• Access due to a terminal medical condition

    You may be able to access your super if you have a medical condition likely to result in your death within the next 24 months.

    Two medical practitioners need to certify you have a medical condition likely to result in your death within 24 months. One of the medical practitioners must be a specialist in an area related to your illness or injury. You can provide one certificate signed by both medical practitioners, or you can provide two separate certificates.

    If your fund can make these types of payments, you need to provide them with your certification. Your fund must pay your super to you as a lump sum. The payment is tax-free if you withdraw it within 24 months of certification.

    How to apply

    Contact your super fund to find out if they can make a payment to you due to a terminal medical condition.

    If your super fund does not allow these types of payments, you may be able to roll your super over to a different fund.

    Rolling over your super

    If you're considering moving your super to another fund, do so before providing medical certification to your current fund.

    If you provide certification to your current fund and you meet this condition of release, any super you move between funds is treated as a personal contribution to the new fund and not a rollover. The amount of the personal contribution will count towards your contribution cap. If you go over the cap, you may have to pay extra tax.

    These consequences only apply when you roll over your super benefits during the certification period.

    You can seek independent financial advice to help you decide if you need to transfer your money to a different fund.

    See also:

    Requesting a payment

    There are no set limits on the amount you can withdraw from your super. However, payments are subject to the rules of your super fund.

    Any balance held in or accrued in your super fund account during the certification period may be accessed at any time.

    Once the certification period has ended, any benefits paid from your account may be taxed. If you give your fund new certification, the benefits may be tax-free again.

    Any balance your fund accrues after the certification period ends won't be covered by the original 'terminal medical condition' condition of release. You should talk to your fund about what new certification is required.

    How tax applies

    You don't pay tax on super you withdraw because you have a terminal medical condition regardless of your age or whether it would normally be taxable.

    Your fund does not have to give you a payment summary when they make a tax-free super lump sum payment and you don't need to include the amount on your income tax return.

    Refund of tax paid on super you received before you knew you had a terminal medical condition

    You may be able to get a refund of tax withheld from super payments made to you while you had a terminal medical condition (but before you told your super fund you had it).

    Two medical practitioners need to certify you had the terminal medical condition within 90 days of the earlier super payment being made. One of the medical practitioners must be a specialist in an area related to your illness or injury.

    If you're requesting the refund before the end of the financial year in which the earlier super payment was made, you should request the refund from your super fund.

    If the financial year in which you received the payment has ended, you should apply to us for the refund. We will require:

    • a copy of your medical certification
    • the payment summary from your fund
    • your bank account details (if you want us to pay your refund directly into your account).

    You can also apply to us for a refund of the tax paid if your super fund refuses to pay the refund. You will need to provide evidence your fund has refused to refund the tax they withheld from the payment.

    Send your application to us by:

    • fax to 1300 669 846
    • mail to
      Australian Taxation Office
      PO Box 3100
      PENRITH  NSW  2740
      Last modified: 01 Sep 2016QC 37785