Cbus’ response to COVID-19

 

Cbus is here for you during this uncertain time. Our priority has always been to put our member's interests first, and we continue to do so amidst this challenging environment.

This page is updated regularly as soon as information becomes available and provides key information for Cbus members and their employers. As information about COVID-19 and its relevance to Cbus becomes available it will be updated in this section.

 

An update on the early release program

 

As of Friday 8 May, Cbus had received 67,084 claims for early release from the ATO worth over $560 million.

Cbus has paid out 95% of claims within five business days. So far, Cbus has made payments of $474 million to more than 56,000 members.

Our priority is getting money to our members as efficiently as possible while ensuring the security of our members retirement savings. To ensure the security of payments, some claims are taking more than five business days to process.

We understand this is frustrating and we are working as hard as we can to process these claims.

Our work to protect members from fraud and money laundering on these exceptions is progressing well and the number of outstanding claims is being reduced on a daily basis.

Early release of your super

We understand that many Cbus members are now facing significant financial uncertainty.

Sunday, 22 March, the Federal Government announced temporary changes to the early release conditions for individuals as part of its economic COVID-19 virus response.

The Government is allowing affected individuals to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation before 1 July 2020. They will also be able to access up to a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 until 24 September 2020.

Withdrawing money out of your super now could have a significant impact on the super you have to support you in retirement. 

 

Visit our early release of super resources

to find out more about the long-term impact of withdrawing from your super.

 

 

 

If you’ve applied for early release, please be assured that we are here for you and will process each application as quickly as possible once we receive them from the ATO.

 Next steps: 

  • You’ll receive an SMS from the ATO when your application is approved.
  • You’ll receive an SMS from Cbus when we receive your information from the ATO (up to 4 days from your application to the ATO). Please ensure your phone alerts are turned on in your settings. 
  • You’ll receive an SMS from Cbus to confirm when payment will be made to your bank or financial institution. (Our target is 5 working days, but it could take longer if your details don’t match or extra verification checks are needed. Some applications may take longer if files are incomplete or have issues.)
  • Depending on your financial institution’s processing times, you should be able to view the payment in your bank account in the next 3-5 business days after the payment is processed.
  • If extra checks are needed to help protect your account from fraudulent activity, be assured that we’ll be working to complete these checks and process your payment as soon as possible. We’ll contact you if we require more information.

Please be aware of an increase in scam activity at this time. We remind you that Cbus will never email or text message you requesting personal information, financial information or a payment.

Share markets and COVID-19

Cbus' Chief Investment Officer, Kristian Fok answers three of the questions most asked by you. The video transcript can be accessed here. And here's an explanation how unlisted assets work.

 

1. What's happening with members' funds?

2. Is Cbus safe - can I access my account if I need to?

3. When will markets improve?

Your questions to Cbus & FAQs

Member FAQs

Visit our FAQ page and view our videos in relation to COVID-19 and its impact on superannuation before contacting us.

 

Employer FAQs

If you're a Cbus employer please check our employer FAQ page.

 

Volatility FAQs

In this video three Cbus financial advisors answer the most commonly asked superannuation questions from members during this period. You can access the video transcript here.

Please follow this link to find further resources about volatility that are comprehensive and easy to understand. Or watch all our advisor videos for the quickest way to answer your specific superannuation questions related to COVID -19 and its impacts.

Your super account

Your super account is operating as per normal.

The fastest and easiest way to manage your super account is through your online portal.

You can log in to:

  • see your current account balance and earnings
  • update your personal details
  • view or switch your investment options
  • change details of who will receive your super benefits when you die.

If you have not already registered for online access, register here as a Cbus Super member.

Your super income stream

 In your online account you can:

  • change payment frequency or amount
  • make a partial withdrawal from their account (a daily limit of $25,000 applies).

If you have not already registered for online access, register here as a Cbus Super Income Stream member.

 

Important temporary changes

1. Option to reduce minimum drawn down payments

The law requires you to draw a minimum income from your account each year. As a result of investment market volatility, this minimum has been halved for the current financial year and next financial year ending 30 June 2021. 

