ATO website CRASHES as thousands rush to withdraw superannuation

ATO website CRASHES as thousands of Australians rush to withdraw second $10,000 from their superannuation

  • The Australian Taxation Office website crashed on Wednesday due to high traffic
  • From July 1, Australians could access a second $10,000 from their super fund 
  • Site crashed 30 minutes into the new financial year, with outages from 12.14am
  • The IT failure caused outrage online, with customers slamming the government
  • More than 2.2million people have accessed $18.5billion total under the scheme 

The Australian Taxation Office website has crashed as thousands of people rushed to withdraw a second $10,000 from their superannuation.

Australians struggling financially amid the coronavirus pandemic were granted another opportunity to dip into their retirement fund from July 1. 

The site crashed within half an hour of the new financial year, with users reporting outages from as early as 12.14am on Wednesday morning.

The Australian Taxation Office website has crashed 30 minutes into the new financial year as thousands of people applied to withdraw a second $10,000 from their superannuation. The federal government launched the Early Release Super Scheme in April to help Australians hit hard by the pandemic. Pictured are people queued outside a Melbourne Centrelink office on March 24

The Australian Taxation Office website has crashed 30 minutes into the new financial year as thousands of people applied to withdraw a second $10,000 from their superannuation. The federal government launched the Early Release Super Scheme in April to help Australians hit hard by the pandemic. Pictured are people queued outside a Melbourne Centrelink office on March 24

The federal government launched the Early Release Super Scheme April, allowing Australians to access $20,000 of their superannuation over two years.

The first $10,000 could be withdrawn during the 2019-20 financial year, and the same amount again during the 2020-21 financial year. 

More than 2.2 million approved applications have already withdrawn a combined total of $18.5 billion.       

Many citizens and permanent residents appeared to still be cash-strapped, flooding back on Wednesday to complete the second round of withdrawal applications.  

As the site buckled, customers were meet with an error message that read: ‘We’re currently experiencing a high volume of traffic.

‘We understand significant numbers of people need to access our online services.

More than 2.2million people accessed their super funds during the first round of the scheme. Pictured are people lining outside Centrelink to apply for financial aid as the country entered lockdown earlier this year

More than 2.2million people accessed their super funds during the first round of the scheme. Pictured are people lining outside Centrelink to apply for financial aid as the country entered lockdown earlier this year

Customers signing in to lodge their tax or apply to access their super fund were met with a error message (pictured) after the site crashed due to high traffic

Customers signing in to lodge their tax or apply to access their super fund were met with a error message (pictured) after the site crashed due to high traffic

‘We are proactively managing our online traffic so that systems continue to be available. Thank you for your patience.’ 

The collapse prompted outrage online, with customers slamming the government for not being better prepared. 

‘Seriously you have one job, ‘Daemon Heath wrote on Twitter. 

‘A basic website with text that gets slammed once a year (you know this in advance). Do better. if it’s a funding issue strike  and get the government to cough up proper infrastructure. Complete joke.’

 ‘When your IT dept is incompetent on the biggest day of the year,’ Mike Shanahan tweeted, sharing an image of the error message on the website.

‘What’s going on? 10 minutes and counting. Your website is making me late for work,’ Kate Buttery wrote. 

One man added:’ Does any government’s website ever actually work? Fix your piece of s**t servers.’

Outraged website users slammed the federal government for timing the second round of the Early Release Super Scheme with the new financial year

Outraged website users slammed the federal government for timing the second round of the Early Release Super Scheme with the new financial year

Experts have warned young Australians that dipping into their superannuation early could have a dire impact on their long-term retirement savings

Experts have warned young Australians that dipping into their superannuation early could have a dire impact on their long-term retirement savings

‘Great start. Another tick of complete incompetence,’ another post read. 

Applications for accessing super early in the 2020-21 financial year are available via the MyGov website and close on September 24. 

Australians can only access their super if they’re unemployed, are eligible to receive a job seeker payment, have been made redundant since January 1 or had their work hours reduced by at least 20 per cent.   

However, experts have urged young Australians to consider the consequences of pulling funds early after billions of dollars were wiped from accounts in recent months.

A 35-year-old who withdraws $10,000 now will see a $19,411 reduction in their super when they retire at 67, according to the Money Smart calculator.

Frustrated customers flocked to social media to express their disappointment over being unable to access the government website

Frustrated customers flocked to social media to express their disappointment over being unable to access the government website

Industry Super Australia chief executive officer Bernie Dean said the quick-fix could have a dire effect on long-term retirement savings.

‘It does come with a pretty hefty price tag … but we recognise that young people don’t necessarily think about the long-term,’ Mr Dean told News Corp on Tuesday.

‘We also recognise they may not be in a position to make up the lost ground themselves.

He warned early withdrawals can ‘wipe out’ your life and income protection cover if your super balance falls low. 

The MoneySmart website advises Australians to seek government assistance and speaking to their bank or lender about possible financial assistance before dipping into your super.

WHO CAN ACCESS COVID-19 EARLY RELEASE OF SUPER 

Citizens and permanent residents

Citizens and permanent residents are able to apply to access a further $10,000 over their superannuation from July 2020 1 until 24 September 2020.

Applicants must satisfy one or more criteria:  

  • You are unemployed.
  • You are 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.
  • On or after 1 January 2020, either: you were made redundant, your working hours were reduced by 20% or more, your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20% or more. 

SOURCE: AUSTRALIAN TAX OFFICE

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