3 things to think about before accessing your super early

To help people in severe financial difficulty as a result of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the government has made temporary changes to the rules about when you can access your super.  
COVID-19 has had a significant financial impact on many people. From pay cuts and loss of work hours to redundancies and decreased revenue for businesses. The scale of the pandemic means many people are affected in some way or know someone who is.

Changes to accessing your super early mean that, if you are eligible, you can access 2 payments of up to $10,000 (totalling $20,000). This money comes from your own retirement savings.

Before you decide if this is the right choice for you, consider the potential long-term and short-term impacts which reducing your super balance could have, such as reducing your income in retirement. Also consider what other financial relief options are available to you.


3 points to consider to help make an informed decision

If you’re thinking about accessing your super early, consider these 3 key points and make a decision that’s right for your personal circumstances, now and in the future.

1. Explore all the financial relief options available to you 

Accessing your super early is just one option. The government and most banks have a range of other options that might help you manage your finances at this time Take a moment to make sure you’re aware of all your options before you dip into your retirement savings.

For example, over the next 6 months, the Government is temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight (on top of the existing amount). Additionally, many banks are providing different forms of support during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes deferring repayments on loans, such as mortgages and credit cards, for up to 6 months. These initiatives – along with several others – could help, instead of you having to access your super savings.


2. Know the long-term value of $20,000 in your super

The money in your super is invested for long-term growth. So, withdrawing super early reduces your super savings and will impact your retirement balance. This is important to be aware of, so you can consider if this is the right decision for you.

Consider the impact that accessing $10,000 or $20,000 may have on your retirement savings.

AustralianSuper modelling indicates that a 25 year old who withdraws $20,000 could have $64,400 less super by the time they retire.

The potential impact on individuals of withdrawing super early
Age Amount withdrawn Potential reduction in Retirement Balances (in today's dollars)
25 $20,000 $64,400
30 $20,000 $55,800
35 $20,000 $48,400
40 $20,000 $41,900
45 $20,000 $36,400
50  $20,000 $31,500
Source: Estimates by AustralianSuper.

Assumptions: individual ages as specified, retires at 67, withdraws $10,000 this financial year and $10,000 next financial year from their super, long term investment returns of 6.5%pa net of investment fees and taxes. The results are expressed in today’s dollars discount at wage inflation of 3.5%pa. The case study is provided for illustration purposes only and isn’t a representation of the actual benefits that may be received or the fees and costs of a particular financial product. Investment returns are not guaranteed.



3. Your insurance cover may be affected

It’s a good idea to think about how withdrawing money from your super might affect any insurance cover you have with AustralianSuper.

Having the right insurance can provide peace of mind that you’ll have an income when you need it. But, because the cost of your insurance cover is deducted from your super account, to keep your cover you’ll need to leave enough money in your account to continue paying for it. 

Your cover will stop at the end of the day that you don’t have enough money in your account to pay for it. Information on how much you are paying for your insurance, as well as which division you are in can be found in your online account. Different terms and conditions apply to different AustralianSuper insurance divisions

  • To check your division, log in to your account and go: My insurance then Insurance options. Alternatively, you can check your recent statement.
  • To check how much you’re paying for insurance each month log into your account and go to Transactions to find out.



If you’ve never accessed your online account, see below for some guidance. 

Check your Super balance

If you are planning to access some of your super early, be sure to check your super balance to see how much you have. This can be done in your online account, or via the AustralianSuper app.

How to access your online account

You will need to find your member number before you can access your online account. To do that, use our online tool

Once you have your member number you can log in, and also download the free AustralianSuper app  so you can easily access your super details and balance.

Make a confident, informed decision

AustralianSuper always encourages members to make informed decisions about their super. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply for early release of super visit: Coronavirus and accessing super early




The views expressed are those of the interviewee based on their experience and expertise, and not AustralianSuper. This information is general financial advice which doesn’t take into account your personal objectives, situation or needs. Before deciding on AustralianSuper read the Product Disclosure Statement at australiansuper.com. AustralianSuper Pty Ltd ABN 94 006 457 987, AFSL 233788, Trustee of AustralianSuper ABN 65 714 394 898

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