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.

 

 

 

 
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 apply, access the ATO application form, or visit ato.gov.au linked services in myGov. Alternatively call the ATO on 13 10 20.
 
 
 
 

 

Eligibility comparison table

 

Compassionate grounds for medical reasons

Financial hardship

Eligibility criteria

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

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

HESTA

Tax/ Centrelink implications

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

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.
 
 
 
 

 

 

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.