The Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed what people who accessed their super early due to financial hardship caused by COVID-19 spent the money on.
The ABS found that 29% of people who accessed their super in the early release of super program spent the money on mortgages or rent. A further 27% spent the money on household bills and 15% used it to pay credit card debts or other personal debts.
The ABS Household Financial Resources report presents a snapshot of household finances in the months following the introduction of COVID-19 related restrictions.
"We found that for people who accessed the scheme twice, the average total amount withdrawn was $17,441. The average single withdrawal was $7728 for the first opportunity, and $7536 for the second," ABS director of household economic resource surveys Dean Adams said.
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The ABS found that private household income, including earnings from jobs, investments and super remained stable in real terms - at $2117 per week in September 2020 - when compared to 12 months prior.
"Around one in five households (19%) had someone receiving the JobKeeper payment through their employer, or in their own business. Half these households owned their dwelling with a mortgage, while almost half (47%) were couple families with dependent children," Adams said.
"Average government payments rose by $89 per week per household, compared to the previous September quarter, to $300 per week. Over 1.3 million households contained someone receiving the Coronavirus Supplement of $550 per fortnight."
The COVID-19 ERS scheme allowed up to $10,000 to be accessed before retirement for people suffering financial hardship. People could access up to $20,000 of super across two financial years.
A total of $36.4 billion in payments was made as part of the ERS scheme to 3.5 million people. The average amount each person withdrew was $7638.