House debates

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Questions without Notice

Pensions and Benefits

2:13 pm

Photo of Anthony AlbaneseAnthony Albanese (Grayndler, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is also addressed to the Minister representing the Minister for Social Services. Hasn't the government, on the one hand, encouraged people to take $20,000 out of their super but now on the other hand wanted to use that to make them wait six months and deny them up to $10,600 in payments when they don't have a job? Why does this government want to pocket a budget saving from the superannuation of people who lose their jobs?

2:14 pm

Photo of Stuart RobertStuart Robert (Fadden, Liberal Party, Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme) Share this | | Hansard source

As I have been saying all week, the government clearly rejects the assertions of the Leader of the Opposition. For the benefit of the House: superannuation benefits as a whole are not included in the liquid asset waiting period. This is important. If someone accesses their super early and that amount is included in their liquid assets then it may be included liquid asset waiting period calculation, depending upon when they accessed their superannuation. For example, if a person gains early access to an amount from their superannuation account before the day they become unemployed, the amount is included in the calculation for the person's liquid asset waiting period to the extent that the amount continues to be part of the person's liquid assets. Any use of the amount to repay a debt before becoming unemployed would not be part of the person's liquid assets on the day the person became unemployed. If a person gains early access to an amount from the person's superannuation after the day the person becomes unemployed or incapacitated, then the amount is not included in the calculation of the person's liquid assets for the purpose of determining the length of any applicable liquid asset waiting period.