Early release of super

Generally, you cannot access your super savings until you have reached your preservation age and retire, or turn 65. Earlier access to preserved benefits may be available if you:

  • Cease employment on or after age 60
  • Reach age 65 whether you are still working or not
  • Die
  • meet one of the following criteria
Are a temporary resident leaving Australia

If you worked in Australia as a temporary resident, you may have contributed to super. Once you have left Australia, you may be eligible to claim your super money.

You can apply for a Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP) after you leave Australia if:

  • you held an eligible temporary visa (visa subclasses 405 and 410 are excluded)
  • your visa has expired or has been cancelled.

DASPs can’t be claimed by Australian or New Zealand citizens or Australian permanent citizens.

How to apply

You can apply for a DASP by providing us with a completed Application for a departing Australia superannuation payment and evidence you were a temporary resident and have left Australia.

Evidence must be in the form of  a certified copy of the ‘Port and Date’ stamp in your passport* or a Certification of Immigration Status.

Alternatively, you can complete a DASP online application and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC)  will provide certification for you. Note this is your only option if you have more than $5,000 in super

The relevant Government documents and web pages referred to above detail the process and documentation required.

* Port and Date stamps are collected at the point of departure, however, Australian Customs has stopped automatically providing these stamps unless specifically requested.

More information

The ATO publishes more superannuation information for temporary residents departing Australia, including details about any tax implications.

Retire early due to acquired disablement or invalidity

Total permanent disablement claims

If you retire early due to disablement or invalidity, you may be eligible to claim a disability benefit, providing certain criteria are met. These include:

  • being away from work for at least three months
  • suffering from physical or mental ill health
  • certification that, because of ill health, it is unlikely you can ever be gainfully employed in a capacity for which your education, experience or training makes you reasonably qualified.

This assessment is required from two legally qualified medical practitioners, and is subject to a series of strict definitions.

How to apply

If you are eligible for an acquired disability claim, you will need to provide us with supporting documents, including sufficient medical certification.

To begin your claim, contact us to discuss your situation and we will provide further information about the process, criteria and the relevant documents.

If you have total and permanent disability insurance with AvSuper, we will provide the additional forms required. Any insurance payment will be provided to you with your released super – there is no need to make separate claims.

How claims are assessed

We will assess your claim when we have all the relevant information – if anything is missing we will ask you for it. Your claim will also be assessed by our insurer.

We or our insurer may request additional information from you prior to making a decision about your claim. Such information could include further medical reports in relation to your medical history or injury/illness, arranging for you to be examined by an independent medical specialist, or additional financial information in order to calculate your benefit.

Processing timeframes can vary depending on each claim’s circumstances, however, we do try our best to finalise claims as soon as we can.

More information

The ATO publishes more information regarding disability benefit payments.

You can read our member insurance guide to better understand our insurance cover, including eligibility rules.

Can clearly demonstrate severe financial hardship

Financial hardship and accessing your super

Government legislation provides that funds may release between $1,000 and $10,000 of super on the grounds of severe financial hardship providing certain criteria are met.

To be eligible for a claim, you must:

  • be in receipt of income support payments from Centrelink for a continuous period of 26 weeks
  • demonstrate you are unable to meet reasonable and immediate family living expenses

You may also be eligible if you are over 55 years and 39 weeks, been on income support payments from Centrelink for a cumulative 39 weeks and are not employed when making your application. In this case, there are no minimum or maximum payments.

Please note that you may be required to transfer from a defined benefit to the accumulation plan to make a claim on financial hardship grounds.

You may find that the criteria for early release on compassionate grounds are better suited to your circumstances.

How to apply

If making a claim, you will need to provide:

  • a completed withdrawal request form
  • a Statutory Declaration about your situation
  • certified photo identification
  • financial hardship questionnaire
  • evidence from Centrelink of your income support status

To begin your claim, contact us to discuss your situation and we will provide further information about the process, criteria and the relevant documents.

More information

Centrelink publishes more information about the early release of superannuation on the grounds of severe financial hardship.

Our list of who can certify documents may be useful if you are required to supply us with documentation along with a form.

 

Can clearly demonstrate severe compassionate grounds

Accessing your super on compassionate grounds

Government legislation provides that funds may release superannuation savings on compassionate grounds providing certain criteria are met.

You can apply to the Department of Human Services (DHS) for the release of your super to meet specific, strictly defined expenses including:

  • medical treatment or medical transport for yourself or your dependant who cannot access such treatment/transport through the public health system
  • to ‘buy time’ where a mortgagee has threatened foreclosure on your home
  • changes to the family home and/or family vehicle to meet special needs of a disabled dependant
  • palliative care or death, funeral or burial expenses for yourself or your dependant

Defined benefit members wishing to access funds on compassionate grounds may be required to transfer to the accumulation division first.

You may find the criteria for early release due to severe financial hardship are better suited to your circumstances.

How to apply

If you believe that you satisfy one of the circumstances detailed on the DHS website, you will need to obtain the appropriate application forms from DHS to lodge your request. Your request must be approved by DHS before we can take any action on the early release of super on compassionate grounds.

You can contact DHS on 1300 131 060.

More information

Centrelink publishes more information about the process for early release of superannuation on compassionate grounds.

Suffer from a terminal medical condition

Accessing your super due to a terminal medical condition

If you have a terminal medical condition, you may be eligible to have your super savings released as a tax-free lump sum. You may still be working when you make a terminal illness claim.

Two registered medical practitioners (including one relevant specialist) must certify that you suffer from an illness, or have an injury, that is likely to result in your death within 24 months.

You may be able to access money more than once during the certified 24 month period. However, any withdrawals after the ceritifcates expire may be subject to tax. Please note that lump sum withdrawals may impact on any Centrelink payments you may be entitled to.

How to apply

To begin your claim, contact us to discuss your situation and we will provide further information about the process, criteria and the relevant documents.

More information

The ATO publishes more information regarding accessing your super if you have a terminal medical condition.

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