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  • Access due to a terminal medical condition

    You may be able to access your super early if you have a terminal medical condition.

    A terminal medical condition exists if all these conditions are met:

    1. Two registered medical practitioners have certified, jointly or separately, that the person suffers from an illness or an injury that is likely to result in the death of the person within 24 months of the date of the certification.
    2. At least one of the registered medical practitioners is a specialist practising in an area related to the illness or injury suffered by the person.
    3. The 24 month certification period has not ended.

    Note: These rules do not apply to Departing Australia Superannuation Payments (DASP).

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    Access to super held by your provider

    You can ask your provider to release your super benefits if you have a terminal medical condition. There are no set limits on the amount you can withdraw from your super. However, payments are subject to the rules of your provider.

    If you satisfy this condition of release, any benefits that have accrued up to that point become unrestricted non-preserved benefits. Any additional benefits you accrue during the 24 month certification period also become unrestricted non-preserved benefits. These can be accessed as a tax-free lump sum payment if you withdraw it within 24 months of certification.

    Any balances remaining after the certification period ends can be accessed at any time, but may not be tax-free.

    Any benefits that accrue after the certification period are not covered by the original 'terminal medical condition' condition of release. You should speak to your provider about what new certification may be required.

    When you receive a tax-free super lump sum payment:

    • your provider does not have to give you a payment summary
    • you don't need to include the amount on your tax return.

    How tax applies

    A payment from your provider will be made as a tax-free super lump sum payment as long as your super is within a complying super provider or with an annuity provider.

    For the payment to be tax-free you must have a terminal medical condition either:

    • at the time of the payment
    • within 90 days of receiving the payment.

    A complying super plan is either a:

    • complying super fund
    • public sector super scheme that is either      
      • a regulated super fund
      • an exempt public sector super scheme
    • complying approved deposit fund
    • retirement savings account.

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      Last modified: 20 Mar 2020QC 61870