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COVID-19 frequently asked questions

COVID-19 FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions that will help provide answers during these uncertain times. These are updated regularly with the latest information. 

General FAQs

No, there is no change to online banking transactions or payments – they are still being processed within the same timeframe as they always have.

Yes. However, we may ask you to temporarily remove your mask for identification purposes. Our branch staff are also required to wear a mask.

The government’s economic support package consists of two payments of $750 for eligible recipients. You can expect to receive the first $750 deposited into your nominated myGov account between 31 March and mid-April 2020. The second payment will be deposited from 13 July 2020.

For more information, or to check your eligibility, visit the Department of Social Services website.

For more than 160 years we have seen our customers through good times, and tough times, and we are here for you now. From repayment deferrals to discounted interest rates, we have a range of options available to you if you need financial assistance for your business during this uncertain time.

Visit our COVID-19 business help page for details.

As an essential service, bank branches and ATMs remain open. There may be a limited number of instances where a branch needs to temporarily close, however customers affected will be directed to a branch nearby.

Some ATMs may not be accessible depending on their location (those within malls that may have closed)

Please check your local branch’s operating hours as these may have changed.

Yes, Australia Post outlets remain open for customers to use for their daily banking. Please check the Australia Post website for post office closures.

You can access your accounts, check your balance, pay bills, change your PIN, and perform everyday transactions 24 hours a day via e-banking or the Bendigo Bank app.

If you have a smart phone, download the Bendigo Bank app from the Apple Store (iPhone) or Google Play (Android).

For more help about e-Banking view our e-Banking help pages.

Set up e-banking by calling us on 1300 236 344 or contact your local branch.

Yes. As Australia’s fifth biggest bank, and one of its most trusted brands, we're in a very strong position to keep your money safe. For our bank, it’s business as usual: our branches remain open and our staff remain dedicated to providing you with the products you want, the technology you expect, and the service you deserve.

Under the Financial Claims Scheme (FCS), there is a cap of $250,000, guaranteed per person. This is the same for all Australian banks.

So if you have three deposit accounts with Bendigo Bank, each with a balance of $100,000, these will be added together and the FCS will protect you for $250,000. The remaining $50,000 will not be guaranteed. In the case of joint accounts, a depositor’s share of the joint account will be added to their other deposits and the FCS limit will be applied to the aggregated amount.

Visit our Financial Claims Scheme page for more information.

Personal customers

If you’re worried you might not be able to make your scheduled repayments on your home loan, personal loan or credit card, talk to us. We can help by reducing or deferring your repayments, restructuring your loan/s, waiving fees, and offering credit options for eligible customers.

If you take up a deferral of repayment arrangement it is important to note interest and fees will continue to accrue adding to your loan balance.

Based on your circumstances, you can defer your loan repayments for an agreed time. If you choose to do this, interest and fees will still be added to your loan balance during that time.

Once the deferred period finishes, we’ll work with you on a plan to repay the amount you’ve deferred. This might involve increasing your minimum repayments for the deferred period, or extending the term of your loan.

As always, we’re here to help discuss your options and how they’ll affect you.

We will contact you to discuss your situation and whether you need more help. When your arrangement ends, the following options are available:

  • You can repay any outstanding repayment amount, if any
  • You can make a repayment plan to pay any outstanding arrears over an agreed period of time
  • We can recalculate the repayments of the loan maintaining your existing loan term
  • We can extend the term of your loan
  • We can convert your principle and interest loan to interest only for 12 months
  • We may consider a further deferral period of up to 4 months, if we can establish reasonable grounds that you will be able to resume repayments within the further deferral period. (Interest will continue to be charged)

A payment pause or deferral will not show as missed payments in your credit report. To learn more about your credit score and credit report visit CreditSmart.

If you find another job or return to your place of employment, we encourage you to contact us to discuss more suitable arrangements based on your changed circumstances.

You can generate your own Proof of Account within e-banking. It contains transaction and account information that’s often requested by third parties. View the short videos to see how easy it is to generate and download.

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Proof of Account Bendigo Bank app
Proof of Account Bendigo Bank app
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Proof of Account e-banking
Proof of Account e-banking

Yes. Customers are eligible for assistance/hardship arrangements even if they are ahead on their loan.

Yes. You can redraw any available funds on your loan at any time, even if you have an assistance/hardship arrangement with us.

We have recently increased our term deposit rates to provide customers with an attractive investment option in this historically low interest rate environment. The interests of our deposit customers were strongly considered as part of our recent pricing changes in this unprecedented environment.

