO to understand the implications this may have on your financial situation.
Here are sme simple tools to help you plan for your future:
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.
When considering whether to make an application to the ATO for an early release of superannuation under the current special arrangements, you should first carefully consider and weigh-up that action versus the longer-term implications to your retirement savings that such a withdrawal may have.
While some members will undoubtedly benefit from a financial boost today, you need to also consider the potential cost to your future retirement savings. To calculate the potential impact on your retirement savings, you can use Moneysmart’s Super withdrawal estimator.
Hostplus fully supports the Federal Government’s initiative to provide an early access arrangement for those in most need to do so, however we strongly encourage you to also fully explore all the hardship-related options that might be available to you, including Government support such as Centrelink benefits and payments. You should do so bearing in mind your individual circumstances, including your long-term financial situation, objectives and needs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hostplus, like many major and well-diversified superannuation funds, invests in a wide range of assets which are both listed (e.g. securities held in public investment markets like stock exchanges); and unlisted, such as property, infrastructure (e.g. roads, airports, utilities and toll roads), private equity and venture capital (e.g. start-ups or developing private companies).
Hostplus has a long track record of successful unlisted asset investment. These assets have played an integral role in achieving long-term investment outcomes and objectives and serving members’ best interests. Whilst this history is of course not a guarantee of future performance, we remain confident that our strategic and considered investment in unlisted investments across key sectors of our economy will provide a strong and reliable basis for future growth in the long-term.
During times of heightened listed market volatility our investment in unlisted assets has played an important stabilising and diversifying role in our investment portfolio .
However, given that unlisted assets are not as ‘liquid’ as some other asset classes and are not traded openly on listed markets in the same way as shares or bonds, they must necessarily be valued using different valuation methodologies and practices compared to listed assets.
These valuations are typically carried out by independent valuers and undertaken on a regular basis.
In March 2020, as the economic impact of COVID-19 was beginning to unfold and remained highly uncertain, Hostplus worked closely with its investment managers and its asset consultant to determine the impact of the pandemic on the valuations of its unlisted assets such as property, infrastructure and private equity. This ensured that our investment unit prices appropriately reflected the unique circumstances presented by the crisis, in the best interests of all members.
As such, Hostplus devalued assets within its property and infrastructure portfolios by a range of 7.5-10%, depending on the individual investment. Hostplus’ private equity and venture capital investments were also devalued, for similar considerations and prudence, by 15% on average. In electing to put these directors’ valuations in place, Hostplus temporarily replaced the existing valuations while providing the independent valuers of these assets the necessary time and opportunity to undertake their revaluations in an informed and orderly timeframe, to ensure that once these up-to-date revaluations had been determined, Hostplus could revert to these as soon as practicable.
Since March, the independent valuers have had time to better understand and account for the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the underlying assets. This has reduced some of the material uncertainty that existed in March 2020. For this reason, as of the end of June 2020, Hostplus has moved to replace the interim directors’ valuations in respect of those categories of assets where it has received an updated independent valuation. As per normal practice, that independent valuation immediately flowed through to the applicable unit prices.
As a result, several underlying investments within our property and infrastructure asset portfolios have received valuations that were higher than the interim directors’ valuations, thus resulting in an uplift in the relevant asset class’s unit price.
Hostplus, alongside its professional asset managers and asset consultant, will continue to monitor investment markets closely to ensure that the pricing of our unlisted assets remains appropriate for the circumstances as they evolve and to ensure that all assets’ values reflect ‘fair value’ across all member balances.
In March 2020, the Federal Government enacted the ‘JobKeeper’ scheme, to help keep more Australians in jobs and support businesses affected by the significant economic impact caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) .
On 21 July 2020, the Government announced it is extending the JobKeeper Payment until 28 March 2021 and is targeting support to those businesses and not-for-profits who continue to be significantly impacted by the Coronavirus.
Available to eligible businesses, charities and not-for-profits which have experienced specific reductions in turnover as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the payment can be used to support income payments to recently stood-down as well as continuing staff. This is to help eligible employers remain connected to their employees and assist businesses to resume quickly once the COVID-19 crisis is over.
For eligible employees (or business participants) who worked 20 hours or more per week on average during the four weeks before 1 March 2020:
The fortnightly payment of $1,500 will be reduced to $1,200 from 28 September 2020 and to $1,000 from 4 January 2021.
For eligible employees (or business participants) who worked less than 20 hours per week on average during the four weeks before 1 March 2020: The fortnightly payment of $1,500 will be reduced to $750 from 28 September 2020 and to $650 from 4 January 2021.
The payment is also available to eligible sole traders.
Payments will be distributed to employers by the ATO, with further distribution to workers facilitated through existing payroll infrastructure.
More information on the JobKeeper Payment, including eligibility criteria can be found via the Treasury coronavirus hub.
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 and 2020/21 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:
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 2020, 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.
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.
Please see attached Treasury factsheet that contains case studies and further information about these pension drawdown changes to assist retirees.
The updated minimum drawdown rates were announced on Sunday 22 March 2020 and came into immediate effect.
Hostplus offers and provides Income Protection (previously called Salary Continuance) insurance, which may help to protect your income if you temporarily can’t work because of illness or injury by providing regular monthly payments to contribute towards your living expenses.
If you have Income Protection insurance, and you are temporarily unable to work due to contracting COVID-19 or another illness or injury that would temporarily prevent you from working and earning an income, 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 solely as a result of injury or illness you are:
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 (30, 60 or 90 days).
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.
If you have been stood down under the Fair Work Act and considered by MetLife to be on leave without pay (LWOP), MetLife will disregard the current policy terms which require benefits to commence at the end of the LWOP period. Instead, if you are eligible for a Income Protection benefit, MetLife will commence paying benefits to you at the end of the relevant waiting period.
It is important to be aware that the Income Protection amount that you can claim may be lower than your current cover amount as it is based on your income amount for the 12 months prior to the illness or injury. If you are eligible to receive the Government JobKeeper Payment, MetLife will exclude that payment from any benefit offsets that would usually apply for new and existing claims in progress.
If you fall ill, are injured, or suffer a disability which prevents you from ever returning to work you may be eligible for a Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) benefit.
Any entitlement to a TPD benefit will be assessed on the basis of whether you meet the below criteria, using the applicable disability definition based on your working arrangements as at 11 March 2020.
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 803 745. Our dedicated claims team are here to help you through the process.
Some employers make specific arrangements with Hostplus to pay their employees' insurance premiums directly to Hostplus.
Some members, known as “Low Balance Members”, may need to take additional action to ensure their insurance cover continues if they are stood down or cease to be employed.
A Low Balance Member is a member whose account did not have a balance of at least $6,000 at any time between 1 November 2019 and 31 March 2020, and for new members joining Hostplus on or after 1 April 2020, since the date they became a member.
Employers may cease paying insurance premiums for employees who have been stood down or ceased employment with that employer. If you were or are a Low Balance Member, and your employer stops paying insurance premiums for you, any insurance cover you have may cease unless you have made an election to maintain it.
Refer to section 8.16.28 of the Hostplus PDS for a more detailed definition of a Low Balance Member.
Members who wish to change or manage their cover, including by requesting a decrease or increase in their level of insurance or cancellation of their insurance, can do so through Hostplus Member Online.
The information in this update is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation and needs. You should consider if this information is appropriate for you in light of your circumstances before making a decision.
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:
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 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.