The early-access superannuation tap continues to flow, with around 300,000 Australians taking cash from their nest eggs to start the 2020/21 financial year.

That fact was borne out by weekly data from banking regulator APRA, which showed a steep pickup in the week ended July 5.

Over that time, the cumulative value of early super applications jumped from less than $20 billion to $23.3bn.

As this chart shows, that weekly increase was similar in scope to the monthly rise which took place across the whole of June:



Repeat applications

The jump represents a “significant increase in applications compared to the week of 22 June to 28 June”, APRA said, “reflecting the start of repeat applications in the 2020/21 financial year”.

More than 10 per cent of the population has now applied for the scheme, with 2.7m applications received including 300,000 repeat applicants.

Of those applications, 85 per cent have received an average payment of $7,511, almost all of which have been paid within five business days of applying.

Having started on April 27, when $5bn worth of applications were received, the scheme is now into its 10th week.

The week ended July 5 saw another 511,000 people apply for the scheme — second only to that first week in April when 665,000 applications were received.

The scheme’s availability is centred around strategies to relieve financial hardship due to the impact of COVID-19.

However, a recent Business Insider report cited a number of people who had successfully applied for the scheme despite being ineligible, and deployed the funds for various uses including a home loan application.

In addition, analysis earlier this month from Industry Super Australia (ISA) estimated that around 480,000 Australians could have applied for the entirety of their super balance through the scheme.

The latest data showed that of the 176 funds which report to APRA, 151 had made early-access payments to successful applicants since the scheme began in April. During the first week of July, 116 funds received repeat applications.