accessing your super

Super is your savings for your future, so there are some rules around when you can access it. Generally you need to wait until retirement, but sometimes (if you really need it) you can access it sooner.

Coronavirus and early access

 

From Monday 20 April until 30 June 2020, you can apply through myGov for early release of up to $10,000 from your super for the 2019/20 financial year and from 1 July 2020 until 24 September another $10,000 for the 2020/2021 financial year. 
 

 Applications will be assessed by the ATO for eligibility in line with the criteria set by the government - you need to apply through myGov.

 

 

Processing your payment safely

We understand this is a very difficult time for everyone in our community.  Please know our staff are doing their best to support you. We expect everyone, including our staff, to be treated with courtesy and respect, and will terminate any abusive calls to our contact centre. By working together, we can support each other through this time.

You may have seen recent media coverage of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) detecting a small amount of alleged fraudulent activity related to early access to super. The ATO says this activity was stopped and those affected contacted. 

We understand members accessing their super early are facing financial difficulty. We’re working as quickly as possible to ensure you receive your money safely.

We’re paying most applications within five business days. Where this may have taken longer, it’s been to ensure we have checked data and conducted further verification to safeguard members’ super.

 

Before you apply

Help us ensure you receive your payment quickly, safely and correctly.

Make sure:

  • your personal details are updated with HESTA before you lodge your application with the ATO. If these are changed after we receive the ATO approval, we’ll need to complete additional security checks and this will delay your payment
  • the bank details you enter on your ATO application are exactly as they appear on your bank statement (including your account name). Our system automatically loads the data we receive from the ATO and payments are transferred using this data. If details are not exact, your bank will reject the payment and send it back to us
  • the account you want your payment made to can accept external funds. Term deposits cannot accept extra money during the term of the account and many online or incentive saver accounts can only accept transfers from other accounts in your name held with the same banking institution. If you ask us to pay into an account that doesn’t accept external funds, your bank will reject the payment and send it back to us.

 

What happens if my payment is rejected? 

HESTA submits payment to bank Bank rejects payment and notifies HESTA  HESTA resubmits payment to bank Bank deposits
payment into
your account
2 business days 7 business days 5 business days Minimum 1-3
business days (can be longer for building
society or credit union)

 

We want all our members to receive their payments as quickly as possible. Making sure all your details are correct is essential to receiving your payment.

 

Am I eligible?

The ATO decides who is eligible, not HESTA.

If your application is approved, the ATO will let us know.

To be eligible to apply for early release on compassionate grounds under the temporary changes, you must meet any one or more of the following requirements:

  • be unemployed; or
  • be eligible to receive a job seeker 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 had your working hours reduced by 20 per cent or more; or
  • you're a sole trader and your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20 per cent or more.

 

 

Can temporary residents apply?

Yes, if you're a temporary resident you're eligible to apply for up to a $10,000 release for the financial year 2019/20 only, if you:

  • have held a student visa for 12 months or more and unable to meet immediate living expenses.
  • for 457 or 482 visa holders, have, on or after 1 January 2020, had your working hours reduced to zero but are still employed by your employer
  • hold another temporary visa, if you are unable to meet immediate living expenses.

 

 

How do I apply?

You need to apply online through myGov and certify you meet the eligibility criteria. If your application is approved, the ATO will let us know.

Check we have your correct details via your online account (you can also update your name using the Change of member details form).

We recommend you seek advice before you decide whether to apply.

 

How long will it take to receive my super payment?

When your payment is approved by the ATO, they will let HESTA know the next business day.

Allow 5-7 business days for HESTA to process the payment and another 2-3 business days for payments to be electronically deposited, depending on your bank.

This information is current as at 20/4/20. While every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information, it is not guaranteed in any way.

 

 

 

Why does it take this long?

Our standard Proof of ID for payments has been waived on these claims. But we still need to make sure the money is paid safely to our members, and no one else. So we run Fraud Prevention checks to keep your payment safe.

As added protection, we'll send you an SMS when we receive notice from the ATO. You'll then have 24 hours to alert us if you didn't request the  payment.

 

 

Will I need to pay tax on the withdrawal?

No. Benefits released on compassionate grounds - coronavirus - are not taxed and the funds withdrawn will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.

 

 

What if I have already made a claim for financial hardship or compassionate grounds?

There are different tax treatments to benefits paid on financial hardship to those under the temporary Compassionate Grounds – coronavirus. 

