A Labor senator is outraged potential financial abuse was not taken into account when an early superannuation access scheme was set up.

The Morrison government has allowed people to withdraw two lump sum payments of $10,000 from their retirement savings during the coronavirus pandemic.

Tax commissioner Chris Jordan said the scheme was established to get money to people in financial distress as quickly as possible.

The sheer volume of people applying would make it difficult to monitor whether someone was being coerced into withdrawing money by their partner, he said.

“You built in no design features to check whether or not coercion was in play when money was withdrawn?” Labor senator Jenny McAllister asked during a Senate estimates hearing on Tuesday.

“I am unsure how, in the context of what was being done, we could have,” Mr Jordan replied.

“I absolutely understand the point you are making but for us to know that person was subject to that pressure, I can’t see, because it is through their MyGov account.”

He said the Australian Taxation Office’s role was to check the identity of the applicant and then notify their superannuation fund to make the payment to their bank account.