Early access to superannuation

Early access to superannuation

The Federal Government has introduced new laws that allow people whose employment has been affected by Covid-19 to access some of their super early to assist with financial distress. The new access rules apply for the 2019/20 and 2020/21 financial years only.

If eligible, you can access up to $10,000 of your super* in the 2019/20 financial year (provided you apply before 1 July 2020), and up to a further $10,000 in the 2020/21 financial year (provided you apply before 24 September 2020).

But before you apply, we encourage you not to see this measure as a quick fix. Instead, consider whether you actually need the money, whether you need to access the full amount allowed and what other financial support options are available to you.

Why? Because accessing your super early will impact how much super you’ll have in the future. It may only be $20,000 today but accessing your super now means you’re locking in losses because the markets are down.

Secondly, accessing your super early will reduce your balance at retirement because you’ll be missing out on years of returns that money would earn if it remained in your super. And the younger you are, the more it will affect you in retirement.

Finally, you should  also consider the possible impact accessing your super early may have on any insurance you have through your super. If your account balance falls to zero or is too low to pay your premiums your insurance cover may be cancelled.

Only take what you need

Use our simple calculator to estimate the impact of dipping into your super.

Are you eligible?

To be eligible for early release you need to satisfy one or more of the following:

  1. You’re unemployed;
  2. You’re eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment (including single and partnered payments) or special benefit or farm household allowance.
  3. You have been made redundant, had your working hours reduced by 20% or more, or you’re a sole trader whose business was suspended or suffered a reduction in turnover of 20% or more on or after 1 January 2020.

Early access payments are tax-free and they don’t affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.

How and when can you apply?

You will be able to apply for early release of your superannuation from 20 April 2020. Applications need to be made directly to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) through the myGov website my.gov.au.

The ATO will then assess your eligibility and advise you and us of the outcome. Only then can we arrange for a payment to be made to the bank account you nominate on your application to the ATO.

More information

For further information please read the Government fact sheet, visit the ATO website or call us on 1300 369 901.

*Please note, if you are a member of the EISS Retirement Scheme or Defined Benefit Scheme only certain parts of your benefit can be accessed under early release.

Further reading