We increased our five-month and 12-month term deposit rates by 25 basis points. The seven-month special term deposit rate has not changed.

Visit our COVID-19 personal help page for details.

FAQs for early access to superannuation

The information is correct as at 7 September 2020.  Information may be subject to change, please refer to the Treasury website for information updates.

The Australian Government has provided multiple significant economic stimulus packages in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Measures include income support for individuals, relief packages for businesses and temporary limited access to your superannuation fund.  Whilst superannuation is a long-term investment, usually only accessed in retirement, the Government has recognised your superannuation may assist you through this time of uncertainty.

The Government are allowing people affected by COVID-19 to access up to $20,000 of their superannuation. Up to $10,000 in financial year 2019-2020 and a further up to $10,000 in financial year 2020-2021.

To be eligible to apply for up to $10,000 this financial year, you must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • you are unemployed; or
  • you are eligible to receive a jobseeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment (which includes the single and partnered payments), special benefit or farm household allowance; or
  • on or after 1 January 2020:
    • you were made redundant; or
    • your working hours were reduced by 20 per cent or more; or
    • if you are a sole trader — your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20 per cent or more.

If you meet criteria, you can apply directly to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) through the myGov website, you do not apply through Sandhurst Trustees (Bendigo Super). Please ensure your super details are up to date including your identification and banking details. You will need to demonstrate you meet the above eligibility criteria.

You will be able to apply from 20 April 2020.

No, you will not pay tax on the amount released from your superannuation.  These payments will not affect your Centrelink or Veteran’s Affairs payments.

No, you can apply for up to $10,000. You are able to apply for one payment of up to $10,000 in the current 2020-21 financial year.

Making decisions about or changes to your superannuation  now may help in the short term but you risk locking in potential losses – which, in the long run, may end up costing you a lot more in lost earnings from compounding interest and market recovery.

If you apply for the balance, your account will be closed and the insurance/s cover you hold within your account will cease.

A financial counsellor or financial adviser may be able to help you with your decision.

Temporary visa holders can now apply for a single payment release of super up to $10,000 before 1 July 2020. To apply for early release, you must meet one or more of the following criteria:

Student visa holders (Subclasses 500, 570-576)

  • you have held your student visa for 12 months or more; and
  • you are unable to meet your immediate living expenses.

Temporary skilled work visa holders (Subclasses 457 and 482)

  • on or after 1 January 2020, you had your working hours reduced to zero by your employer; and
  • you are still engaged by that employer.

All other temporary visa holders (including Working Holiday Maker visa holders and other working visas)

  • you are unable to meet your immediate living expenses.

After the ATO have processed your application, they will issue you with a determination.  You do not need to do anything more. Your super fund will then make the payment to you. 

Temporary reduction in superannuation minimum drawdown requirements

The Government is temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown requirements for account-based pensions and similar products by 50 per cent for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 income years.

This measure will benefit retirees with account-based pensions and similar products by reducing the need to sell investment assets to fund minimum drawdown requirements.

Age Default minimum drawdown rates (%) Reduced rates by 50% for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 income years (%)
Under 65 4 2
65-74 5 2.5
75-79 6 3
80-84 7 3.5
85-89 9 4.5
90-94 11 5.5
95 or more 14 7

From 1 July 2020 onwards, Bendigo SmartStart Pension and Bendigo SmartOptions Pension members who were on the previous (default) minimum rate have automatically reduced to the new temporary minimum unless you let Sandhurst Trustees know otherwise. As part of the annual review process, all pension members received a review pack in July which prompted them to provide instructions for the 2020-21 income year.

New pension applications requesting the minimum from now will receive the new temporary minimum up to the end of the period of this reduction, which is currently 30 June 2021.

The reduced rates will apply until 30 June 2021. However, the Australian Government may choose to extend the period. If there are any changes, we will let our members know via our website.

The government has also advised changes to social security deeming rates. As of 1 May 2020, the upper deeming rate will be 2.25 per cent and the lower deeming rate will be 0.25 per cent. The reductions reflect the low interest rate environment and the impact on the income from savings.

Information may be subject to change, please refer to www.treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/households for information updates.

Mike is a 66 years old retiree with a superannuation account-based pension.

The value of Mike's account-based pension at 1 July 2019 was $200,000. Under the 2018-19 income year minimum drawdown requirements, Mike was required by legislation to drawdown 5 per cent of his account balance over the course of the 2019-20 and 2020-21 income years.

This means Mike had to drawdown $10,000 by 30 June 2020 and 2021 to comply with the minimum drawdown requirements.

