This week’s Super Alert all relates to COVID-19 updates: APRA early release figures, facilitation for electronic execution of documents and ATO Q&A releases.
APRA – COVID-19 early release data
On 4 May 2020, APRA released its first weekly report in relation to COVID-19 early release applications received between 20 April and 26 April 2020. According to APRA, of the 167 funds that provided data:
- 80 superannuation funds made an early release payment;
- $1.30 billion worth of early release payments were made; and
- The average number of business days between the ATO’s notification to superannuation funds and member payment was 1.6 business days.
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Corporations Act amended to allow electronic signatures for six months
On 5 May 2020, the Corporations (Coronavirus Economic Response) Determination (No. 1) 2020 was registered on the Federal Register of Legislation. It amends section 127 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) to ‘give certainty that when company officers sign a document electronically (including an electronic document), the document has been validly executed’.
In an associated media release, the Treasurer announced that the changes have been made in order to ‘ensure that documents are able to be properly executed at a time when ordinary business operations have been disrupted’.
The instrument came into effect on 6 May 2020 and has effect for six months.
ATO – COVID-19 early release Q&As
On 6 May 2020, the ATO issued CRT Alert 024/2020 ‘Coronavirus early release of super – corrected Q&A’ and CRT Alert 023/2020 ‘Coronavirus early release of super – new contact and updated questions and answers’. The alerts advise that there are seven new responses to frequently asked questions in the ATO’s Q&A log.
This article was written by Natalie Cambrell, Partner and Sanela Osmanovic, Senior Associate.