 

Your age New minimum payment
Under 65 2%
65 to 74 2.5%
75 to 79 3%
80 to 84 3.5%
85 to 89 4.5%
90 to 94 5.5%
95 and over 7%

It may not be a financially viable option for everyone to reduce their payments. But if you can temporarily reduce how much you receive for the next year or two, this will give your savings more time to recover some of the investment losses experienced recently.

Here's how you can change your income payments:

  • log into your online account, or
  • call 1300 361 784 (but note we’re experiencing higher than normal call volumes).

 

2. Re-assess Centrelink Age Pension entitlements

Centrelink works out if you qualify for the Age Pension. One of the factors they use is your income stream account balance, and a lower account balance might result in an increase to Age Pension entitlements for some. 

Here's how you can have your Age Pension reassessed:

  • Step 1 -  Get an updated Centrelink Schedule from Cbus
    • by logging into your online account, or
    • by calling 1300 361 784 (but note we’re experiencing higher than normal call volumes).
  • Step 2 - Lodge the updated Schedule with Centrelink

 

Important!

Make sure you understand how selecting a lower amount now could impact your upcoming payments. For example, you may not receive any more payments for the 2019/20 financial year if the payments you’ve already received add up to more than the new minimum. Call us if you need help.

Cbus employers

Please follow this link for contact details of your local Employer Relationship Manager and Business Development Manager. Or go straight to our COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions page for some helpful answers.

 

Support for employers

As a Cbus employer, you may be eligible to access a number of support measures that have been introduced by the Australian Government to assist businesses that have been/or will be negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

 

JobKeeper payments

The Government has introduced wage subsidies for businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19 in order to assist them in retaining their employees throughout this crisis. 

Affected employers (that meet eligibility criteria) will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of 6 months. 

For eligibility criteria and further information about this initiative please visit the Government fact sheet.

 

Supporting apprentices and trainees

If you employ an apprentice or trainee you may be eligible for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of their wage paid from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. You can register for the subsidy from early April 2020.

Employers will be reimbursed up to a maximum of $21,000 per eligible apprentice or trainee ($7,000 per quarter). For further details about this initiative please visit this Government fact sheet.

 

You can find further details about all of the government support initiatives available for businesses here.  

Beware of scamming activity

There have been a number of reports of an overall increased level of scams as a result of anxieties around COVID-19 particularly since the government’s announcements around the early release of super. Please note that Cbus will never email or text message you requesting personal information, financial information or a payment. 

If you are in doubt about the authenticity of an email, text message or phone call, please delete immediately or hang up. 

Also, the Australian Government has an online service that provides alerts about the latest scams.

If you believe you have sent any personal or financial information to a scam email address or entered it into a scam website and are worried that your identity may have been stolen please call 1300 361 784 or email us at cbusenq@cbussuper.com.au. Please note we are currently experiencing increased volumes of calls. 

Contacting Cbus

Member and employer services are operating largely according to their normal hours.

We would encourage you to visit our FAQ page and view our videos in relation to COVID-19 and its impact on superannuation before contacting us.

If you're a Cbus employer please check our employer FAQ page.

Contact centre

1300 361 784

8am to 8pm AEDT

Monday to Friday 

Front counter

In line with recommendations from government, we are taking preventative measures for the health and safety of Cbus members and staff. 

The Cbus front counter offices are closed until further notice and unfortunately we do not have staff who can assist you in person.

We apologise for the inconvenience this causes to you and all our members, but these measures are necessary in an unprecedented health event. 

We are still contactable by phone. 

Please call 1300 361 784 and we will assist you. Please note we are currently experiencing increased volumes of calls. 

We are unable to accept any forms at this time, unless via mail. To lodge forms send them to Cbus - Locked Bag 5056, Parramatta, NSW 2124.

Please check our interpreter fact sheet (PDF) if you require interpreter services.

Advice Services

Contact Cbus Advice Services on 1300 361 784 (press 4 to be connected), 8am to 8pm (AEST), Monday to Friday

But we would encourage you to firstly view our videos and information on this page that may assist with your enquiry.

Please note: Cbus has suspended the Retirement seminar programme until further notice in the interest of minimising risk to members and Cbus staff.