If you meet the government’s strict criteria, you may be able to access some of your super in times of financial hardship or on compassionate grounds.


Financial hardship
Compassionate grounds

You can apply to ElectricSuper for early release of your super if you are in severe financial hardship.

You can apply for one payment of up to $10,000 gross (before tax) in a 12-month period, provided that you:

  • have been receiving a Commonwealth income support payment, continuously, for at least the last 26 weeks, and
  • satisfy the ElectricSuper Trustee that you are not able to meet reasonable and immediate family living expenses.

If you have reached your preservation age plus 39 weeks, you can apply for early release if you:

  • have been receiving a Commonwealth income support payment for a cumulative period of 39 weeks since you reached preservation age, and
  • are unemployed or employed for less than 10 hours per week at the time of your application.

We will need a letter from Centrelink (dated not more than 21 days from the date of your application) confirming that you have been receiving a payment for the necessary number of weeks, along with a completed application form giving us some other details about your situation, and documentary evidence to support your application.

You may also be able to access your super early on compassionate grounds to pay for:

  • medical treatment for you or a dependant
  • medical transport to enable you or a dependant to get necessary treatment
  • changes to your home and/or vehicle which are needed because of severe disability (yours or a dependant’s)
  • palliative care or funeral expenses for you or a dependant
  • mortgage repayments or payment on council rates to prevent your mortgagee from selling your home

You can read more detail about each of these expenses and what is and is not considered to be included under each type of expense on the ATO’s website.

To access your benefit on compassionate grounds, your application must be considered by the Australian Taxation Office (the ATO) before we can make a final decision about releasing your super. You can find more information on the ATO’s website.

The online application form is available through my.Gov.au (go to Super > Manage > Compassionate release of super). A paper-based application form is also available from the ATO website.

There are many factors you need to consider before you access your super. The ATO’s website has a list of things to consider, tax that may apply, what you need to do before applying, eligibility and more information.

If you have questions about completing your application, you can contact the ATO on 13 10 20. They can’t process your application over the phone, but can answer your questions.

How do I apply?

If you would like to apply for early release of part of your ElectricSuper benefits due to financial hardship or on compassionate grounds, please call our Helpline on 1300 307 844 to request the form and find out more information about the supporting evidence you will need to provide.

Further information can also be found on Services Australia website.

Please note that all applications and supporting documentation are to be forwarded to ElectricSuper for assessment (not Services Australia).

Early access to your super

Read more about accessing your super early in our article. It explains a bit more about some of the circumstances that might apply.

My life changes

As your life changes, you may wish to make changes to your options to protect your family and secure your finances. Major life events such as getting married, having a child, taking out a mortgage or turning a milestone age may all be reasons for you to consider your options.

Learn more

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