If you run into financial difficulties, there are some situations when you can access part of your superannuation to help meet immediate financial needs. These situations include:
You will need to provide evidence to support a claim for these reasons. To apply under financial hardship, you will also need to complete an ADF Super Early release - Financial Hardship form. To apply under specified compassionate grounds, you will need to complete an ADF Super Early release - Compassionate Grounds form.
Because the aim of superannuation is to help you save for retirement, Australian government legislation restricts your access to superannuation before retirement.
The maximum amount that can be paid to you is $10,000 (before tax). Only one payment can be approved and paid to you in any 12-month period.
You can apply to access your super on grounds of severe financial hardship if you:
You must also prove that you are in financial hardship. This means you are unable to meet your reasonable and immediate family living expenses. You need to provide evidence of bills or expenses.
You will not be eligible for early access to your super if:
Any assets should be valued at their resale value, not their replacement value. For example, if you sell your car the value is the likely sale price (market value), not the cost to buy a new or similar car.
Income support payments must be made by Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Eligible payment types include:
Payments that are not eligible include Family Allowance, Austudy, and Youth Allowance payments in relation to full-time study.
Reason for early release of super
How expense is treated
Personal loans from family and friends
Release will not be granted unless you provide both:
Credit cards and other loans
Release of enough money (up to $10,000 gross limit) may be granted to reduce an outstanding credit card balance, providing it is the first release of this purpose.
All information you provide will be assessed for payment, if the trustee (Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation) decides to accept the information submitted.
If there was a previous release for credit cards or other financial institution loans, only the minimum amount outstanding for the monthly payment due at the date you applied for the release can be granted.
Copies of your last three credit card or loan statements must be included with your application. (All information must be assessed, so do not use blackout pens.)
Release for utility expenses such as gas, water and electricity bills will generally be granted if it covers amounts due at the date of your release application and is dated within the past two months. (You must provide copies of your outstanding bills.)
With sufficient documentary evidence, the following expenses will also generally be granted:
Motor vehicle purchases and repairs
Release for the purchase of a motor vehicle will only be granted in exceptional circumstances (e.g. you live in a remote area and rely on a vehicle for transport). Release for motor vehicle repairs may be granted if they are to make the vehicle roadworthy. You will need to provide a quote on business letterhead if applying on these grounds. Please also provide a statutory declaration stating why the repair work is essential.
Release for continuing educational expenses for yourself or your immediate family may be granted where these expenses are due and payable in the near future or at the date you apply (please note that you can only be granted one release to pay private school fees). University fees are generally not accepted as these are covered by HECS.
Releases will only be granted for necessary and outstanding medical bills where documentary evidence is provided. For urgent medical treatment to be undertaken in the near future you should supply an estimate of the cost involved from your medical practitioner, as well as a letter stating the urgency of your medical situation.
Note: For substantial medical costs, contact DHS to authorise the release of super amounts over $10,000.
Releases will only be granted to cover minimum outstanding mortgage payments.
Note: If you are in danger of foreclosure on your mortgage, contact DHS.
Establishing a household
Releases may be granted to cover the cost of establishing a household. All claims will be assessed on a case-by-case basis taking into account the circumstances of the individual. A statutory declaration must be supplied that states the exact items needed and the reason why each item is needed. (Items are limited to essential household items only and cost limits may apply depending on the exact item.) Reasonable priced quotes from a minimum of two retail suppliers must be provided, including a quote from a secondhand dealer. Generally, the delegate would only consider releasing an amount to purchase essential household items on one occasion. You can also provide a letter from your real estate agent or landlord that details the bond and rent you must pay.
General shortfall in living expenses
Releases will not be granted to cover a general shortfall between your income and expenses. (Releases can only be approved to cover specific outstanding expenses.)
Releases will not be granted to cover the cost of discretionary items such as televisions, music systems, computers, internet access, DVD players, dishwashers or similar.
If you don't qualify on grounds of severe financial hardship, you may be able to apply to the Department of Human Services (DHS) for access to your super on specified compassionate grounds.
The specified compassionate grounds allow you to access superannuation to:
Information on how to apply is available on the Department of Human Services website.
If DHS approves your application, you then need to submit your approval to ADF Super along with an ADF Super early access to superannuation benefit on compassionate grounds form.
As well as financial hardship and specified compassionate grounds, you can access super early if:
To make a claim, you need to complete and submit an ADF Super Early release - Financial Hardship form, together with information to support your claim including:
Check the form for details of the supporting documentation required.
Your claim will be assessed against relevant guidelines. If approved, ADF Super will then determine how much of your super will be released.
If you have ADF Cover, check whether you are entitled to any invalidity payments.
Contact ADF Cover.