Tasplan's response to COVID-19

Tasplan updates

It’s understandable that our members are feeling anxious about the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus), not only on their investments, but on the community as a whole. We hope this information helps to answer any questions you might have.

Tasplan has a responsibility to our members, the Tasmanian community and our staff to do what we can to minimise the spread of COVID-19.

Information provided by the Federal Government suggests there's evidence that COVID-19 can spread from person-to-person. Because of this we’ve taken the following precautions:

  • Tasplan’s face-to-face services are temporarily unavailable

This means Tasplan offices in Hobart, Launceston and Devonport will be closed until further notice.

If you’d like to speak to us, call 1800 005 166. Alternatively, you can self-service and access your account information using Tasplan Online.

If you’re looking for general information about super, there’s lots of information about super, investment, and planning for your retirement on the Tasplan website.

You’ll also find member forms here.

  • We’ve cancelled the Tasplan Ready, set retire expo indefinitely.
  • We’ve postponed Tasplan information sessions and pop-up shops.
  • We’ve paused off-site visits including visits to employer worksites.

Frequently asked questions 

  • Tasplan SuperTasplan SuperBe careful of scams

    Tasplan has received reports from members and other super funds of scams as a result of COVID-19.

    These scams involve people stealing personal information or super account details to get access to your super or by offering unnecessary services to help you access your super early for a fee. Members are being approached through cold calls, emails and text messages where people are asking for super account information such as username, account numbers, password, account balances and date of birth.

    It’s important to note that the ATO is managing the new early release process through its MyGov website. There’s no need to involve a third party and there are no fees involved. If you’d like more information about the new early release measures, please read the government’s Economic response to the coronavirus – Early access to superannuation fact sheet which includes some examples to help you further understand this temporary change.

    Tasplan encourages members to be cautious about emails, text messages or calls they receive regarding their super accounts, especially in relation to helping with the early release of super. If you’re in doubt about the authenticity of an email, text message or phone call, please delete immediately or hang up and contact your super fund directly.

    Protect yourself from identity theft

    Some of the ways you can protect your identity include:

    • not giving your personal details to people you don't know including usernames and passwords
    • securing your mail and destroying unnecessary personal information
    • check that your contact details on your super account are correct so that we may contact you in the event of a suspicious transaction
    • regularly check your super and bank accounts for unusual transactions and review your credit report to ensure your name isn’t being used by someone else to borrow money or run up debts.

    If you believe you have sent any super, personal or financial information to a scam email address or a cold call, or entered it into a scam website and are worried that your identity may have been stolen, please call us on 1800 005 166 or email us at info@tasplan.com.au.

  • Tasplan SuperTasplan SuperWhat will happen into the future?

    Tasplan will continue to monitor and reassess our risk minimisation strategies over time. We’ll continue to follow the advice of the World Health Organisation, the Tasmanian Government and the Federal Government.

    With so much uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, we aren’t able to provide a timeline for when things will change or be rescheduled.

    In the event of a virus outbreak within our offices or a government-imposed lockdown, we’d still be able to operate as a business, be available to administer your account and process payments to members, such as pension payments.

    This web page and Tasplan’s social media pages (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) are where we’ll keep you up-to-date about any changes.

  • Tasplan SuperTasplan SuperHow will COVID-19 affect my super?

    Tasplan’s Chief Financial Officer, David Stuart, has written the following article to explain how COVID-19 has impacted the financial markets and the impact that may have on Tasplan members’ investments.

    In general, super and pension fund portfolios are long-term assets, and we would caution against making significant changes while markets are volatile. Although economic growth expectations have fallen, markets have already moved to discount this change.

    COVID-19: Financial market reactions and implications article

    David also provides an update on the financial market in the following video:

  • Tasplan SuperTasplan SuperDoes my Tasplan insurance cover me in the event of a pandemic illness?

    Yes. Tasplan member insurance policies include cover for pandemic illnesses.

    If a member has current death cover, their claim would be paid should they pass away due to a pandemic illness.

    If a member has total and permanent disablement (TPD) cover and a pandemic illness is the cause for them to become totally and permanently disabled, then they would be able to make a claim.

    If a member has income protection cover and can’t perform their duties due to a pandemic illness, and their illness extends beyond the individual’s waiting period, they can make a claim.

    Log in to Tasplan Online to check your current level of insurance cover.

  • Tasplan SuperTasplan SuperWith offices closing, will Tasplan still be able to administer my account and make payments?

    Yes, even though we can't see you face-to-face at the moment, precautions are being taken to ensure we can continue to administer our members' accounts. There are currently no interruptions to:

    • pension payments
    • benefit payments
    • any claims including financial hardship
    • investment management
    • our contact centre
    • Tasplan Online.

    If you're used to visiting our offices to make transactions, please see below for other ways you can make your transactions:

    Switch your investment options

    You can switch your investment options by:

    Update your details

    You can update your details by:

    • calling us on 1800 005 166. Note: you can’t update bank account details and some name and date of birth changes over the phone.
    • logging in to Tasplan Online. Note: you can’t update your phone number and some name and date of birth changes in Tasplan Online. If you’re a super member you also can’t change your bank account details in Tasplan Online.
    • see the Change your details form.

