Accessing your Super benefits
The main purpose of superannuation is to provide an income in retirement. So for this reason, Federal Government legislation only allows access to superannuation when one of the following conditions of release are met:
- You turn 65 (even if you haven’t retired yet),
- You cease employment with an employer on or after turning 60 (although you may continue to work in another employment arrangement),
- You reach preservation age and permanently retire,
- You reach preservation age and start a transition to retirement plan. This allows you to receive regular payments (an income stream) from your super while you continue working.
- You are permanently incapacitated (certain evidence is required),
- You have been diagnosed as suffering from a terminal medical condition (certain evidence is required),
- You leave employment and your super benefit is less than $200
Although Superannuation is designed for retirement – things don’t always work out as planned. In certain circumstances, you may be able to gain early access to your Super benefits.
Here are some circumstances in which you could access superannuation funds early. Keep in mind that there are limits on the amount that can be accessed under these conditions.
If your mortgagee looks like they might repossess or sell your home due to arrears on your mortgage, you may be able to apply for an early release of your super fund. This is the case if:
- The property in question is where you live
- You’re responsible for the mortgage repayments
- You can’t afford to pay the arrears without the help of your retirement fund
If you’ve received income support for 26 weeks and can’t pay immediate expenses, you may be entitled to apply for early access to your Super benefits.
You may also be able to dip into your retirement savings to make modifications to your home or vehicle under special circumstances. This is if you or a dependant has a severe disability that requires such modifications or other aids, and you can’t afford these purchases without the help of an early superfund release. If the disability has not been diagnosed as severe or if the property you wish to modify is not the main residence of the individual with the disability then you will not be eligible.
If the worst were to happen, and you or a dependant needed medical treatment, you may be granted an exemption to access your Super. The medical bills would need to not be covered by the public health system or insurance, or be possible to pay without the help of your super. Exceptions will not be made if the bills are covered through work. An early release for palliative care bills is similar, you would just need to talk directly with your superannuation provider.
You can apply for an early release of your Super if a dependant has passed away and you need the aid of an early superannuation release to pay for the funeral. Keep in mind that to apply, the person who has passed must be a dependant and that you can only apply for unpaid quotes and invoices. Limits apply to how much can be released.
Finally, you may be able to apply for reasons of severe financial hardship, or if you plan to leave Australia forever after being a temporary resident. You would need to present your case to the Australian Government Department of Human Services. As with all of the cases outlined above, you will need to meet all the criteria and have the supporting documents to match. You can contact our Customer Care team for assistance on 1300 652 770.