Can I access my super early?
Superannuation is designed to help you save for retirement, however, there are some limited circumstances where you may be able to access your super early, including:
- Severe financial hardship
- Compassionate grounds
- Permanent incapacity
- Temporary incapacity
- Terminal medical condition
- First Home Super Saver (FHSS) scheme
- Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP)
- Balances less than $200, where employment has been terminated.
Severe financial hardship
You may be eligible for early release of super if all of the following apply to you:
- You have not received a financial hardship payment from super in the previous 12 months;
- you are unable to pay reasonable and immediate family living costs;
- you have been receiving payments from Centrelink for a period of 26 consecutive weeks or more;
- you have outstanding debts (such as bills, credit card debt, personal debts, electricity, gas, phone, car repayment, medical expenses, school fees, rent); and
- you are able to demonstrate that you are in arrears on a weekly basis.
Read more about how to apply for an early release of super on the grounds of severe financial hardship in our information sheet.
There are very limited circumstances when you may be allowed to withdraw some of your super on compassionate grounds for unpaid expenses, where you have no other means of paying for these expenses. The amount of super you can withdraw is limited to what you reasonably need to meet the unpaid expense.
Compassionate grounds include needing money to pay for:
- medical treatment and medical transport for you or your dependant
- making a payment on a home loan or council rates so you don’t lose your home
- modifying your home or vehicle to accommodate your or your dependant’s severe disability
- palliative care for you or your dependant
- expenses associated with the death, funeral or burial of your dependant.
Note, applications for early release of super on compassionate grounds must be completed through the ATO.
If successful, we’ll need you to submit our withdrawal form along with a certified copy of your photo ID to be able to pay your benefits to you.
You may be eligible to access your super if you have a permanent physical or mental medical condition that is likely to stop you from ever working again in a job you were qualified to do by education, training or experience.
This condition of release is generally used to access insurance benefits linked to your super account and may be applicable if you are temporarily unable to work, or need to work less hours, because of a physical or mental medical condition.
Terminal medical condition
You may be able to access your super if you have a terminal medical condition. You will need to meet the following to be eligible:
- Two registered medical practitioners have certified, jointly or separately, that you suffer from an illness or injury that is likely to result in death within 24 months of the date of signing the certificate;
- At least one of the registered medical practitioners is a specialist practising in an area related to your illness or injury; AND
- The 24-month certification period has not ended.
First Home Super Saver (FHSS) scheme
The First Home Super Saver (FHSS) scheme was introduced by the Australian Government to reduce pressure on housing affordability for first home buyers.
From 1 July 2018, you can apply to release your voluntary contributions, along with associated earnings, to help you purchase your first home. You must meet the eligibility requirements to apply for the release of these amounts.
You can currently apply to have a maximum of $15,000 of your voluntary contributions from any one financial year included in your eligible contributions to be released under the FHSS scheme, up to a total of $50,000 contributions across all years. You will also receive an amount of earnings that relate to those contributions.
Read more about the FHSS scheme and related processes on the ATO’s website here.
Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP)
If you have worked and earned super while visiting Australia on a temporary visa, you can apply to have this super paid to you as a Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP) once you leave Australia. Eligibility conditions apply.
You can apply for DASP through the ATO.
Note, If successful, we’ll need you to submit our withdrawal form along with a certified copy of your photo ID to be able to pay your benefits to you.
Balances less than $200
You may be able to access your super if your employment has been terminated and the balance of your super account is less than $200.
If you believe any of the above applies to you and would like further information, please reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 1300 658 422.