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While you normally can’t access your super until you reach your preservation age and retire, you may be able to access some of your super earlier if you’re experiencing severe financial hardship and meet the requirements set by the Australian Government. Depending on your individual circumstances, benefits paid under severe financial hardship provisions may be subject to tax.

How much can be accessed

If you’re experiencing severe financial hardship and are unable to meet reasonable and immediate family living expenses, you may be able to withdraw between $1,000 and $10,000 (before tax) from your super in any 12 month period. If your Super Account has less than $1,000 you may be able to withdraw up to your remaining balance.

Eligibility

To qualify for early release due to severe financial hardship you must:

  • Have been receiving income support payments from Government income support payments for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks
  • Be able to demonstrate that you are unable to meet reasonable and immediate family living expenses

Note : if eligible, you can only make a withdrawal from one super fund account in a 12 month period.

Over your preservation age?

If you’re over your preservation age for accessing your super (preservation age is currently between age 57 and 60 depending on your date of birth), there are options available to access your super without meeting the severe financial hardship requirements.

You can access all your super without any restrictions if you have reached your preservation age and:

  • Permanently retired from the workforce
  • Reached age 60 and left an employment arrangement
  • Reached age 65

You may also be able to have part of your super paid to you as regular payments by setting up a Mercy Super Income account as a transition to retirement strategy. To find out more – just get in touch.

If you’re over your preservation age and don’t meet any of the criteria above, there is an additional option to qualify for early release which applies if you:

  • Have reached your preservation age plus 39 weeks
  • Are not gainfully employed (I.e. not being employed or self-employed for gain or reward for 10 hours or more per week)
  • Have been receiving eligible Government income support payments for a continuous period of at least 39 weeks since you reached your preservation age

In this case you are not required to demonstrate that you are unable to meet reasonable and immediate family living expenses and there is no limit on the claim amount (i.e. payment is not restricted to a maximum of $10,000).

What you need to provide

To apply for early release of some of your super you’ll need to complete the Early release application – severe financial hardship form and provide it along with any other associated documents. This includes:

  • Copies of documents that provide evidence of any overdue bills or arrears in loan payments that are not more than one month old
  • Copies of documents providing evidence of current income
  • Your Services Australia Customer Reference Number (CRN) which will enable us to confirm your eligible Government income support payment details
  • Certified proof of identity documents
  • Signed and witnessed statutory declaration
  • Copy of your bank statement to confirm the bank account details for your payment if it is approved

We realise that if you’re requesting a payment due to severe financial hardship it is likely to be an extremely stressful time for you. It helps substantially if you make sure that all the required documentation is provided at the time of claim.

If you have any questions or need assistance in completing the application or exploring options to get your finances back on track – just get in touch.

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