Early Access to Your Super

Early release of your super may be granted on Compassionate Grounds.

This Guide explains how to access your super early under Compassionate Grounds.

You are able to access your super if you’re experiencing financial difficulty under certain circumstances.

Early release on compassionate grounds is a situation where you are granted access to part or all your super before reaching preservation age.

You are eligible to release your super if there is financial stress in paying the expenses arising from a particular circumstance.

  • Decide if you meet the specified conditions

    A number of conditions must be met before a super can be released on compassionate grounds.

    Our Detailed Compassionate Grounds Fact Sheet explains this in detail on how to access your super. Alternatively you can Contact Us on 1800 845 121 for more information.

  • Let Access My Super Help you, or you can apply to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

    If you fit into the eligibility criteria for the compassionate grounds initiative, Access My Super can help you complete the application in a quick, easy and stress-free way.

    Access My Super helps you provide supporting documentation with your application and will help you apply to the ATO. The ATO will assess your application as soon as possible after they have received the required information from you. Once your application has been assessed, the ATO will write to you with their decision and their reasons for that decision.

    If the ATO approves the early release of your super, you must then contact your super fund for payment (see Step 3).

    If you have any questions please Contact Us on 1800 845 121 or check out our Fact Sheets for more detail.

  • Applying to Your Super Fund

    If the ATO approves the early release of your super, you will need to contact your super fund to provide the necessary documents:

    • ATO letter of approval of the early release of your benefit (original or certified copy);
    • A completed application for early release of a benefit on specified compassionate grounds form, which should be available on the website of your super fund;
    • Some super funds may ask for proof of identity documents and a copy of your bank statement.

    If you have any questions or you would like to start your application, please Contact Us on 1800 845 121

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Medical or dental treatment

    Your super may be used to fund medical or dental expenses that aren’t readily available through the public health system.

    To satisfy the ATO’s requirements, the condition must be either:

    • Life-threatening.
    • Acute or chronic physical pain.
    • Acute or chronic mental illness.

    Payments may be used to cover the costs of transportation to and from treatment for one of the above conditions.

    Contact Us for more information.

  • Death and terminal illness

    If you are diagnosed with a terminal illness, you can apply for immediate release of your super, tax free.

    Your super can also be used to cover the costs of a death in the family, such as funeral expenses, burial or cremation. This extends only to your immediate dependants.

  • Home or vehicle modifications

    Your super may be accessed to pay for modifications to your car or home that are needed to support someone with a severe disability. This extends to both you and your dependents.

  • Mortgage repayments

    If you are at risk of having your house sold by the mortgage lender, you may be able to access your super on Compassionate Grounds.

    Access will not be granted if you are unable to pay rent, or if your mortgage repayments are:

    • Not yet in arrears;
    • Already in arrears, but not to the extent that the lender has decided to sell;
    • For a property that belongs to your dependant, other family member or a friend;
    • For any property other than your primary home (i.e. this does not include investment properties or second homes).

Tax on withdrawals

In most compassionate ground and financial hardship cases, the taxable component of any super released early under preservation age is taxed at a maximum rate of 20%.

Depending on your age, payments have a taxable and non-taxable component for other cases.

If you would like to start your application or have any questions, please Contact Us on 1800 845 121.