Access your super

Super is considered a long-term investment for your retirement, however you may need to access your super early in special circumstances. Talk to us to find out about the options available. 

Accessing your super early

In some situations you can access your super before preservation age. There are rules and conditions to meet in order to qualify for gaining access to your super early. However, before making an application to withdraw it’s important to consider:

  • withdrawing your super early may impact your income and lifestyle in retirement
  • your withdrawal will be subject to tax (currently 22% in most cases, unless you’re aged between preservation age and 59 years, where the first $200,000 is tax-free and the balance taxed at 17%)
  • other benefits, including Centrelink benefits may be impacted by a payment from your super account.

Before you access your super, AustralianSuper can help you explore the options available. In some circumstances, you may wish to:

  • check to see if you can make an insurance claim. You may have Income Protection cover with AustralianSuper, which may help if you are unable to work due to illness or injury.
  • check if you are eligible for Government payment support
  • talk to an AustralianSuper financial adviser.

When you can access your super early

In some cases you may need to access your super early. Such case may include:
  • Financial hardship

    If you're experiencing financial hardship, you may be able to access your super early. You can apply for one payment up to $10,000 in a 12-month period.

    To be eligible, you need to:
    • have received Commonwealth income support payments for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks
    • be receiving these payments when you make your application and;
    • be unable to meet reasonable and immediate family living expenses.

    If you've reached your preservation age plus 39 weeks, you can apply for a payment of any amount if:

    • you've received Commonwealth income support payments since reaching your preservation age
    • you're unemployed or employed for less than 10 hours a week when you make your application.

    To apply for a payment from your super account call us on 1300 300 273 (8am to 8pm AESR/AEDT weekdays).

  • Compassionate grounds

    If you need to cover costs for you or your dependents, you can apply to the Department of Human Services for early release of your super on compassionate grounds. Such costs may include:

    •  medical expenses (including medical transportation)
    • home loan payments to avoid foreclosure on your mortgage
    • changes to your house or car to accommodate severe disability
    • palliative care or funeral expenses.

    For more information, as well as details on how to apply, visit or call Department of Human Services on 1300 131 060.

  • Temporary resident leaving permanently

    If you're a temporary resident who has earned super while working and living in Australia, you can claim your super through the Australian Taxation Office.
    To receive your super, you must:

    •  have been in Australia on a temporary visa (subclasses 417 – working holiday and 462 – work and holiday)
    •  have already left Australia
    •  be the holder of an expired or cancelled visa.

    You can apply before you leave Australia.
    New Zealand citizens aren’t entitled to access their super early. This is because the Australian and New Zealand Governments have an agreement in place to allow the transfer of super in an Australian fund to the New Zealand superannuation system.

AustralianSuper supports SuperFriend

Created by a group of Industry super funds and group life insurers, SuperFriend brings together the resources of a wide range of health organisations and offers information and advice to members including, simple and effective ways to improve physical and mental wellbeing, detecting the symptoms of common mental and emotional difficulties, and where to go if you need help. 

Learn more

How you can apply

To apply to withdraw your super early, log into your account, or download and complete the form below.

Download APPLICATION for payment of benefit, PDF (142 KB) download insurance guide PDF 4.4MB   

If you’re applying on compassionate grounds, you’ll need to make an application through the Department of Human Services.

You can also call us on 1300 300 273 from 8am to 8pm AEST/AEDT weekdays to have an application form sent out to you. We’ll get back to you once we’ve received and assessed your application.

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