It appears that the first day of the new financial year has seen a rush to access the second tranche of the governments early access to super scheme, which has caused the ATO site to crash, according to media reports. The access page has frozen due to high demand. As of today, Australians who qualify will be able to withdraw a further $10,000 from their superannuation as part of the governments controversial “stimulus response” to the coronavirus pandemic. It shows there is still a need for better advice for Australian consumers.
The ATO site currently has a five-point message saying:
- We apologise for the inconvenience.
- We understand significant numbers of people need to access our online services.
- We are proactively managing our online traffic so that systems continue to be available.
- Thank you for your patience at this time.
- Please try again later.
The report, from News.com.au indicated to ATO said the high volume of traffic may also be due to the number of Australians attempting to lodge their tax returns.
The early release of super scheme has been criticised as being an ill-advised response, particularly following a study that showed 64% of 13,000 recipients of money in the initial release were spending much of their recently acquired super on discretionary items such as clothing, restaurant food, alcohol and gambling, rather than on necessities. Up to this point there have been over 2 million applications for the early release scheme and nearly $18 billion has been removed from Australians future retirement savings.
The stats around both accessing and spending indicate that there are hundreds of thousands of Australian families who are feeling financial stress, yet not always spending their emergency support judiciously. There is without a doubt a need for financial guidance for a large cohort of our population. Adviser Ratings recognises this fact and has responded with the “Together Australia” initiative, which aims to pull together the entire financial advice industry under one umbrella (regardless of brand) to help Australians at their time of need. It’s a campaign aimed at consumers that offers financial information and advice from industry experts including advisers, with the goal of encouraging more Australians to access financial advice.