Early release of superannuation

Grounds for early release

You normally can’t use your super until you reach preservation age. In rare cases your super fund may let you have some of the money early.

You can apply for early release of super for the following reasons.

You can apply if You must
you’re in severe financial hardship
  • be unable to pay reasonable and immediate family living costs
  • get an income support payment
  • have been on this payment for at least 26 weeks in a row
  • not get ABSTUDY, Austudy or Youth Allowance

There are different rules if you’re over preservation age and haven’t retired. You must:

  • still be out of retirement – this might mean you’re looking for work, studying or working part time or full time
  • have reached preservation age plus 39 weeks
  • not get ABSTUDY, Austudy or Youth Allowance
  • have been getting an income support payment

You must also have been on an income support payment for at least 39 weeks in total since you reached preservation age. You could still be getting the payment, or you may no longer be getting it.

If you get ABSTUDY, Austudy or Youth Allowance you can’t apply for early release of super, even if you’re in severe financial hardship. 

If you’re in severe financial hardship but don’t meet these criteria, contact us to see how we can help.

you have a terminal illness have a terminal illness.
you are a temporary resident
  • be a temporary resident
  • about to leave Australia, and
  • not planning to live here again
you have less than $200 in super have less than $200 in your super fund.
there is compassionate grounds

be able to prove that you have compassionate grounds for needing early release of super.

Read more about compassionate grounds.

Financial Impact

If you’re applying due to severe financial hardship, an early release of super may reduce your Centrelink payments. This includes:

You may need to pay:

  • a fee to your super fund for early release
  • tax on the money you get from super

If you’re applying due to a terminal illness, you won’t have to pay tax on this money. But it could affect any insurance you have with your super fund. Ask them about this before you decide if early release of super is right for you.

How to apply

You only need to contact us if you are applying for compassionate grounds. For all other situations you need to contact your super fund.

Page last updated: 12 May 2018