Often I get asked “Can I access my super?”

Unfortunately this is not an easy question to answer and is often answered with a series of questions:

  • Has a condition of release been met?
  • Have you met preservation age?
  • Have you retired?

However, when a member is attempting to access their superannuation benefits prior to preservation age and/or the satisfaction of a condition of release there are a few very limited circumstances where this may be possible:

  • Compassionate grounds
  • Severe financial hardship
  • Terminal medical condition
  • Temporary or permanent incapacity 
  • Super balance of less than $200

Although it may appear on the surface that you are able to meet one of the above circumstances, this is only the case in very limited circumstances.

Compassionate Grounds 

This may be satisfied where:

  • To pay medical treatment for yourself or a dependant
  • Loan repayments required to prevent you losing your home
  • To pay for home modifications required for a dependant with special needs due to a severe disability
  • Payment of funeral or burial expenses 

Severe Financial Hardship

In order to qualify you must have been in receipt of income support payments for at least 20 continuous weeks and be unable to meet a reasonable level of living expenses.  

In the above circumstance you must take a minimum withdrawal of $1,000 and a maximum of $10,000, and the only one withdrawal amount allowed in any 12 month period. 

Terminal Medical Condition 

The satisfaction of the above requires the sign off by two medical practitioners that your illness is unlikely to cause death within a period of 24 months.

Temporary or Permanent Incapacity

You may be able to access superannuation benefits as an income stream where you are temporarily unable to work due to a physical or mental issue. In the case of permanent incapacity you may be able to access benefits as a lump sum or income stream. The fund must be satisfy that condition is likely to stop you ever working again in a role that you have been educated or trained to do. 

* The taxation treatment and the application process are beyond the scope of this blog.

Super Balance of less than $200

Where you have left an employer you may be able to access superannuation benefits where they are less than $200.

Should you require further information in relation to any of the above please contact our Super Team at CS Consulting Group.