Access your super early

Super is a long-term investment for your future, so you need to meet certain conditions before you can access it. Situations where you may be able to access some of your super include:

  • reaching preservation age 
  • severe financial hardship
  • compassionate grounds
  • permanently leaving Australia
  • the First Home Super Saver scheme
  • terminal illness or permanent incapacity.
  • Read on to find out more about each situation and the criteria you’ll need to meet if you want to access your super.  

    Severe financial hardship payments - apply online

    Applying before reaching your preservation age

    You can apply to access up to $10,000 of your super under severe financial hardship, if you:

    1. haven’t made a withdrawal under financial hardship in the past 12 months, and
    2. are currently receiving and have been receiving eligible Commonwealth income support payments for at least 26 continuous weeks, and
    3. can’t meet reasonable and immediate family living expenses.

    NOTE: If you've claimed for financial hardship in the past 12 months, you'll need to wait 12 months after the date of your previous claim before you can claim again.

    Applying after reaching your preservation age

    If you’ve reached your preservation age and 39 weeks you can apply for any amount if:

    1. you’ve been receiving eligible Commonwealth income support payments for a cumulative period of at least 39 weeks since reaching your preservation age, and
    2. you’re unemployed or employed for less than ten hours a week when you make your application for payment under financial hardship.

    You’re not eligible to apply for a payment on financial hardship grounds if you’re a temporary resident in Australia.

    Taxes on financial hardship payments

    Financial hardship payments are taxed as a super lump sum. If you're under 60 years old, this is generally taxed between 17% and 22%. If you're older than 60 years old, you will not be taxed.

    Applying online

    The quickest way to apply for financial hardship is to log into your online account. Go to:

    1. ‘Make a withdrawal from my super account’ (under ‘Manage my account’), and
    2. click the ‘Apply for a financial hardship payment’ button to complete the online form.

    You'll need two of the following forms of identification to apply online:

    • a valid Passport
    • current Driver’s Licence
    • current Medicare Card.
    Make a financial hardship claim

    If you can’t access your account, complete the Apply for a payment (financial hardship) form. Also, Australia Post have announced changes to their delivery frequency, so it may take us longer than usual to receive your mail and process your request.

    If you haven’t reached your preservation age yet

    You may still be able to access your super if you haven’t reached your preservation age yet in the following circumstances:

    Things to consider before accessing your super 

    There are a lot of things to consider before accessing your super, including how it will impact your retirement, taxes and what effect it will have on any other benefits you’re receiving. There are also strict conditions and requirements that need to be met to demonstrate your eligibility. Check out our Accessing your super fact sheet or 3 things to think about before accessing your super article for more information.

    Request a call back

    If you would like to discuss your options with AustralianSuper, request a call back. We will call you at a time that suits you.

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