With many Australians finding themselves in financial difficulty through no fault of their own, the Sunsuper team has been working hard to ensure members that applied for early release of their superannuation (COVID-19) via the ATO receive their money quickly.
Sunsuper’s Executive General Manager, Customer Engagement Stevhan Davidson said with benefits of an internal administration system and the employment of an army of temporary new staff, the Fund had been able to process members’ early access claims faster than most.
“We have our own dedicated processing teams, we employed new team members as a priority, and our overall strong fund management has allowed Sunsuper to prioritise early release payments for our members,” Mr Davidson said.
“We recognised these were extraordinary times and we wanted to help our members as quickly as possible. With many Australians now out of work, we reached out to Sunsuper staff, friends and family and invited those who were impacted by the changing job market to join our team. In early April, we welcomed over sixty-five new casual staff to the Customer Engagement Team to better support our members. Importantly, we wanted to ensure our members who requested early release, received their money fast.
“With streamlined systems and robust checks in place, Sunsuper accelerated payments to members and have now processed 108,280 withdrawals, totalling around $785 million. Importantly, 100% of Sunsuper payments were received within the 5-day period, with very few funds of our size being able to deliver this service to their members,” he said.
“With our dedicated internal Sunsuper processing teams ready to respond, we have been able to deliver on our customer experience commitment.
“With 1.4 million members and a relatively young and diverse membership base employed right across the economy, we anticipated there would be many who would take advantage of the early access provisions. Our teams have worked hard to ensure that most members who have made claims have received their money within 1-2 business days, helping them to make ends meet,” Mr Davidson said.
Ian Patrick, Sunsuper’s Chief Investment Officer, said it’s the commitment of the Sunsuper team and our preparedness for economic downturns that have enabled us to respond rapidly in support of our members.
“Our investment team is highly experienced and our long-standing approach to liquidity and stress testing has positioned us well during this economic downturn. The early release withdrawals we are seeing are well within our stress testing assumptions. Our prudent fund management means there is sufficient cash to meet all anticipated forward commitments, ensuring we are there for our members when they need us the most”.
“Our message to members considering early release is to stay invested if they can and explore all of the options that might be available to them for financial support. Everyone’s circumstances are different so we recommend members seek advice before deciding to withdraw from their superannuation, though some members are hurting and will find withdrawing some funds may be the most appropriate course,” Mr Patrick said.
“Like all Australians, Sunsuper hopes these market conditions are as short-lived as possible. Being there for our members sits at the heart of everything we do — today, tomorrow and in retirement.”
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