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  • COVID-19 early release of super

    The COVID-19 early release of super program closed on 31 December 2020. You can no longer apply for early access to some of your superannuation using this program. If eligible, you may be able to withdraw some of your super on other compassionate grounds.

    More information:

    You will not need to pay tax on amounts released under COVID-19 early release of super and will not need to include these amounts in your tax return. Amounts released under other compassionate grounds must be included.

    On this page:

    See also:

    Assessing your eligibility

    You should keep records and documents to confirm your eligibility as we may ask you for this information. Examples of evidence to confirm eligibility may include your:

    • payslips
    • letters, emails or rosters from your employer
    • bank statements
    • business cash flow and turnover records
    • website or other public notice confirming your business closed
    • documents confirming eligibility for relevant government allowances or benefits (above)
    • separation certificate.

    Supporting our community – integrity and compliance

    The intent of the measure is to support people who were adversely financially affected by COVID-19 and need help to meet expenses. While you do not need to tell us how you spend the money, you should carefully consider the impact of accessing your super early.

    We administer the COVID-19 early release of super measure on behalf of all Australians. We manage the eligibility criteria with strict guidelines. We are here to help people in our community who are doing the right thing, and we will assist you if you have made a genuine mistake. However, where people deliberately exploit the system, we will take action.

    If we find that you have applied for COVID-19 early release of super when you do not qualify, or mainly for the purpose of obtaining a tax benefit (for example, as part of a recontribution strategy involving the claiming of a personal super contribution deduction), we will consider taking further action.

    See also:

    Implications of accessing your super early

    Accessing your super early will affect your super balance and may affect your future retirement income.

    Withdrawing super may also affect your:

    • income protection insurance
    • life and total permanent disability insurance cover.

    Insurance may not be available on accounts that have a low balance.

    You should consider whether you need to seek financial advice before submitting your application for early release of super. Services Australia’s Financial Information Service officersExternal Link can give you free, confidential financial information.

    Be aware of scams and schemes

    Be aware of scams and schemes asking you to pay to release your super.

    We’re concerned about scams or schemes where people:

    • impersonate the ATO, or a trusted organisation like your super fund, to steal your money or personal identifying information
    • approach you and charge you for services that are free, like gaining early access to your superannuation.

    If you receive a phone call, text message or email offering to help you release your super early, do not:

    • provide your personal information
    • click on any links (we never include hyperlinks to a login page)
    • share your myGov sign in details with anyone, under any circumstances, including your tax agent.

    You can phone us on 1800 008 540 to confirm if a contact you received is genuine.

    Stolen or misused identity

    If you are concerned that someone has accessed your super without your permission, you should check:

    • your myGov and ATO Online account and make sure your contact details are still correct
    • your superannuation account to make sure that your account details are also correct, and that there have been no unauthorised transactions.

    If you receive a text message or email stating that your myGov details have been changed, or that you have applied for early release of super when you have not, do not click on any links, and consider whether your identity has been compromised.

    If you think that someone has stolen or misused your identity, contact both:

    • your super fund immediately if you identify unauthorised transactions or updates to your account
    • our Client Identity Support Centre on 1800 467 033 (between 8.00am and 6.00pm, Monday–Friday) to help you establish your tax identity.

    See also:

    Need support

    We're here to help. We can work with you when tough times happen, so you can focus on getting your life back on track.

    Find out more:

    Statistics

    Program report (20 April – 31 December 2020)

    The COVID-19 Early release of super report (20 April – 31 December 2020) shows statistics about applications, from 20 April 2020, when the program opened, to 31 December 2020 when the program closed. It includes:

    To read the report, see:

    Interim report (20 April – 30 June 2020)

    The COVID-19 early release of super interim report includes statistics about interest and uptake of COVID-19 early release of super in the 2019-20 financial year. It includes data on requests and applications by:

    To read the report, see:

      Last modified: 05 Apr 2021QC 62142