Superannuation Q and As

Trish Power (author of Superannuation for Dummies and DIY Super for Dummies) answers readers’ questions on super.

Set out below are all SuperGuide articles explaining Superannuation Q and As.

Accessing super early: Terminal illness

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Q: I have a terminal illness. Can I access my super benefits? A: I’m sorry to read about your illness. The superannuation rules do recognise that super benefits can be accessed early under such devastating circumstances. For your information, ‘terminal illness’ for the purposes of accessing … [Read more...]

Are you eligible for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card?

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IMPORTANT: The government has announced that the income thresholds for singles ($50,000) and couples ($80,000) will be indexed in September 2014; the first time since 2001. From 1 January 2015, new applicants for CSHC will need to include superannuation pension income when assessing CSHC … [Read more...]

Can I access super early due to ‘severe financial hardship’?

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Q: I am in financial hardship. Can I withdraw my super to pay my expenses? A: I’m sorry to read about your circumstances. Yes, in certain circumstances individuals suffering financial hardship may be able to access a portion of their super benefits. You must apply to your super fund to claim … [Read more...]

Accessing super early: Not for business debts

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Q: I am in partnership in a franchise business. We have been struggling since the beginning of the recent financial crisis, and have fallen behind on rent and we are just managing to keep up with service providers. I would like to withdraw my superannuation to invest into the business. I only have … [Read more...]

Super for beginners, part 24: Do I have to withdraw my super when I turn 65?

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Q: I retired, sold my large house, downgraded, invested spare money and one month after I invested, I lost $50,000 just like that. I would like to know whether I can keep my super going beyond age 65, maybe to age 67 to help recoup my losses on my outside investment? A: I’m very sorry to read … [Read more...]

Accessing super early: Unemployed and in financial hardship

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Q: I have been unemployed for 10 months now and I am still having problems finding work. I’ve got bills to pay off and I’m finding it hard to do that with the tiny amount I get from Centrelink each fortnight. Is there any way I can claim I have financial difficulties and use my superannuation … [Read more...]

If I retire before 60, when can I access my super?

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Q: I am 56, nearly 57. If I decided to retire before 60 when can I access my super? If you have reached your preservation age AND retire, then you can access your super benefits. Australians can have a preservation age ranging from 55 years to 60 years, depending on date of birth. I assume … [Read more...]

Unrestricted access to super, sometimes

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Q: I left Australia in 2001, but I was part of a super fund from about 1993/4. I see from your 14 legal reasons to cash your super article, that I may be able to access my restricted benefit. You write: "Cease employment and have certain pre-1999 super benefits. If you’ve been a member of a super … [Read more...]

Does changing to part-time at 60 years, count as ‘retiring’?

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Q: I am 60. I am interested in the condition of release relating to turning 60 and resigning. Is it sufficient to satisfy the ’60 and resign’ condition of release by changing my employment arrangement from full-time to part-time, with the same employer? A: Most super benefits are preserved until … [Read more...]

Accessing super early: Living overseas and over the age of 55

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Q: I’m an expat Australian, and I have been living in Europe for quite a few years. I am 57 and I want to access my superannuation to buy a property. Is that possible? I have no idea if I will retire back in Australia or stay here, but my view is that if I do retire back in Australia, I will sell … [Read more...]