What is Super?

What is super?

Superannuation in Australia is the arrangement put in place by the Federal Government to encourage people in Australia to accumulate funds that will provide them with an income stream when they retire. In other words, it’s a pension fund for their retirement period.

How is Super calculated?

Super is calculated by multiplying your gross salary and wages by 9.5%, this is known as the Superannuation Guarantee.

When can you legally gain access to your Super?

You can access your super when you reach ‘preservation age.’ This is the minimum age, set by law, that your super must be ‘preserved’ until. The preservation age is currently between 55 and 60, depending on when you were born.

How can you calculate your age to access Super?

See https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/tools-and-resources/calculators-and-apps/super-and-pension-age-calculator

For example, if you were born in November 1960, your super preservation age is 56, this is the earliest age you will normally be able to access your super.

Who gets your super if you die?

If you die, your super fund trustee normally pays your death benefit to one or more of your dependants or to your estate.

When can I withdraw Super?

  • when you turn 65 (even if you haven’t retired)
  • when you reach preservation age and retire
  • under the transition to retirement rules while continuing to work

There are very limited circumstances where you can access your super early. These circumstances are mainly related to:

  • specific medical conditions
  • severe financial hardship
  • first home super saver scheme

Is it possible to access your super early?

Some promoters claim to offer early access to your super by transferring your super into a self-managed super fund. These schemes are illegal and heavy penalties apply if you participate.

There are very limited circumstances when you can access your superannuation early such as specific medical conditions or severe financial hardship.

The ATO allows early access to super on the following grounds:

  • compassionate grounds
  • severe financial hardship
  • terminal medical condition
  • temporary incapacity
  • permanent incapacity
  • super less than $200
  • first home super saver scheme

Access My Super assists Australians in obtaining early access to their super under compassionate grounds, to be eligible for this, you must meet the following criteria:

  • the medical treatment can’t be readily available through the public health system
  • you or one of your dependents must have one of the following:
    • a life-threatening illness or injury
    • acute or chronic pain
    • acute or chronic mental illness

Will it be taxed?

If the ATO approves your request for early access of super under compassionate grounds you may be taxed on the amount released up to a maximum of 22%.

How relevant is the date on quotes and invoices?

We may contact service providers to validate invoices or quotes which must be:

  • on the medical provider’s letterhead
  • dated
  • no more than
    • six months old for quotes
    • 30 days old for unpaid invoices

Can I include medical transport cost?

If you are applying to pay for medical transport expenses, you must provide two medical practitioner reports. One must be from a registered (AHPRA) medical specialist and the other can be from either a registered (AHPRA) medical practitioner or a registered medical specialist, advising that you or your dependant requires treatment for:

  • a life-threatening illness or injury
  • acute or chronic pain
  • an acute or chronic mental illness.

The registered medical specialist should be specialised in the area they are giving their opinion

  • If you apply for the treatment of an acute or chronic mental illness, most applications will require a medical report from a psychiatrist.
  • If you apply for the treatment of a life-threatening illness or injury one medical report must be from the registered medical specialist who diagnosed the illness of injury.
  • If you are applying for medical treatment and medical transport, you can use the same medical practitioner reports as long as at least one report captures the locations, frequency, and duration of the treatment.
  • If applying for medical transport only, at least one report must capture the locations, frequency, and duration of the treatment.

The medical practitioner reports must be completed no more than six months before you submit your application. The reports must be signed, dated and submitted with your application. If your medical reports are incomplete or do not contain enough information, it is likely your application will be rejected.

Before we approve a release for medical transport, we will consider the most cost-efficient and reasonable options for medical transport, including:

  • public transport
  • government or non-government providers offering medical transportation services on a fee-for-service basis
  • private taxi
  • hire car, ambulance, train, or ferry
  • domestic flights, international flights, or air ambulance
  • vehicle expenses
  • purchase of a vehicle where at least 60% of its primary use will be for medical transport