Financial hardship

We understand that life can be hard. Really hard. And it's during these times that you need support the most.

Usually, you can’t access your super until you have reached preservation age and retired, or turn 65. However, if you are experiencing high levels of debt and needing financial help, you may be able to access some of your super early.

When you access your super early on grounds of financial hardship it will depend on being able to meet specific criteria. It’s important to understand how it works before you start your application.

Access your super early due to financial hardship

How you access your super on grounds of severe financial hardship depends on whether you have reached your preservation age.

Under the preservation age

If you're under the preservation age and have been receiving eligible Commonwealth income support payment continuously for 26 weeks, and you are unable to meet reasonable and immediate family living expenses, then you may access your super early.

Reached your preservation age 

There are no cashing restrictions if you have reached your preservation age, plus received commonwealth income support continuously for 39 weeks, and you are not currently gainfully employed.

Access your super early on compassionate grounds

If you’re not eligible for release of your super on severe financial hardship grounds, you may be eligible to apply to the ATO for early release under compassionate grounds. If you need assistance to cover to cost of:

  • Medical treatment and medical transport for you or a dependant
  • Palliative care for you or a dependant
  • Making a payment on a loan or council rates so you don’t lose your house
  • Modifying your home or vehicle, or buying disability aids for you or a dependant because of severe disability 
  • Expenses associated with a death, funeral or burial for a dependant. 

You will need to apply directly and be approved by the ATO first, then contact us for an early release withdrawal form. 

Successful ATO applications

If your application is successful, the ATO will notify REI Super. For us to release your super funds, you will need to complete the following:

  • REI Super withdrawal form, and attach
  • Include a copy of your ATO approval letter
  • A bank statement showing account name and bank BSB and account number
  • An original Certified ID copy

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

From April 2020, new rules introduced by the government will allow eligible individuals under financial stress due to the Coronavirus to access up to $10,000 of their super this financial year (2019-20) and a further $10,000 next financial year (2020-21). The ATO assesses and approves these applications via the myGov website. 

Call our helpline on 1300 13 44 33 for any assistance. We’re here to support you through the application process, answer any questions or assist if you just want the rules explained.