The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

4.8.2.20 Early Release of Superannuation

Summary

This topic covers the following matters:

  • early release of superannuation benefits,
  • compassionate grounds, and
  • severe financial hardship.

Act reference: SSAct section 9(1)-'superannuation benefit'

Policy reference: SS Guide 4.8.2.10 Principles for Assessing Superannuation Investments

Early release of superannuation benefits

There are limited circumstances under which it may be possible to apply for early release of superannuation including:

  • compassionate grounds,
  • severe financial hardship.

Note: Income support recipients must advise the DHS if any benefits are released.

Policy reference: SS Guide 4.8.2.10 Principles for Assessing Superannuation Investments

Compassionate grounds

Individuals may access their superannuation early on specified compassionate grounds.

However, as the limited circumstances where benefits may be released are administered by the ATO, the trustee will need approval from the ATO before funds can be released.

Act reference: Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994 regulation 6.19A Release of benefits on compassionate grounds

Severe financial hardship

An income support recipient's superannuation fund trustee can provide advice to income support recipients.

However, as the limited circumstances where benefits may be released are administered by DHS, the trustee will need approval from DHS before funds can be released.

Act reference: SSAct section 23(1)-'social security pension', section 23(1)-'social security benefit', section 38B Notional continuous period of receipt of income support payments

Policy reference: SS Guide 1.1.S.120 Severe financial hardship - assets test hardship

Last reviewed: