COVID-19 early release of super

If you have been financially affected by COVID-19, you may be able to access some of your superannuation early.

Eligible citizens and permanent residents of Australia or New Zealand can apply for up to $10,000 in 2019–20 and up to a further $10,000 in 2020–21.

Eligible temporary residents are able to apply once to access up to $10,000 of super in 2019–20.

You will not need to pay tax on amounts released and will not need to include these amounts in your tax return.

Are you eligible?

Citizens and permanent residents of Australia and New Zealand

To be eligible for early release of super, a citizen or permanent resident of Australia and New Zealand must be in one of the following circumstances:

  • You are unemployed.
  • You are eligible to receive one of the following
    • jobseeker payment
    • youth allowance for jobseekers (unless you are undertaking full-time study or are a new apprentice)
    • parenting payment (which includes the single and partnered payments)
    • special benefit
    • farm household allowance.
  • On or after 1 January 2020 either
    • you were made redundant
    • your working hours were reduced by 20% or more (including to zero)
    • you were a sole trader and your business was suspended or there was a reduction in turnover of 20% or more.

 

Temporary residents

To be eligible for early release of super, temporary residents must be in one of the following circumstances:

  • You hold a student visa that you have held for 12 months or more and you are unable to meet immediate living expenses.
  • You are a temporary skilled work visa holder, your working hours have reduced to zero and you remain engaged with your employer.
  • You are a temporary resident visa holder (excluding student or skilled worker visas) and you cannot meet immediate living expenses.

 

Assessing your eligibility

You do not need to attach evidence to support your application. However, you should keep records and documents to confirm your eligibility as we may ask you for this information.

It is important that you assess your eligibility accurately. We are administering this measure on behalf of all Australians and will manage the eligibility criteria with strict guidelines to ensure we can support those financially affected by COVID-19. There are penalties for making false and misleading statements.

You can’t access your super early for a dependant. If your dependant is financially affected by COVD-19, they must apply themselves.

You can only submit one application for COVID-19 early release of super per financial year. You are still able to apply for COVID-19 early release of super if you have previously accessed your super early in other circumstances.

Some temporary visa holders may also be eligible to apply for one lump-sum withdrawal before 30 June 2020.

Implications of accessing your super early

Accessing your super early will affect your super balance and may affect your future retirement income.

Withdrawing superannuation may also affect your:

  • income protection insurance
  • life / total permanent disability insurance cover.

Insurance may not be available on accounts that:

  • are fully withdrawn
  • have a balance below $6,000
  • are inactive low balance accounts.

You should consider whether you need to seek financial advice before submitting your application for early release of super.

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