COVID-19 Early Access of Super

16 April 2020

The following information is provided to you in good faith, relying upon ASIC Relief granted on 14 April 2020 to "Provide Affordable and Timely Advice During the COVID-19 Pandemic".  We have also included a reminder of other laws already in place that might assist some people at this time.

If you are eligible, you can make tax-free withdrawals from your Superannuation Fund. You can access up to $10,000 before 30 June 2020 and a further $10,000 from between 01 July 2020 to 24 September 2020. 

Applications can be made ONLINE through your MyGov Account from 20 April 2020 including for SMSFs.   If successful, the Government will send a release authority to your Super Fund.  Please note SMSFs are not permitted to withdraw funds until the release authority is received.

To be eligible you must be an Australian or New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.  Temporary residents are eligible (subject to certain other requirements) but only to access up to $10,000 before 30 June 2020.

You can be of any age and you must satisfy at least one of the following:

  • You are unemployed
  • You are eligible to receive the JobSeeker payment or other similar Centrelink payments
  • On or after 1 January 2020 any of the following happened:-
    • You were made redundant
    • Your working hours were reduced by 20% or more (we have taken a 10% pay cut in exchange for working 10% less)
    • You were a sole trader and your business was suspended or your turnover decreased by 20% or more.

Please note you can only make one application per period, so if you do have more than one super account care needs to be taken.  If you apply for the maximum $10,000 make sure there is at least that amount in your super account.  For example: If you only have $7,000 in a super account you could not withdraw that amount and then apply for a further $3,000 from another super account.

Please also be careful if any withdrawal results in your super balance going below $6,000 due to new laws that became effective on 1 April 2020.  In this instance, any default life, TPD or income protection insurance you have will be automatically cancelled unless you have chosen to opt in.  If this is the case, please contact your Super Fund before you act.

Please consider your long-term financial goals.  This is not a giveaway; this is your money so please decide wisely.  Consider whether you need to seek financial advice before applying.  There are online calculators that can tell you the cost to your retirement savings. 

This is also a timely reminder, as there are already laws in place to allow for early access of super in limited circumstances.  

If any of the below apply to you, please contact us for more detailed advice before taking any action:-

  • For compassionate grounds. This includes needing funds to pay for:-
    • Medical treatment and transport
    • Palliative care
    • Making a payment on a home loan or council rates so you don't lose your home
    • Accommodating a disability
    • Funeral costs
  • Due to severe financial hardship. You must meet BOTH points below:-
    • You have received Govt. income support payments for 26 continuous weeks, and
    • You are not able to meet reasonable family living expenses
      The minimum withdrawal is $1,000, the maximum is $10,000, and you can only make one withdrawal in any twelve-month period
  •  Terminal medical condition
  •  Temporary Incapacity
    • Where you are temporarily unable to work or need to work less hours because of a physical or mental medical condition
  •  Permanent Incapacity
  •  Your super account balance is less than $200.