COVID-19: Should you access your super early?
9 September 2020
If you’re experiencing financial difficulty due to COVID-19, you may be eligible to access up to $10,000 from your superannuation fund early. See ‘Eligibility for early super access’ below for details, including conditions.
Withdrawing your super early may provide necessary financial relief. However, doing so could also impact your retirement savings and any insurance cover you have through your super account. You might find it useful to weigh up the pros and cons of this support payment, or to speak with a qualified financial adviser, before applying to see if it’s the best option for you.
Consider the potential consequences of withdrawing super early
If you’re thinking about accessing your super early, consider the impact it could have on your retirement savings. Not only may taking money out now affect your super balance at retirement, but you could also lock in the current losses the market has seen during COVID-19 and potentially miss out when it rebounds.
We have a helpful tool designed to estimate the possible impact of withdrawing money early from your super on your retirement savings. Please note that it gives an indicative projected outcome only, based on several assumptions, some of which may not apply to your personal circumstances.
Consider speaking to a financial adviser before making any decisions.
According to Moneysmart, over 70% of Aussies’ life insurance cover is provided through their super1.
Depending on the super product you have, it may provide you with life and total permanent disability insurance and/or income protection insurance cover. If this is the case, and you access your super early, you risk having your insurance cancelled if your super account is either completely withdrawn or your balance falls below $6,000.
If you’re unsure about whether this applies to you, be sure to read your super disclosure documents or get in touch with your superannuation provider. You may find it useful to call them about your situation if you have any questions about your super account, such as your current account balance
Eligibility for early super access
If you’re a citizen or permanent resident of Australia or New Zealand and you’ve been affected financially by the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be able to access your super early. To be eligible, you must meet one or more of the following criteria:
- You’re currently unemployed.
- You’re eligible for a government support payment under the Social Security Act2.
- On, or after, 1 January 2020 you were made redundant or had your hours reduced by 20 per cent or more; or, as a sole trader, you had to suspend your business, or your turnover reduced by 20 per cent or more.
For more information, take a look at our fact sheet.
How much super can I apply to access?
Eligible citizens and permanent residents of Australia or New Zealand can apply for up to $10,000 from 1 July to 31 December 2020 for the 2020-21 financial year.
Only one application can be made. Temporary residents are not eligible to apply in the 2020-21 financial year.
Apply online to the ATO
If accessing your super early due to COVID-19 is right for you, you’ll need to apply directly to the ATO via my.gov.au. After your application has been processed by the ATO, it will issue you with the outcome and let your super fund know to release the payment if approved. The ATO will also confirm the total to be released, which could be different to the amount you applied for.
Possible alternatives to early super access
The Australian Government announced extra financial measures to support our community. Before you apply to access your super early, you may find it useful to consider whether you’re eligible for the Coronavirus Supplement or the JobKeeper Payment.
Please note there may be visa restrictions on certain payments.
How Suncorp Bank can support you
If you’re a Suncorp Bank customer currently experiencing financial difficulty due to COVID-19, get in touch today. Support options are available for eligible customers upon application and may include deferring principal or interest repayments on loans (interest will be capitalised) or modifying loan repayments if you’re in advance.
- How to build an emergency fund
- How to budget and save money on a low income
- The FIRE movement – Financial Independence Retire Early
2 The following qualify as a government support payment for this purpose: Jobseeker, parenting, special benefits, the youth allowance (other than if you are in full-time study or a new apprentice) or the farm household allowance.
Suncorp super products and this information are issued by Suncorp Portfolio Services Limited ABN 61 063 427 958, AFSL 237905, RSE Licence No L0002059 (SPSL) as trustee of the Suncorp Master Trust ABN 98 350 952 022, RSE Fund Registration No. R1056655. SPSL is a related body corporate of Suncorp Group Limited ABN 66 145 290 124. This is general information only and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision whether to acquire or continue to hold a super product including any Suncorp super product, you should consider whether this information is appropriate for you and you should read the relevant disclosure documents like the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and speak to your financial adviser. Suncorp super disclosure documents, including the product disclosure statement and product guide, are available at www.suncorp.com.au/super. The different entities of the Suncorp Group are not responsible for, or liable in respect of, products and services provided by other Suncorp Group entities. Suncorp super products are not bank deposits or other bank liabilities and are subject to investment risk including possible delays in repayment and loss of the interest and principal invested.
Bank products are issued by Suncorp-Metway Limited (Suncorp Bank) ABN 66 010 831 722. Terms, conditions and eligibility criteria apply to bank products and to our financial support options and are available on request.