Australians who accessed their superannuation during the coronavirus pandemic spent their funds to pay down debt and meet household bills.
A new report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has found the majority of funds accessed through the early release of super scheme were used to meet bills and pay down existing debts, such as home loans.
At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the federal government allowed Australians to access their super if they had claimed financial hardship because of the downturn.
The scheme enabled fund members to access $10,000 in both the 2020 and 2021 financial years.
ABS director Dean Adams said 29 per cent of people paid down their mortgage, while 27 per cent used funds to pay bills.
A further 15 per cent used the money to pay down personal debt, such as credit cards.
“We found that for people who accessed the scheme twice, the average total amount withdrawn was $17,441,” he said.
“The average single withdrawal was $7728 for the first opportunity and $7536 for the second.”
Superannuation Minister Jane Hume said the figures show the scheme was “an overwhelming success”.
“More than 3 million Australians weighed up the decision, and decided that withdrawing their super was the best financial decision for them,” Senator Hume said.
The ABS also found one-in-five households were being supported by JobKeeper payments during the pandemic.