Recently I was asked under what conditions could you access some or all of your superannuation funds before reaching your preservation age.
First a quick reminder, the preservation age is currently 55 but will be increased to 60 on a phased in basis:
For a person ...
Before 1 July 1960 55
1 July 1960 - 30 June 1961 56
1 July 1961 - 30 June 1962 57
1 July 1962 - 30 June 1963 58
1 July 1963 - 30 June 1964 59
After 30 June 1964 60
Before reaching your relevant preservation age you may be able to access your superannuation under one of the following conditions of release:
- Permanent incapacity
- Permanent departure from Australia in limited circumstances
- Severe financial hardship
- Compassionate grounds
- Temporary incapacity
The two conditions that need further explanation are financial hardship and on compassionate grounds.
To be eligible under the financial hardship conditions a person needs to have received, and still be receiving at the time of application Commonwealth income support payments for a continuous period of 26 weeks and the trustee of the fund must be satisfied that the person is unable to meet reasonable and immediate living expenses. The maximum payment is $10,000.
Payments may also be able to be made on compassionate grounds including:
- paying for medical treatment of medical transport for the person or dependant
- enabling the person to make a payment on a loan to prevent foreclosure of a mortgage on the person's principal residence
- paying expenses associated with a dependant's palliative care in the case of impending death.
Updated 17th March 2009