If there’s one thing that demonstrates our industry’s resilience, it’s our response to a crisis. It has been truly astonishing to see how the hospitality industry has rallied over these last few unprecedented months. I’ve seen so many venues completely overhaul menus to provide customers with takeaway meals and safer delivery options. And an astonishing number of pubs and venues provided food to health workers on the frontline! None of these activities would have been easy to pull together, even in the most ideal of circumstances. It’s been fantastic to hear of these great stories during these truly difficult times.
And times are, without a doubt, incredibly tough at the moment. Millions of Australians have been financially impacted by the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. The hospitality and tourism industries have been hardest hit, and no doubt many of your staff have been affected. You may have had to make the difficult decision to stand down staff, reduce hours or even close your business, however temporarily. We appreciate the difficult financial and personal circumstances many are experiencing at this time.
The Government has released a number of financial support packages to help those who are struggling financially as a result of this pandemic. New support payments have been introduced by Centrelink, including JobSeeker Payments, Youth Allowance Jobseeker and Parenting Payments (Partnered and Single), with reduced waiting periods and means testing. An additional support payment of $750 was also paid to income support recipients and eligible concession card holders in March, with another due to be paid in July. In addition, JobKeeper may still be available while you work to get business back to normal. If you have chosen to keep some, or all, of your staff employed through JobKeeper, this should help you get back to business as usual quicker.
The Government is also allowing eligible individuals to withdraw money from their super account. This process is being administered by the ATO, and eligible members can apply for the withdrawal directly through myGov. Unlike accessing income, offsets or refunds from the Government, the impact of accessing your super can be far reaching. With markets at low values, withdrawing investments now will potentially lock in losses which are incredibly hard to recover from. This could make a comfortable retirement that much farther away, or less likely. That said, these unprecedented times means there have been a lot of people who needed to go down this avenue. We’ve been working to pay those Intrust Super members that need the money as quickly as possible.
If you have staff who would like to know more about the financial assistance available to them, Intrust Super can help. We may not be able to visit in person, but your staff can still contact our team via email, phone and even Zoom. We’ve been contacting members electronically to remind them of their Relationship Manager’s contact details and to offer assistance remotely. You can also find your Relationship Manager’s contact details on our website at intrust.com.au/your-team if you have any questions. We’re committed to ensuring a high standard of service continues to be delivered to all our members during this time. Now more than ever, Intrust Super is at your service.
The opinions expressed in this column are my own and do not necessarily represent the view of Intrust Super. The information contained in this document is of a general nature only, and does not take into account your individual financial situation, objectives and needs. You should consider the appropriateness of the general information having regard to your own situation before making any investment decision. For personal advice, please contact the Intrust360° financial advice team on 1300 001 360. A Product Disclosure Statement is available at www.intrust.com.au or call us on 132 467 for a copy. Issued by IS Industry Fund Pty Ltd | MySuper Unique Identifier: 65704511371601 | ABN: 45 010 814 623 | AFSL No: 238051 | RSE Licence No: L0001298 | Intrust Super ABN 65 704 511 371 | SPIN/USI: HPP0100AU | RSE Registration No: R100439
To see Brendan O'Farrell's May 2020 article for the QHA Review - click here.