Skip to main content

Ways you can top up your super post COVID

20 February 2023 | 9 min read

COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 caused widespread financial stress[1]. Workplaces closed, hours were reduced, and thousands were left out of government assistance.  As a result, a significant number of Australians made an early withdrawal from their retirement savings to make ends meet[2]. Now, as we emerge from the pandemic with all-time low unemployment, there is an opportunity to play catch up in your super fund.

Withdrawing from your super early may impact your retirement savings

Bendigo Bank Wealth Concierge Manager Leigh Wallman explains that the average withdrawal of $20,000 can have a profound effect on someone’s retirement savings. “Analysis undertaken by the Australian Treasury as part of the 2020 Retirement Income Review showed that a person withdrawing $10,000 in two consecutive years from age 30 would likely lower their superannuation at retirement by $40,300[3].”

In fact, the younger you withdraw, the greater the impact on your retirement savings. The reason for this is compounding returns.  This is when your invested money earns more money, which gets reinvested, and then that earns more money.  Investing your money for longer gives it more time to earn and grow.

The good news is you’ve still got time to top up your super.   Making additional super contributions will allow you to maximise those all-important compounding returns. The earlier you start, the longer it will have to accumulate compound returns and grow.

How to rebuild your super

The prospect of re-contributing your super withdrawal may seem overwhelming. But taking small steps can add up over time.

You can make concessional and non-concessional contributions to your super fund. Concessional contributions can reduce your taxable income and offer a tax saving. Non-concessional contributions are made from your after-tax income. There are caps on how much you can contribute to your super each year.

“MoneySmart has a super contributions optimiser that helps you work out whether to make extra contributions before or after tax, or both,” Leigh explains. “You can use this calculator to help you decide the most impactful amounts to contribute based on your budget and income.”

Many Australians may also be eligible to make COVID-19 re-contributions. These contributions are excluded from the non-concessional contribution cap and can be made between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2030.

To find out more about additional contribution options available, along with details on any caps that apply, read our Contributing to your super article in our Education HUB

Top tips on increasing your super balance

Making additional contributions will boost your super.  And there are also offsets and government assistance available.  For more information, read our 5 top tips to boost your super article in our Education HUB.


[1] Australian Institute of Family Studies Financial Wellbeing and COVID-19 Report
Bendigo SmartStart Super and Bendigo SmartStart Pension (products) are issued by Bendigo Superannuation Pty Ltd ABN 23 644 620 AFSL 534006 (Bendigo Super). Wealth Concierge is a service provided by Bendigo Financial Planning ABN 81 087 585 073 AFSL 237898 (BFP).
Bendigo Super and BFP are wholly owned subsidiaries of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited ABN 11 068 049 178 AFSL 237879 (the Bank). Each of these companies receive remuneration on the issue of the product or service they provide. Investments in this product are not deposits with, guaranteed by, or liabilities of the Bank. This blog post is prepared by Bendigo Super and contains general advice. Please consider your situation and read the product disclosure statement available at before making an investment decision.

Related Topics

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of this nation and the Traditional Custodians of the land where we live, learn and work. We pay our respects to Elders past and present as it is their knowledge and experience that holds the key to the success of future generations.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited, ABN 11 068 049 178 AFSL / Australian Credit Licence 237879. Any advice provided on this website is of a general nature only and does not take into account your personal needs, objectives and financial circumstances. You should consider whether it is appropriate for your situation. Please read the applicable Disclosure Documents before acquiring any product described on this website. Please also review our Financial Services Guide (FSG) before accessing information on this website. Information on this page can change without notice to you.

© Copyright 2024 Bendigo and Adelaide Bank