“The tourism operator I have been employed by for over a decade is now out of business because job keeper has ended, and I am now unemployed. I am 45 and single. I can access jobseeker while I look for work, but the amount does not cover even my rent. Can I access my super to make rental payments until I find work? Is there any other support I can access?”
-Bill in Cairns, QLD
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I am sorry to hear you are going through such a hard time. I am in Cairns and have seen many people up here in the same situation, hopefully, the government extends the Job Keeper payments for the tourism industry (yes, there has been talks about it, but nothing seems to be set in motion yet).
I do have a few suggestions that might help you, keeping in mind I don’t know all about you, so this is just a general overview of things you can look into.
As for accessing your super, it may be possible to do this under severe financial hardship, however, you would usually make the request via your Super Fund. Please keep in mind, you will have to pay tax on the amount that is withdrawn, which is calculated at your marginal tax rate minus 15%.
Have a look at the ATO website to see if you qualify:
There are also a number of grants (that you may want to get your previous employer to look into) that could assist with paying your wage and them keeping you as an employee (depending on how hard they were hit of course and where they are in the country). Here are a few sites with information that may help:
The other thing you should consider is approaching your landlord. The impact Covid has had on the tourism industry is widely known, and many landlords will be sympathetic to your plight.
Since your Super is there for your retirement (and not really there to pay your rent), if you can avoid accessing your Super, you really should. The cost alone (when considering you will pay tax on the withdrawals and miss out on interest over 20 years) is a lot higher from your super than having a conversation and then potentially some short-term debt with your landlord.
Check out this site for a few ideas on discussions you can have with your landlord:
Ultimately, the best thing for you to consider is to speak with a financial adviser or councillor who specialises in budgeting.
If you can reduce your expenses to live within your now very limited means, it will set you up so that this type of pain won’t happen for you in the future. Most financial advisers are able to give you suggestions to reduce frivolous expenses that you can no longer afford while you are on a limited budget. This will also assist you to build savings in the future when your cash flow increases, as your spending habits will already be good and in control.
I wish you good luck in finding a new role and I hope that these little tips help you along.
While the Adviser Ratings Website facilitates the question and answer functionality, all such communications are between users and authorised financial advisers, of which Adviser Ratings has no affiliation. Adviser Ratings is not the advice provider and does not provide financial product advice and only provides information that is general in nature.