Following the temporary reduction in minimum drawdown requirements, Mike can reduce his drawdown to 2.5 per cent of his account balance, that is $5,000 (if it meets Mike's cash flow needs) for 2019-20 and 2020-21 income years. If Mike has already withdrawn over $5,000 for 2019-20 and 2020-21, he is not able to put the amount above $5,000 back into his superannuation account.

As a result of this change to minimum drawdown requirements, Mike is able to preserve his capital while still drawing an income from his superannuation.

Personal insurance

Bendigo Bank policies issued by IAG (CGU and WFI)

Travel insurance policies are available for future travel.

Customers who purchased their policy on or after 23 January 2020 aren’t eligible to claim for any COVID-19-related losses.

IAG is waiving cancellation fees and offering a full refund to customers who haven’t made any claims and want to cancel their existing policy.

If you have a current Landlord insurance policy, there’s no change to your cover.

Rent Default is not available on new policies.

IAG is putting some payment extensions in place to help customers experiencing hardship as a result of COVID-19.

From Wednesday 1 April 2020 you can:

  • Ask for a 90-day extension on annual policies;
  • Pause fortnightly/monthly payments for 90 days on policies paid by instalments. The pro-rata balance will be spread over the remainder of the policy period.

Claims within the 90-day extension period will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Please call the IAG Customer Contact Centre on 1300 557 155 or the Branch Support Team for any enquiries.

During times of uncertainty, it’s reassuring to know that help is available should you need it.

If you currently have existing Loansure in place, temporary changes have been made to the eligibility for payment of Involuntary Unemployment benefits. If you have been stood down and not terminated as a result of COVID-19, the 21 day waiting period will be waived for both Individual and Self Employed policy holders.

Claims requirements will still be required as per below:

Individual

  • Provide written confirmation of unemployment status as set out in the PDS or provide written confirmation from your employer that you were permanently employed when stood down, and due to COVID-19 restrictions on trading/businesses you have been stood down for a period of time from a nominated date and you are receiving no income from the employer (either directly or via government subsidy through the employer).
  • Confirm that you are unemployed at the time of the claim or provide written confirmation from your employer that you are stood down as set out above at the time of the claim; and
  • Confirm each 30-day period they are unemployed or remain ‘stood down’ as set out above.

Self Employed

  • Provide written confirmation your business has ceased trading due to the COVID-19 impact/restrictions imposed on trade and is receiving no government income subsidy; and
  • Confirm each 30-day period that the business is still not operating as set out above.

How to claim

Please download and complete the Involuntary Unemployment claim form and send it to cciclaims@cgu.com.au.

Bendigo Bank policies issued by AIA Life Insurance

Visit the AIA's COVID-19 help page for information on support and frequently asked questions on Life and Income protection.

If you have any questions please contact the Bendigo Insurance Team on 03 5454 1200.

Business customers

For more than 160 years we have seen our customers through good times, and tough times, and we are here for you now. From repayment deferrals to discounted interest rates, we have a range of options available to you if you need financial assistance for your business during this uncertain time.

Visit our COVID-19 business help page for details.

We’re offering small business customers with facilities up to $10 million the option to defer their principal and interest repayments. Interest and fees will be added to your loan balance with either the term of the loan extended, or payments increased after the deferral period.

We also offer a range of financial assistance options for your business.

Contact your business relationship manager or call 1300 236 344 for more information.

Yes, it applies to all current small business operators.

You will need to self-assess whether your business has been adversely impacted, and to what degree. Once this is determined, we will not require further verification.

Not-for-profits and clubs

We have a long track record of supporting clubs and not-for-profit organisations, especially when times are difficult. From repayment deferrals to discounted interest rates, we have a range of options available to you if your organisation needs financial assistance during this uncertain time.

Visit our COVID-19 clubs and not-for-profit help page for details.

We’re offering not-for-profit customers with facilities up to $10 million the option to defer their principal and interest repayments. Interest and fees will be added to your loan balance with either the term of the loan extended, or payments increased after the deferral period.

We also offer a range of financial assistance options for your business.

Contact your Community Sector Banking business manager or call 1300 272 265 for more information.

You will need to self-assess whether your organisation has been adversely impacted, and to what degree. Once this is determined, we will not require further verification.

Yes. If your cash flow has been impacted by COVID-19, please give our team a call on 1300 272 265 to explore your options.

Yes. We are also servicing new customers with the support measures currently available to existing customers. To explore your options and see how we can support you, call us on 1300 272 265.

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.

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