Early release of super

Read more about accessing your super under the COVID-19 early release changes below, and check our FAQs for details.

For general updates about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting your super, visit our COVID-19 hub.

Security lock

Warning – Keep your details and your super safe

Criminals are taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic. Beware of scams related to COVID-19, especially early release of super. If you’re applying for early release of super due to coronavirus, make sure you go directly to the myGov website, contact the ATO directly on 1800 008 540 or visit the ATO website for more information. Read more.

Key facts about the early release of super change

  • If you’re eligible you can withdraw up to $10,000 from your super in the 2020/21 financial year.
     
  • Applications can be made between 1 July 2020 until 24 September 2020 for the 2020/21 financial year.
     
  • Applications need to be made through your myGov account.
     
  • The ATO will advise us if your application is successful within 4 business days. We will then transfer your payment to the bank account you've nominated through myGov as soon as possible.
     
  • Payments are tax-free and won’t affect Centrelink or Veterans' Affairs payments.
     
  • More information can be found in our FAQs below, on the ATO website and at Moneysmart.
     
  • Consider all your options before making any decisions.
     
  • You might like to speak to a financial advisor or financial counsellor.

 

To help people access emergency funds, the government has temporarily changed the rules around accessing super. In a nutshell, if eligible you can access some money from your super now – up to $10,000 between 1 July and 24 September 2020. See our FAQs for more details.

Many members have been asking us if this is a good idea. Super is a long-term savings plan to set you up for a comfortable retirement, giving you an income when you're no longer earning one. While we understand withdrawing some of your super will help if you’re struggling right now, you need to consider the potential impacts of doing this, so you can make an informed decision in your best interests.

Before you do anything, consider the long-term consequences

If you’re 25 years old you could lose up to $95,696* in super savings by the time you retire, if you withdraw $20,000 now. Why? Because your $20,000 invested in super will grow over time, but if you take it out now, you’ll miss out on the compound interest and long-term growth. If you’re 35, it could be $65,868* you miss out on by the time you’re 67. The table below shows the impact on your retirement savings depending on how old you are now.

The difference $20,000 can make to your retirement

Age Starting balance Super taken Difference at retirement
25 $20,000 $20,000 $95,696
30 $40,000 $20,000 $79,393
35 $60,000 $20,000 $65,868
40 $79,000 $20,000 $54,647
45 $95,000 $20,000 $45,338
50 $109,000 $20,000 $37,614

Source: https://www.industrysuper.com/campaigns/coronavirus-and-your-super/ Accessed 07/05/20. * Scenarios modelled by ISA Pty Ltd. See assumptions here.

We understand these are tough times

If you have serious, immediate financial needs and you need money to put food on the table, planning for retirement (that could still be 20 or 30 years away) probably isn’t your top priority right now. We get it. We wholeheartedly support this government initiative for those who need it. It’s important to consider all your options first and what’s best for you, not just for today, but tomorrow too. Our priority is, as always, our members and what’s in their best interests over the long term.

Need money now? You might have more options than you realise

There are several relief measures available to you if you’re experiencing financial difficulty.

Government support and social security:

  • JobSeeker income support payments for those who are unemployed, plus a coronavirus supplement of an extra $550 per fortnight.
     
  • JobKeeper, a wage subsidy where the government supports employers whose businesses have been materially affected by the coronavirus downturn to keep staff employed by paying $1,500 per fortnight per employee. Check with your employer if this is a possibility.
     
  • Economic stimulus payments to eligible households of $750, paid in March and July.

Find out more about government assistance here.
 

Here are some other options:

  • Mortgage holidays: Most banks are offering mortgage pauses for up to six months. Keep in mind interest and fees will most likely still be accrued. Discuss this with your bank.
     
  • Utility providers (gas, electricity and water etc…) may also help by offering payment plans and extensions, depending on your circumstances. You’ll need to speak to your providers individually.
     
  • You could also check with your health insurer if they are offering any financial hardship support.
     
  • Consider selling any unwanted items around the home (keeping in mind social distancing rules).
     
  • Do a mini-budget to work out what you're spending right now. It could be a lot less than usual.

Make sure you consider all your options. This pandemic might last a few months, and its effects even a year, but hopefully you’ll get to enjoy your retirement for a few decades.

