Q: I would like to know how I could go about accessing my super early on the grounds of extreme hardship. I have 2 children and I’m a single parent. I am a NZ citizen and I have no entitlement to Centrelink payments. This is only a temporary setback but I am very desperate and I have nowhere to turn. Hope you can help.
I’m sorry to read about your circumstances. The first step is to check whether your super fund permits early access to super benefits. Most super funds do permit such access but some do not.
- If you apply under severe financial hardship, then you apply directly to your super fund. You will need to satisfy certain conditions, including being in receipt of Centrelink benefits for 26 weeks, which means this option may not be available to you.
- If you’re eligible for early release on compassionate grounds, then you apply to the Australian government agency, known as the Department of Human Services. Again, you need to satisfy certain conditions. You can find more information by clicking on this link, and then click on ‘Early release of superannuation’ near the bottom of the DHS webpage.
The following articles explain the rules in more detail:
- Accessing super early: Is it possible to withdraw super to pay overdue rent? (explains compassionate grounds)
- Accessing super early: Unemployed and in financial hardship (explains rules for severe financial hardship access)
Also this link from Centrelink will give you more information about both the rules for accessing super due to severe financial hardship, and the rules for accessing super on compassionate grounds.