COVID -19 changes: Early access to your super

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is a challenging time for everyone in Australia (and the world). This is a guide to the changes to early access to super as a response to the pandemic.

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On this page:

  1.  Five changes you need to know about

  2.  What do the changes mean?

  3.  Eligibility

  4.  Providing evidence

  5.  Getting advice and information

 

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01

Five changes you need to know about

  1. From 20 April 2020, some people will be allowed to access their super early.
  2. Up to $10,000 can be accessed before 30 June 2020, with an additional amount of up to $10,000 available from 1 July 2020 to 24 September 2020. Only one application can be made for each financial year.
  3. There are eligibility requirements for Australian citizens or permanent residents
  4. The early access payments are tax free and will not affect Centrelink or Veteran’s Affairs payments
  5. Early access is available for some temporary residents.

02

What do the changes mean?

It means that if you are struggling, early access to super is an option available for you.

03

Eligibility

Australian citizens and permanent residents

To be eligible you must:

  1. Be unemployed OR
  2. Eligible to receive the jobseeker payment, youth allowance for jobseeker, parenting payment, special benefit or farm household allowance OR
  3. On or after 1 January 2020:
    1. you were made redundant,
    2. your working hours were reduced by 20% or more
    3. your business was suspended
    4. for a sole trader, turnover dropped 20% or more

 

Temporary residents

To be eligible a temporary resident must be in one or more of the following circumstances:

  • Hold a student visa which has been held for 12 months or more and be unable to meet immediate living expenses.
  • A temporary skilled work visa holder whose working hours have reduced to zero and remains engaged with your employer.
  • A temporary resident visa holder (excluding student or skilled worker visas) who cannot meet immediate living expenses

04

Providing evidence

You will not be required to attach evidence to support your application. You must still retain documents to support your eligibility. There may be fines for early access to your super when you are ineligible.

05

Getting advice and information

Your super is your savings for retirement. If at all possible, you should retain those savings for the future.

Speak to a free financial counsellor before you access your super early. A financial counsellor can assist you to:

  • Consider your entire financial situation
  • Discuss options to resolve financial difficulty
  • Discuss ways to avoid accessing your super early
  • Discuss options on how to use your super if you decide to access it early

If you must access your super early, it is recommended you use it to improve your financial stability. Avoid using it (if you can) to pay living expenses which will be ongoing (even after the super has run out).

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