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COVID-19 update: AUSTRAC supports the ATO early release of super initiative

27 March 2020

The COVID-19 global pandemic is impacting all Australians and Australian businesses. AUSTRAC acknowledges that this is an unprecedented time for the superannuation sector.

We understand the importance of supporting your business and your customers during this time, while ensuring that we continue to fight financial crime.

We will work with you to facilitate a streamlined process for the making of payments under the Early Release of Superannuation Initiative so you can provide funds to people experiencing financial hardship promptly.

AUSTRAC acknowledges that the initiative will provide important relief to vulnerable Australians during the pandemic.

Update on customer verification obligations

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic AUSTRAC will introduce a Rule under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act (AML/CTF).

This Rule will ensure that superannuation funds making payments to their members under this initiative, where the payment is approved by the ATO, will not have to conduct additional customer verification under the AML/CTF regime.

AUSTRAC will provide you with further information to help you support your customers at this difficult time.

If you need assistance

If you are an individual affected by COVID-19 enquiring about early access to your super, please contact the ATO directly. ­

If you are an AUSTRAC reporting entity and have questions about your customer due diligence obligations, please contact us using the online form.

We will continue to provide updates for reporting entities during the COVID-19 pandemic via the website.