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COVID-19 and reducing minimum drawdown

Last updated: 1 July 2021

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Key points

  • The government has allowed the temporary reduction of drawdown requirements for account-based pensions. 
  • This information is relevant for members who have a Retirement income account and Transition to retirement income account.
  • The annual minimum drawdown requirements reduced by 50% for 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22.
  • Log in to Member Online to review and change your regular payments.

Temporary reduction to minimum annual payment amount

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the government reduced the minimum annual payment amounts for superannuation pensions (like Sunsuper’s Transition to retirement and Retirement income accounts). This aims to help retirees, and those close to retirement, to manage the impact of volatile financial markets on their retirement savings.  

Members who set up an Income account (including those members who re-start their pension) from Thursday 2 April 2020 and elected to receive the minimum payment had the reduction automatically applied for 2019-20.

From 1 July 2020, the reduction was automatically applied for members who elected to receive the minimum payment for the 2020-21 financial year.


How to work out your reduced minimum annual payment

Use the percentage factors in the table below to calculate your minimum annual payment amount, using your age at 1 July of the financial year (or at the date your income account commenced, if later).

Your age Standard percentage factors Reduced percentage factors applicable for 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22
Less than 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 or older 14% 7%


To check your current income payment amount and make changes:
  1. Log in to Member Online
  2. Navigate to “Retirement” then choose “Income payments” from the menu.
  3. On the “Income payments” page there will be payment details including amount, frequency, and next payment date.
  4. Use the Change payment details button to make any changes to your income payments.
To check the amount you have received in income payments for the current financial year:
  1. Log in to Member Online
  2. Navigate to “Your account” then choose “Transaction history”
  3. On the “Transaction history - summary” page, select “Current financial year” from the date range menu on the page.
  4. The summary on the page will include a line for “Pension payments”, this is the total so far this financial year.
If you would like further information and guidance, please see the government’s retirees factsheet.


How do I reduce my payment amount?

The standard minimum drawdown levels for Income account members have been reduced by 50 per cent for the 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22 financial years. 

Your 2021-22 financial year payments:

  • If your payments were at the standard minimum level, your payments for 2021-22 would have defaulted to the reduced minimum level. If you don’t want the reduced minimum, you must specify another amount in Member Online.
  • If you lowered your payments to the reduced minimum level for 2019-20 or 2020-21, you’ll continue to be paid at the reduced minimum level for 2021-22.
  • If you’ve specified another amount, you’ll continue to receive this amount.


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