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Retirement

6 ways COVID-19 is hurting self-funded retirees

  • May 14 2020
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Retirement

6 ways COVID-19 is hurting self-funded retirees

By Grace Ormsby
May 14 2020

Self-funded retirees have been overlooked in government support measures to cope with COVID-19, an advocacy body has flagged.

COVID-19 is hurting self-funded retirees

6 ways COVID-19 is hurting self-funded retirees

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  • May 14 2020
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Self-funded retirees have been overlooked in government support measures to cope with COVID-19, an advocacy body has flagged.

COVID-19 is hurting self-funded retirees

According to the Association of Independent Retirees (AIR), retirees who have supported their own retirement previously are unable to benefit from the initiatives implemented by the government that support business, workers and social security recipients.

Association president Wayne Strandquist said, “Self-funded retirees who do not receive a pension or part pension or the Commonwealth seniors health card are suffering financial hardship due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis with little or no support from the government.”

“With the introduction of compulsory superannuation, the intent of the government was to encourage more Australians to fund their own retirement and reduce reliance on the age pension.”

Mr Strandquist explained that this has meant that self-funded retirees must bear the full investment risks of their retirement savings in the sharemarket, property and fixed interest instead of having an age pension funded by the government with no risk attached.

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He outlined six ways that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a serious financial impact on self-funded retirees:

Dramatic stock market falls

  • Market falls have reduced the balances of most superannuation funds by up to 20 per cent, with younger retirees (60-75 years of age) seeing retirement income streams shrinking by up to 10 years.

Drawdown of share investment capital

  • Mr Strandquist said this will result in lower returns and potential capital losses.

Lower or no company dividends

  • This has already been seen in the banking sector.

Investments in hospitality or tourism companies

  • Such investments “are at serious risk of not being recovered”, according to Mr Strandquist.

Reduced rental property income

  • As tenants themselves struggle with employment.

RBA cash rate

  • The lower bound of the RBA cash rate being reached has resulted in the banks’ fixed interest and bank interest rates being close to nil.

“All of this means that many self-funded retirees with assets above the age pension threshold are now receiving less income than the full age pension and do not qualify for the Commonwealth Seniors health card and the $750 income supplement,” Mr Strandquist concluded.

Are you a self-funded retiree that has been affected by any of the above? How are you coping with the current crisis? Let us know in the comments below or contact us confidentially here.

6 ways COVID-19 is hurting self-funded retirees
COVID-19 is hurting self-funded retirees
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About the author

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Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

About the author

Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

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