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  • Early access on compassionate grounds

    There are very limited circumstances when you can access your superannuation early. You may be allowed to withdraw some of your super on compassionate grounds for unpaid expenses. This is where you have no other means of paying for these expenses.

    The amount of super you can withdraw is limited to what you reasonably need to meet the unpaid expense.

    Compassionate grounds include needing money to pay for:

    • medical treatment and medical transport for you or your dependant
    • making a payment on a home loan or council rates so you don't lose your home
    • modifying your home or vehicle to accommodate your or your dependant's severe disability
    • palliative care for you or your dependant
    • expenses associated with the death, funeral or burial of your dependant.

    The super you withdraw is paid and taxed as a normal super lump sum. The tax rate depends on various factors, including your age and the components of the super lump sum. Your super fund will automatically deduct the tax from your super account. Refer to our How tax applies to your super and Super lump sum tax table for more information.

    If you are a member of an exempt public sector super scheme (EPSSS), do not apply to us. You need to apply directly to your super scheme for early release of super. EPSSS have their own state and territory laws for early release of super. Talk to your super fund to find out if you are a member of an EPSSS.

    Be aware that some advisers claim to offer early access to your super by transferring your super into a self-managed super fund (SMSF). These schemes are illegal and there are heavy penalties if you participate. For more information, refer to Illegal early release of super.

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      Last modified: 07 Jan 2022QC 60034