There are some limited circumstances in which you can access part of your super early, for instance on compassionate grounds, or if you are in severe financial hardship.

Access to your super in special circumstances

The purpose of super is to help you save money for your retirement. Generally you cannot withdraw your super in cash before you reach your preservation age, which is between age 55 and 60, depending on your date of birth.

There are, however, some limited circumstances in which you can access part of your super early, for instance on compassionate grounds or if you are in severe financial hardship.

By law, there are strict eligibility guidelines about releasing super under these conditions.

Please contact us for more information before applying to access your super under these circumstances.

Note: If you are a defined benefit member of the fund, you can apply to access part of your super on these grounds. However, there may be significant implications to your defined benefit.

Severe financial hardship

You must meet certain criteria to be eligible to request an early release of your super based on severe financial hardship.

To qualify for Claim Type 1, you must:

  • be receiving an eligible Commonwealth income support payment* and have been receiving those payments for period of no less than 26 continuous weeks, and
  • be able to demonstrate an inability to meet reasonable and immediate family living expenses.

*An eligible payment generally includes social security pensions and Department of Veterans' Affairs service pensions, as well as certain social security benefits, income support supplements and some other payments. Payments that are not eligible include family (allowance) payments, Austudy/Abstudy or other youth allowance payments in relation to full-time study, or mobility allowance.

You will be required to provide enough documentary evidence to support your claim for financial hardship.

Under Claim Type 1, we can only release a single payment of between $1,000 and $10,000 (before tax), including any other disclosed financial hardship payment, in any 12-month period. If you are under 60, we may be required to deduct tax from your payment.

Please contact us for more information or to make a request.

To qualify for Claim Type 2, you must:

  • have reached your preservation age plus 39 weeks, and
  • have been in receipt of an eligible Commonwealth income support payment* for a period of no less than 39 cumulative weeks since reaching your preservation age, and
  • not be gainfully employed on a full-time or part-time basis.

*An eligible payment generally includes social security pensions and Department of Veterans' Affairs service pensions, as well as certain social security benefits, income support supplements and some other payments. Payments that are not eligible include family (allowance) payments, Austudy/Abstudy or other youth allowance payments in relation to full-time study, or mobility allowance.

You will be required to provide enough documentary evidence to support your claim for financial hardship.

Under Claim Type 2, there is no minimum or maximum cashing restriction. If you are under 60, we may be required to deduct tax from your payment.

Please contact us for more information or to make a request.

 

Compassionate grounds

There are a limited number of reasons in which compassionate grounds may be considered for early release of your super:

  • medical – to pay for treatment or travel to treatment
  • mortgage – to stop a bank or lender from selling your home
  • disability – to modify your home or car
  • palliative care – to pay for expenses associated with palliative care for you or a dependant
  • funeral – to pay for expenses associated with a dependant’s death, funeral or burial.

To be eligible you must be an Australian or New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, need the money on compassionate grounds and have no other way to pay.

More information on compassionate grounds is available from the Department of Human Services (Medicare) website.

The DHS must give permission for you to access your superannuation early on these grounds. However, a super fund trustee must also agree to release your super, which will generally be the case in our fund.