Early access to your super

Early access to your super

If you need to make an early withdrawal from your super fund, here’s everything you need to know.

Know the risks

Accessing your super early can impact several factors. However, sometimes the unexpected happens and you might need access to your funds. And when that happens, we’ll be right there with you.

To unlock your super funds, you should find out if you meet the eligibility criteria:

Severe financial hardship

Eligibility: you can apply for one financial hardship payment from $1,000 to $10,000 in a year if:

  • You can provide evidence that you’re unable to meet reasonable and immediate living expenses. This does not include loans to friends or family members.

  • You haven’t received a financial hardship payment in the past year (from any super fund).

  • You have been receiving a specific Commonwealth Income Support payment for at least 26 weeks in a row, or 39 weeks in a row if you have met preservation age

Things to consider:

  • You can only make one withdrawal every 12 months.

  • You need to leave at least $1,000 in your account if you want to keep it open after withdrawing

  • To keep any insurance cover through your super, you need to have enough money left in your super account to pay for future premiums1

  • Temporary residents in Australia are not eligible to apply for financial hardship.

  • To apply for financial hardship, contact us on 1800 060 215.

Compassionate grounds

Eligibility: you can apply to access your super on ‘compassionate grounds’ if you need help paying for the following:

  • medical expenses for yourself or your dependents

  • home or vehicle modifications if you or your dependents experience a severe disability

  • partial payment of a home loan on your principal place of residence to prevent foreclosure on the loan

  • medical transport for yourself or your dependents

  • palliative care for yourself or your dependents

  • funeral costs for a dependent

You must have no other way to pay for these expenses.

Things to consider:

  • To maintain your insurance cover, you’ll need to leave enough money in your super account to pay for it. Learn more about your insurance options.

To apply for a payment under compassionate grounds, you will need to contact the ATO. Learn more here.

Terminal Illness or Permanent Incapacity

Eligibility: if you’ve been diagnosed with a terminal illness or have a condition that is likely to stop you from being able to work ever again, you may be able to claim some or all of your super. There are no set limits on the amount you can withdraw.

To discuss your options, contact us on 1800 060 215.

Permanently leaving Australia

For temporary residents who earned super whilst working and living in Australia, you can apply to take your super with you when you leave. To have your super paid out as a Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP), you need to:

  • have been paid super in Australia whilst on a temporary Visa (including a working holiday)

  • have already left Australia

  • be the holder of an expired or cancelled visa

Things to consider:

  • you need to make your claim within six months of leaving Australia

  • if you were on a 417 or 462 Visa, super you access as a DASP will be taxed 65%.

  • Australian citizens, permanent residents and New Zealand citizens are not eligible for the DASP.

To apply for a DASP, head over to the  ATO website.

First Home Super Saver Scheme

Eligibility: you could own your first home sooner than you think! The First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS) allows people who have never owned a property to save money by making extra contributions (up to $15,000 per year) into super. Then, that money is withdrawn and used as a deposit on your first home. You may be eligible to apply for the FHSSS if:

  • you are 18 and over

  • have never owned property in Australia

  • you intend to live in the place you’re buying for at least six months in the first year

  • haven’t requested this before

Things to consider:

  • The maximum amount you can contribute and withdraw across all years is $50,000.

Learn more

Australian citizens and permanent residents heading overseas remain subject to the same rules as those living in Australia, even if they leave Australia permanently. This means they can't access their super until they reach preservation age and meet the retirement criteria for accessing super. However, individuals permanently moving New Zealand may be eligible to transfer their super to a KiwiSaver. For more information, see the Claiming super when you leave Australia fact sheet. For information on transferring to a KiwiSaver see the Transfer your account to your KiwiSaver form.


In some circumstances insurance cover can cease if no contributions are made to your super account for 16 months.

Page last updated 1 December 2023