Superannuation is generally preserved until retirement. However, in certain limited circumstances you may be eligible to apply to your fund for early release.
This is usually due to:
|Severe Financial Hardship
||Departed Temporary Resident
|Specified Compassionate Grounds
|Small Account Balance (under $200)
An 'unrestricted, non-preserved' component of superannuation balances may?be accessible regardless of your working status.
To claim your super as a result of severe financial hardship, you will need to have been receiving Commonwealth income support payments (Centrelink) for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks. You will then need to prove to your fund through supporting documentation that your everyday living expenses exceed your income.
If you are eligible, please be aware that the fund will withhold 21.5% tax from the taxable component of your benefit and that you cannot claim more than $10,000 in any 12 month period.
The Department of Human Services (DHS) is responsible for assessing applications on compassionate grounds for early release of superannuation. For your application to be successful, you must meet specific eligibility criteria. You must also be able to demonstrate that you do not have the financial capacity to meet the costs associated with your claim.
For more information on Specified Compassionate grounds visit the DHS website at www.humanservices.gov.au
Temporary residents can access preserved monies in some (but not all) of circumstances upon permanently departing Australia after the expiry or cancellation of their temporary resident visa.
Holders of temporary resident visas should also note that their superannuation benefits may be classified as unclaimed money that must be transferred to the Tax Office, if not claimed within a prescribed period after departing Australia.