COVID-19: Information for Investors and Members

Current update

Monday 11am, 30 March 2020

General

We are not accepting cheques

Due to most Netwealth staff working from home, potential delays in mailing service and the distancing rules being followed, we are:

  • Not accepting the receipt of cheques
  • Nor issuing cheques

We encourage you to make the switch to our online deposit and payment facilities, such as 'Pay anyone' EFT or BPAY® payments.

Updating your email and mobile records

During this time it is very important that you get the appropriate communications in a timely manner. To this end, please ensure your details are up to date, especially your email and phone number. You can do this by logging in to your Netwealth account online, completing the change of details form available online or by contacting us 1800 888 223.

The change of details form for Super Accelerator accounts can be found here, and for Wealth Accelerator accounts it can be found here.

Pension limit and early super release

Minimum drawdown rates for income streams reduced by 50%

The Government has announced a 50% reduction of the minimum drawdown rates for account-based pensions. This might be of benefit for you and we encourage you to speak to a financial adviser to understand the implications. Netwealth will be in touch with you shortly about your options so you can consider taking advantage of this change.

Early release of super on compassionate grounds

The Federal Government has announced temporary changes to the early release of super conditions for individuals as part of its COVID-19 response. Under these new rules, eligible investors can lodge their application for early release of superannuation to the ATO via the myGov website. The ATO will provide release authorities to us progressively, and we’ll ensure payments are processed to clients as matter of a priority.

The Contact Centre is going remote and to the cloud

Over the past month our Contact Centre has been busily moving to a new cloud-based platform. We are pleased that it is about to go live in the coming days. The changes you should expect include:

  • A resumption to our normal operating hours, that is 8:30am - 7:00pm AEDT Mon-Thur and 8:30am - 6:30pm AEDT Friday 
  • Emails you will receive from us will be in a new template
  • A FAQ help centre to provide quick information on regularly asked questions 

Older information updates

Monday 10am, 23 March 2020 

Operational Update

As the COVID-19 situation and Government response continues to evolve, please note the following important information which we will update as and when new information becomes available.

  • Netwealth remains operational and we continue to provide all of our services to investors and members, however we are experiencing an increased volume of enquiries so please be aware that there may be additional wait time by phone and if your matter is urgent you can email contact@netwealth.com.au
  • All online transacting and reporting capability remains available for use by investors and members via the Netwealth website
  • In the event we need to vacate our Melbourne Head Office fully, we will continue providing all services to investors and members (subject to the shortlist of operational changes detailed further below)
  • Netwealth remains in a strong financial position with no debt, substantial cash on hand and profitable.

Please note that during this challenging and unprecedented time, our priority is ensuring our staff and their families remain safe and that we can continue to operate and deliver services to investors and members.

While we will seek to respond as quickly and efficiently as possible, please understand that due to the volume of enquiries we are currently receiving, you may experience some delays and/or some changes to our normal processes.

As we wait for further information over the coming days, we will continue to enact the progressive stages of our pandemic plan and will remain fully operational.

We currently have a substantial number of staff working remotely and accessing all necessary systems securely. Importantly, as of yesterday, 95% of our staff are able to work from home, and we are working on provisioning the remaining staff members today.

At this stage, critical staff remain working in our offices, but we have undertaken strict segregation measures, splitting functional teams into groups which are distributed across different floors and buildings.

As required, we will move into the next stage of our plan, which would involve the majority of our staff to work remotely with minimal impact on their day to day role and our service delivery.
 
In the event that we will not be able to operate from head office please note the following important operational changes which would apply:

1. Contact Centre

In response to COVID-19, an increased number of our staff are working remotely, and this temporarily limits our capacity to handle inbound phone calls.

Our Contact Centre will remain open between 08:30 AEDT and 19:00 AEDT to attend to email enquiries. If your matter is urgent, you can email contact@netwealth.com.au and request for us to call you back.

Effective immediately, our Contact Centre will be available to accept inbound calls between 09.00 AEDT and 17.00pm AEDT.

Work is underway to provide our Contact Centre staff with the capability to accept inbound calls while working remotely, and we expect our capacity for handling inbound calls will be restored within the week.

Please note, these changes relate only to inbound calls. For all other activities, our staff will be fully operational while working remotely.

While we will seek to respond as quickly and efficiently as possible, please understand that due to the volume of enquiries we are currently receiving, you may experience some delays.

We thank you for your patience and understanding.

2. Processing Times

For reasons listed above, you may experience some delays in normal processing times. We will be working hard to ensure we keep these to a minimum. We will also ensure we prioritise time-critical requests where possible.

Superannuation FAQ

Early access to superannuation for investors facing financial distress due to COVID-19

On 22 March, the Federal Government announced that individuals facing financial distress due to COVID-19 could apply for early access for up to $10,000 of their superannuation (tax-free) in both the 2019/20 and 2020/21 financial years.

We are already receiving a high volume of queries about this new measure.

If this legislation is passed (as expected) in the near term, please be aware that eligible investors will need to lodge their application for early release of superannuation to the ATO via the MyGov website. Based on the information that is currently available, implementation of these changes is scheduled for mid-April 2020.

Once the ATO starts issuing early-release authorities to Netwealth, we will process those payments to investors as a matter of priority.

These are difficult times, and we are committed to supporting you. As always, please let me know if you have questions or feedback.

For more information, click here to view Federal Government announcement.

General Update

Despite recent adverse equity markets, Netwealth Group remains in a very strong financial position, is debt-free and has significant cash at bank.

Our net inflows have continued to be very strong this quarter at $2.9bn and year to date $7.3bn.

While net inflows have been offset by the negative market movement of $3.9bn this quarter, our revenue and profitability remain resilient due to the increased volume in transactions and ancillary revenues. To view our recent ASX announcement click here.

It is important to note that Netwealth will absorb the RBA’s rate cut by 25bps concerning our client’s cash transaction account. Therefore transactional cash will not be going into negative as a result of last weeks RBA announcement.