THIS CONTENT HAS BEEN UPDATED TO INCLUDE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES PASSED ON 23 MARCH 2020
You can also find lots of accurate and plain English help here:
The coronavirus crisis means that many Australians will have to stop work; whether they are laid off, don’t get casual work or are sick. Some will get leave payments but many will have to rely on Centrelink or any other money they can get. For many, the only pot of money they can potentially get is their superannuation.
So when can you access your super?
The general rule for accessing your super
Your super must stay in a superannuation fund until you retire from the workforce. That is at the earliest age 55 (or up to 60 if you are born after June 1964).
However, you can get early access to your super in some circumstances.
When can I get early access to super?
- If you have been on Centrelink payments for 26 consecutive weeks and can’t pay your living expenses, you can get up to $10,000.00 per annum from your super:
(a) You will need a letter from Centrelink form (Q230).
(b) You apply to the super fund – all bar one or two super funds allow it.
- If you are over the minimum retirement age (55-60) and on Centrelink payments for 39 weeks, you can get all your super out.
- If you need money for mortgage repayments to prevent a bank or lender selling your house.
- You can get up to three months repayments and 12 months of interest every year.
- You apply online to the ATO.
- You will need a notice from the bank/lender about the arrears and the potential mortgagee sale.
- If you are unfit for work because of coronavirus or any other health problem, you may be eligible to claim your super account balance or insurance benefits.
- Temporary disability
(b) You may be eligible for insurance monthly payments for up to two years (or more) after a waiting period.
(c) They may be up to 85% of your salary.
(d) If you can’t work, use up any sick leave you have and payments start after a waiting period of 30, 60 or 90 days.
- Permanent disability
(a) If you can’t work now and for the long term, you can claim your superannuation account balance.
(b) You may also be covered for a total and permanent disability (TPD) insurance lump sum.
(c) If you have more than one super fund when you last worked, you might have more than one TPD insurance claim.
For other grounds
There are other ways to access your super early; eg. for some medical and palliative care expenses, terminal illnesses, temporary residents leaving Australia permanently and transition to retirement pensions.
If you have any questions, contact Berrill and Watson for free advice.
Call (03) 9448 8048 or email [email protected]
Channel 9 Interview with Berrill & Watson's Paul Watson
See Berrill & Watson Principal lawyer in our Brisbane office, Paul Watson, discussing your options for early access to your super, on Channel 9 in Brisbane on Wednesday 18 March.