Understand how a retrenchment payout works and what to do next.

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Information provided in this video current as at November 2014. This material is of a general nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, situation or needs. Before making a decision about AustralianSuper, consider your financial requirements and read our Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), available at or by calling 1300 300 273. Investment returns are not guaranteed as all investments carry some risk. Past performance gives no indication of future returns.

Video transcript

AustralianSuper. Retrenchment. Being retrenched is a difficult time. Along with all the emotional stress, there are some key financial decisions you need to make. Here are some common Q and As to help you...
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Number 1: What payout can I expect if I'm retrenched? Typically, your payout is made up of three amounts, any annual leave you haven't taken, any long service leave you've accrued, and a retrenchment payout. But not everyone gets one. Generally, you won't get a payout if you're a casual employee, you're an apprentice, you've been with your employer less than 12 months, your employer has fewer than 15 employees, you're employed for a specified period of time or season or for a specific task. Sadly, if your employer goes bankrupt, you may miss out on some of your entitlements, too.

Number 2: How does a retrenchment impact my AustralianSuper account? Being retrenched doesn't mean you need to change Super funds. When you start work again, simply give your AustralianSuper details to your new employer. Insurance cover will continue for most AustralianSuper members for at least 13 months after your last employer contribution. For more information, read "Helping you with retrenchment."

Number 3: How should I manage my budget? You probably have a rough idea of where your salary goes each month. Once you know your payout figure, it's useful to create a more precise budget and work out how long your basic living expenses will be covered. Generally, if you receive a retrenchment payment, you'll have to wait the time that your retrenchment payment covers before you can get government income support. You may need to cut back on some expenses to stretch your dollar a little further. If you think you're going to struggle meeting your mortgage payments, talk to your bank as soon as possible. They may be able to help.

Number 4: Can I access my Super if I need to? In a few circumstances, you may be able to access your Super. In situations of severe financial hardship or on compassionate grounds, such as when you're in need of serious medical treatment. Remember, your Super is there to support you once you retire, so make sure you get some professional financial advice before accessing it early.

Number 5: Where do I go for help? Make sure you get support from family and friends during this period. Use your network to extend the reach of your job searching. If you're feeling depressed, it's important to talk to someone. Organizations like Super Friend and Beyond Blue are for counselling services. You'll find more help and detailed information in our guide, "Helping you with retrenchment."

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