Accessing your super early

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If you’re struggling with money, accessing your super may seem the ideal solution to your problems. Can you can simply withdraw what you’ve paid in.

Strict rules apply to accessing superannuation benefits and before doing so members are required to satisfy a Condition of Release. One of the possible situations when early release of super (prior to age 65), is granted is Severe Financial Hardship. While we hope that we never need to access funds for this reason, situations out of our control such as drought and other natural disasters, loss of employment, unexpected health or family issues can lead to financial hardship.

The release of funds under this condition is at the discretion of the superannuation fund and the eligibility requirements can vary between funds. Subject to your fund’s rules you may be able to access a limited amount if you satisfy the fund trustee’s requirements and produce evidence supporting your situation. Requirements include showing that you have been in receipt of an eligible Government Income Support payment, for example for drought relief or have been in receipt of eligible pensions or allowances for a certain period. You may also need to show proof to the fund of how you are experiencing financial hardship.

Generally funds will only be released to meet certain immediate expenses and not future expenses. Immediate expenses may include conducting urgent household repairs or to cover urgent medical treatment. Your superannuation fund may also assess your overall financial situation and if you have other assets or investments that can reasonably be sold or redeemed, they may deny access until you have utilised those other resources.

It is important to note that some superannuation funds do not allow access at all under ‘Severe Financial Hardship’ and consideration should be made when determining a new super fund or keeping an existing fund if this feature is important to you. Contact your fund directly for more information regarding the early release of benefits due to Severe Financial Hardship.

The National Information Centre on Retirement Investments (NICRI) Inc. is an Australian Government funded, independent consumer agency providing information to the general public on investment products.

If you require further information on retirement investments and investing in retirement please contact NICRI toll free on 1800 020110, email Information leaflets are also available on NICRI’s website, ©.

Source : Craig Hall


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