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Rush for early access to super causes ATO website to crash

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Within an hour into the new financial year which triggered the next round to grab another $10,000 from their own retirement as part of the early access scheme, the website froze due to high demand.

By 10am today, those seeking online services remained locked out after 2.4 million applied for the first instalment last financial year.

“We’re currently experiencing a high volume of traffic,” is currently displayed on the site.

“We understand significant numbers of people need to access our online services.

RELATED: Big problems with accessing superannuation early

RELATED: Aussies dipping into super could miss out on $200K

“We are proactively managing our online traffic so that systems continue to be available.

“We apologise for the inconvenience.”

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Aussies clambering to get access to much needed stimulus hit a roadblock.Source:Supplied

The Federal Government made retirement funds available to those who have had their income plunged into doubt as a result of the coronavirus-induced shutdown and ensuing economic crisis.

Under the controversial scheme, those impacted by the outbreak were able to grab $10,000 from their super last financial year and another $10,000 from today until September 24, 2020.

The initiative was rushed into existence to assist the tens of thousands of Australians who had their income plunged into doubt as the lockdown created economic chaos and mass job losses.

But data released over the last few months indicate this emergency dip into vital retirement savings has been spent on online gambling, alcohol and takeaway food, not the essential household items it was intended for.

Comparison group RateCity joined a chorus of financial experts to implore Aussies to avoid dipping into their super.

“Superannuation is there to support Australians in retirement,” research director Sally Tindall said. “Before you raid your nest egg again, think carefully about the long-term implications.

“If you’re thinking about accessing this scheme, ask yourself, is there another way? Talking to a financial counsellor might help you think of alternatives to get you through.”

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Tens of thousands of young Australians joined the welfare line in March. Picture: Sam RuttynSource:News Corp Australia

Real-time banking activity from Alpha Beta and Illion shows many of those who took advantage of the access increased spending on lifestyle items.

A sample of 13,000 people revealed 64 per cent of the scheme was spent on discretionary items such as clothing, furniture, restaurant food, gambling and alcohol.

“That tells us that much of this money was used for lifestyle reasons rather than necessity reasons,” Alpha Beta director and economist Andrew Charlton told the ABC last month.

“Superannuation is there for retirement, not for crises.”

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