If you have already made a claim for financial hardship with your Fund, you should consider whether you should make a claim under the new rules.

Payments under the new rules are tax free. Payments under financial hardship may be subject to tax.

If you have already made a claim for compassionate grounds with the ATO you should contact them on 13 10 20 to understand how the new rules may impact your claim. 

 

 

What else do I need to know?

  • Remember, if you withdraw all your super, your account will close and you'll lose any insurance cover you have with us. 
  • Check your super balance in your online account before you apply. 

 

Find out more about how the changes work here.

 

 

 

 

 

 
Are you facing financial hardship?
 
You might be eligible to claim some of your super.
 
Who can apply?


You can apply for one payment of up to $10,000 gross (which is before tax) in a 12-month period if:

  • you’ve received eligible Commonwealth Government income support payments for at least 26 continuous weeks
  • are currently receiving these payments
  • you are unable to meet reasonable and immediate living expenses.

You can apply for any amount if:

  • you’ve reached your preservation age plus 39 weeks
  • you’ve received eligible Commonwealth Government income support payments for at least 39 cumulative weeks since reaching your preservation age
  • you are currently either unemployed, or you are employed for less than 10 hours a week.
 
 
 

 

Do you have compassionate needs?
 
There are 'compassionate grounds' on which super can be released early. They relate to medical treatment, funeral assistance, and palliative care.
 
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) deals with the early release of super on compassionate grounds.
 
To access the ATO application form, go here or visit ato.gov.au linked services in myGov. Alternatively call the ATO on 13 10 20.
 
 
 
 

 

Eligibility comparison table

 

Compassionate grounds due to coronavirus

Compassionate grounds for medical reasons

Financial hardship

Eligibility criteria

To apply for early release of super to help you through the coronavirus pandemic you must meet any one or more of the following requirements:

- you are unemployed

- you are eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment (which includes the single and partnered payments), special benefit or farm household allowance

- 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.

To access your super for medical reasons you’ll need to prove you’re unable to meet the expenses for one or more of the following:

- medical treatment and medical transport for you or a dependant

- palliative care for you or a dependant

- making a payment on a loan or council rates so you don't lose your home

- modifying your home or vehicle, or buying disability aids for you or a dependant because of a severe disability

- expenses associated with a death, funeral or burial for a dependant.

 

1. You can apply for up to $10,000 once every 12 months if:

- you’re currently receiving an eligible income support payment, and

- have received it for 26 continuous weeks, and

- are struggling to meet reasonable and immediate family living expenses including housing or accommodation costs, outstanding bills and food expenses.

2. You can apply for any amount if:

- you’ve reached your preservation age plus 39 weeks, and

- you’ve received eligible Commonwealth Government income support payments for at least 39 cumulative weeks since reaching your preservation age, and

- you’re currently either unemployed, or you are employed for less than 10 hours a week.

Maximum amounts and periods

$10,000 in the 2019/20 financial year and a further $10,000 in the 2020/21 financial year.

The Australian Tax Office determines the amount to be released from your super fund.

$10,000 once every 12 months if you meet eligibility criteria in point 1 (above).

Any amount if you meet eligibility criteria in point 2 (above).

Who decides

The Australian Tax Office.

The Australian Tax Office.

HESTA.

Tax/ Centrelink implications

These amounts are tax free and the money withdrawn will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.

The amount is paid and taxed as a lump sum. If you’re aged under 60 the amount will be taxed between 17% and 22%. If you’re aged over 60, the amount will be tax-free.

The amount is paid and taxed as a lump sum. If you’re aged under 60 the amount will be taxed between 17% and 22%. If you’re aged over 60, the amount will be tax-free.

Where to apply

The Australian Tax Office via myGov

The Australian Tax Office via myGov.

HESTA

 

 

 

 

Are you are a temporary resident?
 
If you're a temporary Australian resident, you can claim your super when you permanently leave the country.
 
Temporary Australian residents can also access super before they leave, but only under certain conditions.
 
Go to the ATO's Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP) online application system for more information.
 
 
 
 

 

Have you been affected by the recent bushfires?
 
If you've been affected by the recent bushfire crisis and need to discuss your super, we're here to help.
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

When can you access your super?

One of the first things to understand about accessing your super are the 'preservation rules' which the government has put in place.

One of these rules is that contributions and investment earnings added to your super after 1 July 1999 are preserved (meaning you can't touch it) until certain conditions are met.

We suggest you seek financial advice before accessing your super. That way, you can get the information you need to make the right financial decisions.