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Early access to super due to COVID-19

Written by:

Brett Morgan

20 October 2020


The Government has recently implemented some temporary changes to the way that individuals can access their super, granting early access to some individuals in response to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Please refer to this Government fact sheet for the most accurate information, and read the following information carefully.

Future Super recommends seeking financial advice, if you are able to, before applying for early release of your super. This will help you make an informed choice that takes into account your personal financial situation. Please also be aware that the National Debt Helpline is a free resource available to those who need it.

In line with these changes, eligible individuals will be able to apply online through the ATO's online portal via myGov to access up to $10,000 of their super before 1 July 2020.

Additionally, they will also be able to apply to access up to a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 until 31 December 2020.

Am I eligible?

To apply for an early release, a citizen or permanent resident of Australia or New Zealand must satisfy any one or more of the following requirements:

  • You are unemployed, or;

  • You are eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for job seekers (unless you are undertaking full-time study or are a new apprentice), parenting payment (which includes the single and partnered payments), special benefit or farm household allowance, or;

  • On or after 1 January 2020, you were made redundant, or your working hours were reduced by 20% or more (including a 100% reduction); or if you are a sole trader, your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20% or more

To apply for an early release, a temporary resident of Australia must satisfy one of the following requirements:

  • You hold a student visa that you have held for 12-months or more and you are unable to meet immediate living expenses; or

  • You are a temporary skilled work visa holder, your working hours have reduced to zero and you remain engaged with your employer; or

  • You are a temporary resident visa holder (excluding student or skilled worker visas) and you cannot meet immediate living expenses.

Are there any tax or Centrelink implications?

No–people accessing their super will pay no tax on amounts released and the money they withdraw will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.

When can I apply?

Applications opened on Monday 20 April, 2020, through myGov. Please refer to the ATO website for more information on this.

How do I apply?

Individuals are able to make an application through the ATO online portal via the myGov website.

The online form on myGov will display all of your superannuation accounts that have been reported to the ATO. You can request the release of your super from multiple super accounts (up to 5 accounts in total). For example, if you want to receive a total of $10,000 you can request $5,000 from one fund and a second $5,000 from another fund. This must be done within one application form.

You can request to have an amount of less than $10,000 released but remember that you can only submit one application in each financial year.

Before applications open on 20 April, you can perform these steps:

  • Set up your myGov account and link it to the ATO;

  • Have your bank account information available–you will need this to complete your application; and

  • Check your super balance to ensure that there is sufficient money in your account for you to claim.

Please note: applications cannot be made through Future Super. Applications can only be made through, and will be solely assessed by, the ATO.

The ATO will consider an individual's eligibility for payment and issue a determination to the individual and to their super fund. Payment will be processed following the ATO's approval of your application. Future Super is not responsible for evaluating your eligibility to receive these early release payments. Further to this, we are only able to release your super in line with what the ATO has told us to release.

**When can I expect to be paid? **

Timeframes may vary, but once an application has been approved by the ATO, we are required to make the payment within 5 business days. However, please allow 7-10 business days for your funds to be received. This includes an allowance for your payment to be processed through the banking system. We are trying to process these payments as quickly as we can, and kindly ask for your patience while we work through them.

Please note: on occasion, we may require further information from you in order to release the funds. In this case, it may take a little longer than stated above to receive your funds.

Does the myGov website show my actual Future Super balance?

Your myGov account may show your super account balance as at 30 June 2019, as super funds are only required to report balances to the ATO once a year.

For an up to date account balance, please log into your Future Super online member portal.

Can I access my super for a dependant?

No. If a dependant is financially affected by COVD-19 and is seeking financial assistance, they may apply through the ATO themselves.

Why should I seek financial advice?

Your super is invested in a number of markets. The economic climate in the past month has been highly volatile on account of the COVID-19 outbreak, and the superannuation industry has seen losses as a result. Withdrawing your super at this time could potentially crystallise any losses to your super, so you may want to seek financial advice before considering this pathway, as everyone has different personal financial circumstances.

Withdrawing your super could also lead to the cancellation of any insurance cover that you may hold. For example, withdrawing the full balance of your account (or making a withdrawal that does not leave enough in your account to cover your insurance premiums) will cancel your cover. In order to maintain insurance cover with Future Super, you must have enough money in your account to cover the payment of monthly insurance premiums.

Lastly, the Government has announced a series of other measures to provide financial assistance to individuals and businesses during this crisis, such as increasing the value of income support payments and introducing new criteria for eligibility for such payments. Please refer to the Department of the Treasury website and the ATO website for further information.

Be aware of scams

Early access of your super is a free government service to help and support you during the impacts of COVID-19. Be aware of scams and schemes asking you to pay to release your super.

If you receive a phone call, text message or email offering to help you release your super early, do not:

  • Provide your personal information;

  • Click on any links; or

  • Share your myGov login details.

Getting in touch with us

We are currently experiencing a high volume of inquiries regarding these changes to the early access of super. If you have any urgent questions, please get in contact via email at Please also be patient with our Member Advocacy team, who are working their hardest to ensure that all of your enquiries are answered. This blog post contains general information only and does not take into account any person’s financial objectives, situation or needs. We recommend that you seek professional financial advice tailored to your own personal circumstances before taking any financial action. You should read the Product Disclosure Statement, Additional Information Booklet, Insurance Guide and Financial Services Guide before making any financial decisions regarding the Future Super super fund.

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