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Accessing your super early due to financial hardship and compassionate grounds

June 23, 2020

Accessing your super early due to financial hardship and compassionate grounds

For most of us we don’t give a heap of though to our superannuation till we get closer to retirement, or maybe once a year when we got out statement.

If you’re thinking about accessing your superannuation before retirement, its usually because something gone wrong and you’re under some financial pressure. In this blog/vlog we’ll go through some of your options and how they work.

As superannuation has many tax advantages and is designed to provide you with an income in retirement, there are rules to limit your access prior to retirement. However, there are limited circumstances where you can gain access if you’re experiencing specific forms of financial hardship or compassionate reasons.

So what are the criteria?

Compassionate grounds

You may be able to get access to super to meet one of the following expenses:

  • Medical treatment or transport for you or a dependent
  • Palliative care for you or a dependent
  • A payment towards your home loan or council rates if you’re at risk of losing your home
  • Expenses associated with the death, funeral or burial of your dependent


Financial hardship

You will need to meet the following criteria to be eligible to apply:

  • You have received an eligible Government support payments continuously for 26 weeks and
  • You are not able to meet reasonable and immediate family living expenses

Terminal medical condition

If you are suffering from a terminal medication condition, you may be eligible to access your superannuation early. To be classified as terminal ill, two doctors must say that your injury or illness is likely to result in your death within 24 months

Permanent incapacity

To be eligible to apply, your fund must be satisfied that you have a permanent physical or mental medical condition that is likely to stop you from ever working in a job that you were qualified to do by education, training or experience. All of the above have very specific criteria and conditions within the general description that you should seek advice about before making any commitments based on the expectation to receive superannuation funds.

How to apply

To apply under compassionate grounds, you apply online via the ATO. To apply under financial hardship, terminal medical condition and permanent incapacity, you apply directly via your super fund. If you need assistance with the application process, or any advice during what is probably a difficult time, please feel free to get in contact or book an appointment.



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