    Withdraw some money from your account

    You can withdraw money from your account by:

    • calling us on 1800 005 166. Note: Up to 75% of your account balance may be available over the phone, but only if this isn’t your first withdrawal from your account and only to the bank account you have currently nominated. If you’d like to withdraw a higher amount, you’ll need to complete a form (see below).
    • logging in to Tasplan Online. Note: Up to 75% of your account balance may be available in Tasplan Online, but only if this isn’t your first withdrawal from your account and only to the bank account you have currently nominated. If you’d like to withdraw a higher amount, you’ll need to complete a form (see below).
    • For super members, see our Withdrawing your super form.
    • For pension members, see our Withdraw from your Tasplan pension form.
    • For defined benefit members, see our Withdrawing your super – DB form.

    Apply to start a Tasplan Pension (either a Control Pension, Transition Pension or a Managed Pension)

    You can apply to start a Tasplan Pension by:

    Get your account balance

    You can get your account balance by:

    Reduce your insurance cover

    You can reduce your insurance cover by:

  • Tasplan SuperTasplan SuperCan I access my super to help me during this time?

    Under normal circumstances, there are strict government rules about access your super early. Generally, you can access your super once you reach preservation age and retire.

    Penalties apply if you illegally withdraw your super early. But, there are special circumstances where you may qualify to withdraw your super early, such as:

    • severe financial hardship
    • compassionate grounds
    • illness and/or injury
    • terminal illness
    • temporary resident departing Australia
    • the First home super saver scheme.

    For more information about each circumstance and to see if you’re eligible see our Early access to your super fact sheet.

    On 22 March, the Commonwealth Government released the second stage of its plan to cushion the economic impacts of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

    As part of this, from mid-April 2020, the government will allow individuals in financial stress as a result of Covid-19, to access some of their super. Eligible individuals will be able to apply online through myGov to access up to $10,000 of their super before 1 July 2020. They’ll also be able to access a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020, but only until 24 September 2020, unless further amendments are made.

    Eligible individuals won’t need to pay tax on amounts released and the money they withdraw won’t affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments. While super helps people save for retirement, the Government recognises that for those significantly financially affected by COVID-19, accessing some of their super today may outweigh the benefits of maintaining those savings until retirement.

    Eligibility

    To apply for early release you must satisfy one or more of the following requirements:

    • you’re unemployed or
    • you’re eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment (which includes the single and partnered payments), special benefit or farm household allowance or
    • on or after 1 January 2020:

    – you were made redundant or

    – your working hours were reduced by 20% or more or

    – if you’re a sole trader — your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20% or more.

    How can I apply?

    Applications for early release of super will be accepted through myGov from 20 April. You don’t need to contact your super fund to apply.

    You can register your interest now by logging in to your myGov account and following the Intention to access coronavirus support instructions. If you don’t already have a myGov account, you can set one up by selecting 'create an account'.

    The ATO will notify you by email or SMS when applications open. You don't need to phone the ATO.

    Once applications are open, you’ll need to certify that you meet the above eligibility criteria.

    After the ATO has processed your application, they’ll issue you with a determination. The ATO will also provide a copy of this determination to your super fund, which will advise them to release your super payment. Your fund will then make the payment to you, without you needing to apply to your super fund directly. 

    Separate arrangements will apply if you’re a member of a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF). Further guidance from the ATO will be available at ato.gov.au.

    If you’d like more information, please read the government’s Economic response to the coronavirus – Early access to superannuation fact sheet which includes some examples to help you further understand this temporary change.

  • Tasplan SuperTasplan SuperIs it true that the government has temporarily reduced super minimum drawdown rates?

    Yes, the government is temporarily reducing minimum drawdown rates for account-based pension and similar products by 50% for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years. This measure will benefit retirees by providing them with more flexibility by allowing them to reduce the need to sell investment assets to fund minimum drawdown requirements. 

    The following reductions apply for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 income years.

    Age Current default minimum drawdown rates

    Reduced rates by 50% for the
    2019-20 and 2020-21 income years

    Under 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 more 14% 7%
    How can you reduce your super minimum drawdown rate?

    You can call us on 1800 005 166, but please be aware that Tasplan isn't yet able to process temporary reductions in minimum drawdown rates, but we're working towards having this available shortly. Please refer to this page for updates.

    If you’d like more information, please read the government’s Economic response to the coronavirus – Providing support for retirees fact sheet which includes an example to help you further understand this change.

  • Tasplan SuperTasplan SuperIs it true that the government has temporarily reduced social security deeming rates?

    Yes, on top of the deeming rate changes made at the time of the first package (12 March 2020), the government is reducing the deeming rates further. As of 1 May 2020, the lower deeming rate will be 0.25% and the upper deeming rate will be 2.25%. The reductions reflect the low interest rate environment and its impact on the income from savings. The change will benefit around 900,000 income support recipients, including around 565,000 people on the Age Pension who will, on average, receive around $105 more from the Age Pension in the first full year that the reduced rates apply.

    If you’d like more information please read the government’s Economic response to the coronavirus – Providing support for retirees fact sheet which includes an example to help you further understand this change.

    It’s important to note that legislation to support this initiative is being introduced into Parliament on 23 March 2020 for urgent consideration. Subject to passage of the legislation through Parliament, the Government will then move to immediately make, and register, supporting instruments.

  • Tasplan SuperTasplan SuperHow is Tasplan protecting their staff during this time?

    Tasplan staff are working across a number of locations, including from home, to help prevent the spread and impact of the virus on day-to-day business operations.

    We’re conscious of reducing the spread of COVID-19 and our staff have been educated about the importance of practising good hygiene. Our staff have also been provided with the tools to be able to do so.

  • Tasplan SuperTasplan SuperBe sensible and take precautions.

    At the advice of the Australian Government Department of Health, it’s important that individuals continue to wash their hands often and with soap and water, use a tissue to cover their mouth when coughing or sneezing and avoid close contact with others.