The Morrison Government’s early access to superannuation scheme is providing Australians who have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis much needed support.
So far, more than 1.2 million Australians have applied to access their superannuation early for a total value of over $10 billion.
Processing of applications and creation of back-end files the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) produces for superannuation funds has resumed today, with Friday’s release applications already having been delivered to funds.
As the ATO advised superannuation funds last week, it paused the processing of applications for one day to further enhance its systems in response to new techniques criminals are using to try to steal Australians’ identities.
The ATO has identified a small number of third parties who could be susceptible to criminal activity. The ATO is working with these third parties to help them make security enhancements.
Additional risk filters will also be applied by the ATO on all files before they are delivered to funds, and additional information will be provided to funds to assist them in discharging their own obligations to apply fraud prevention processes.
The ATO is also using this as an opportunity to remind Australians to be vigilant with how they store and share their personal information.
Australians should never share their myGov log-in with anyone, including their tax agent, and be wary of emails or text messages that request personal information. The ATO will never send taxpayers a direct link to log on to their online services.
The ATO has extensive integrity measures in place to protect the tax and superannuation systems from fraud, including identity fraud.
It was these measures which have helped the ATO detect a small amount of fraudulent activity, which is under active investigation by the Australian Federal Police.
Each and every day, programmes, administered by all levels of government, are under constant malicious attack. Importantly, at no time have the ATO’s online systems been compromised or hacked.
Australians can have confidence in the security measures the ATO has in place to protect the integrity of the early release of superannuation scheme.