How Queenslanders are accessing their super
QUEENSLAND'S two largest super funds have released details of how many of their members have applied for early release of some of their pension money and the disparity is explained by demographics.
QSuper says about 15,700 members have asked for early access, equating to about $123.6 million. Sunsuper meanwhile says it has processed 108,000 withdrawals totalling $784 million as at the end of last week. About half a million Australians have been approved to withdraw $3.8 billion from their superannuation savings.
QSuper says the withdrawal requests are equal to about 2 per cent of its 585,000 members with the average withdrawal amounting to $8000.
The small percentage mainly reflects the fact that many QSuper members have stable government jobs with relatively large accounts due to length of service.
Sunsuper executive general manager of customer engagement Stevhan Davidson says that with 1.4 million members and a relatively young and diverse membership base, the fund anticipated there would be many who would take advantage of the early access provisions.
"Our teams have worked hard to ensure that more than 96 per cent of those members who have made claims received their money within 1-2 business days, helping them to make ends meet," says Davidson.
A survey by QSuper of 723 members from a variety of funds reveals that 70 per cent of Queenslanders believe the pandemic will have a financial impact on their family but the majority wouldn't draw on their superannuation to get through the crisis.
Almost two-thirds of respondents in the survey say they wouldn't access their super while those aged 35 to 49 would be the most likely to consider it. The QSuper survey shows the financial worries of Queenslanders are driven by either having lost income or the prospect of losing it due to the coronavirus crisis.
Almost a quarter of those surveyed have had their working hours cut by more than 20 per cent last month and 43 per cent expect to have less income within the next three months.
Average working hours dropped from 32 hours a week in March to 25 hours a week in April. The number one worry on the minds of Queenslanders was the loss of financial freedom, with almost half of those surveyed concerned the coronavirus will leave them with less disposable income to spend on non-essentials.
QSuper chief executive Michael Pennisi (illustrated) says the results highlight the importance for Queenslanders to pay careful attention to their finances and reach out for support if they need it.
RESIDENTS of major cities around the world including Beijing and New Delhi are enjoying the clearer skies and cleaner air due to the pandemic shutdown.
Lithium miner Lake Resources says that will be good for the burgeoning electric car sector as people become more aware of the need for clean transport. "A lot of people are enjoying the break from the pollution and want that to continue," says Lake Resources boss Steve Promnitz.
Analysts Wood Mackenzie forecasts a 12-fold increase in lithium output to satisfy increased demand for lithium-ion batteries.
You might recall Lake, chaired by Stu Crow, a former stockbroking buddy of the late Paul "Porky" Morgan, plans a lithium mine at Kachi in Argentina's lithium triangle.
Promnitz says preliminary studies into the feasibility of the Kachi mine are continuing helped by the firm's technology partners Lilac Solutions, which numbers Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Jack Ma among its investors.
Lilac has developed a new direct extraction method allowing production of high concentrate lithium over a reduced time. "What used to take months we can now do in hours," says Promnitz.
Promnitz says the push for electric vehicles is being driven by governments, including the Chinese which have extended subsidies for the vehicles for another two years, and corporate leaders. Bezos has ordered 100,000 electric cars to be used as delivery vehicles by Amazon.
NOOSA IN NOVEMBER?
ONE of the more popular mining events of the year is likely to be pushed back to later in the year due to the pandemic.
The Noosa Mining & Exploration Conference is usually held in the glorious winter sunshine at the upmarket coastal town, attracting resource industry leaders from the around the country.
But conference organiser Phil Dickinson tells City Beat the July date was out of the question because so many people travelled from interstate. Dickinson says November is being considered as a compromise date.
"If the borders are open in November it should be a good time," says Dickinson. Dubbed the "Diggers and Dealers of the East" the conference attracts hundreds of mining types who like to have a beer or two as they discuss industry trends.