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COVID-19 Early Release Scheme - Issue 36

This dashboard contains the latest data on the COVID-19 Superannuation Early Release Scheme, from inception of the Scheme to 31 January 2021:

An accessible version of the dashboard is available at

An accessible version of the dashboard is available here.

Early Release Scheme in Review


APRA has received early release data submissions for the period ended 31 January 2021 from 175 funds on a ‘best endeavours’ basis.

The Government’s Early Release Scheme commenced on 20 April 2020 and was closed to new applications after 31 December 2020. This final issue that APRA will produce in this format covers data submitted through to 31 January 2021 to allow additional time beyond the closing date for final applications to be provided to funds by the ATO and for funds to process applications and complete payments. 

Over the duration of the scheme funds received 4.9 million applications with a value of $37.3 billion. As at 31 January 2021, 98 per cent or 4.8 million of these applications had been paid with a total value of $36.4 billion. 95,000 applications had been closed or revoked without payment. Less than 8,000 applications (0.16% of total applications received) were still in process at 31 January 2021 – many because funds had been unable to contact applicants to finalise payment.

A total of 3.5 million initial applications were approved across the full period of the scheme as well as 1.4 million repeat applications approved during the second application period from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020. The scheme was characterised by high levels of applications after the opening dates of each application period (20 April 2020 and 1 July 2020) with volumes tailing off in the later weeks of these application periods, particularly the second application period.

The average payment made over the course of scheme was $7,638. Repeat applications were for an average amount of $8,268 while initial applications were for an average amount of $7,402. This resulted in the average application amount and payment amount in the second application period being slightly higher than in the first application period.

Funds were generally able to process applications and make payments in a timely manner throughout the duration of the scheme. Overall funds took an average of 3.3 business days to make payments with 95% of payments completed within 1-5 business days.

The top 10 funds with the highest number of applications received, accounted for 66% of total early release payments and made 96% of payments within 1-5 business days.

Fund-level data


The fund-level data shows that 152 of the 175 funds that submitted data made early release payments in the period since inception to 31 January 2021 and 141 of these also reported repeat applications received. (Note that the fund-level data includes 40 funds for which the data has been published as a group in order to protect the privacy of information for individual members). 

Among all funds that made payments, 96 (63 per cent) completed more than 90 per cent of payments within the five business days guideline indicated by APRA. With limited exceptions (1.8 per cent), payments to members were completed within nine or fewer business days from receipt of applications by funds from the ATO.

The ten funds with the highest number of applications received from the ATO made 3.2 million payments worth a total of $23.9 billion. The average payment from these funds was $7,569 with 96 per cent of payments made within five days. 

Details of the industry-level data (entities with more than four members) is provided below:

  • This link provides details on payments and processing timeframes for funds that have made payments to members in the period ending 31 January 2021.

  • This link provides a summary of the data that has been reported to APRA by funds for that period.

  • The reporting week from 29 June 2020 to 5 July 2020 included the end of the period for which members could apply for up to $10,000 for the 2019/20 financial year and the start of the period for which members could apply for up to $10,000 for the 2020/21 financial year. It therefore included a mix of applications received that relate to each of the 2019/20 and 2020/21 financial years.

  • An ‘initial application’ is the first application made in respect of a member account whether this occurred in the 2019/20 financial year application period or the 2020/21 financial year application period. A ‘repeat application’ is an application for a member account that previously submitted an initial application.  All repeat applications relate to the 2020/21 financial year application period.

  • The number of initial applications is measured by member accounts and exceeds the number of underlying individuals with approved applications since some individuals have applied across more than one superannuation account.  

Do you have questions about your personal application?

APRA has set out a five day guidance period for payments after receipt of applications from the ATO by funds, but also acknowledges that these timeframes may extend slightly where a Registered Superannuation Entity (RSE) licensee experiences a high volume of applications at any particular time. Delays can also occur in exceptional circumstances – such as where the RSE licensee’s automated checking has identified that additional fraud or other verification steps are required, or where the payment is being made from interests held in defined benefit funds.

If you do not believe you have received the funds you have applied for within a reasonable timeframe it is recommended that you contact your trustee directly to determine if there is a specific reason for the delay.