What else to consider

  • How you could build your retirement savings back up later: While you might need the money right now, you could consider contributing extra money into your super once you start working again and get back on your feet. That way you can continue to grow your super and make up for any amount you withdraw now. Also consider, if you’re 40 years old and you add an additional $20,000 to your super, this could result in $54,647* more super by the time you reach 67.
  • Your death, TPD and income protection insurance cover: Consider how taking out some or all of your super may affect your insurance cover (if applicable). If you want to keep your cover, you’ll need to ensure that your account stays open and you’ll have enough money remaining in your account to pay your insurance fees. You can check how much cover you have in MemberOnline or by contacting us. Read more about how your cover may be affected on our Covid-19 hub

 

Scams via SMS, email and phone
There are reports of callers pretending to be from the ATO, ASIC or myGov trying to steal your personal details and your super. Beware of anyone who calls and offers to help you set up your myGov account or access your super. If someone calls and says they are from a government department like myGov or the ATO, or a financial institution like us or your bank, hang up and call the organisation directly on the number you find independently on their official website or your last statement.

We’ll contact you if you’ve asked for a call from us or been in contact with us to submit a request. However, if you receive a cold call from someone claiming to be from CareSuper, ask for their details and let them know you’ll call back to confirm their identity. Then call us on 1300 360 149.

Messages and emails that look legitimate but aren’t, have also been circulating. Don’t click on any links or attachments sent via SMS or email and don’t provide your personal details In a recent example, scammers used fake Coles and Woolworths messages to offer free vouchers if you provided your details. If in doubt, contact the organisation directly via their official website or phone number.

Check your myGov account to see if any unexpected applications for early release of super or financial relief have been made fraudulently on your behalf. Also check your contact details have not been changed (by someone else). Remember, if you receive any notification about an early release application that you have not made, contact us immediately.

We’re here to help

As you can imagine, we’re receiving a high volume of calls and emails right now. We appreciate your patience. To help you as much as we can, we’ve prepared answers to FAQs about accessing your super below. Other COVID-19 related FAQs can also be found on our COVID-19 hub.

Eligibility
What’s the change to early access of super?

Recognising the significant financial impact of COVID-19 on individuals, the Federal Government has made a temporary change to early release conditions of super.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties as a result of COVID-19 you may be eligible to access up to $10,000 of your super in 2019/20 and a further $10,000 in 2020/21. Check the ATO website and read through the FAQ’s below for more information.

Am I eligible to claim for early release of some of my super?

To apply for early release of your super, one or more of the below eligibility criteria needs to apply to you:

  • you’re unemployed; or
  • you’re eligible to receive a JobSeeker payment, Youth Allowance for job seekers (unless you are undertaking full time study or are a new apprentice), Parenting Payment (which includes the single and partnered payments), Special Benefit or Farm Household Allowance; or
  • on or after 1 January 2020:  you were made redundant; or your working hours were reduced by 20 per cent or more (including to zero); or if you are a sole trader — your business was suspended, or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20 per cent or more (partners in a partnership are not eligible unless the partner satisfies any other of the eligibility).

Temporary residents are not eligible to apply in the 2020/21 financial year.

For more information visit the ATO website.

If none of these criteria apply to you, you might be eligible under other existing provisions. For more information visit accessing your super.

I'm a temporary resident. Do I need to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident to claim under this option?

The ATO has confirmed that temporary residents are not eligible to apply in the 2020/21 financial year.

Australian citizens and permanent residents are eligible to apply for the scheme.  

New Zealand citizens who have super in Australia are also eligible.

 

 

Is the ATO applying penalties for ineligible applications?

Yes. Don’t risk penalties – the ATO’s cracking down.

The ATO has announced how it will be detecting ineligible applications, and the penalties that will apply to anyone who deliberately exploits the system. Make sure you're eligible

Applying for a payment
How do I apply?

If you’re eligible you’ll need to apply directly to the ATO through the myGov website. The ATO will also allow you to make a request over the phone if you can’t apply online.  

You’ll need to certify that you meet the above eligibility criteria. Once the ATO has processed your application, they will notify you of the outcome. The ATO will then instruct us to release your payment.

The government will be enforcing penalties for fraudulent applications.

When can I apply to access my super early?

You can now apply to access your super  via your myGov account. Applications for the 2020/21 financial year are open until 24 September 2020.

What do I need to provide to you?

The ATO will notify us directly within 24-48 hours if your application is successful and if you’re eligible for the payment.

You won’t need to provide us with any other details. Once your application is approved, we’ll deposit your payment directly into your bank account as soon as possible.

How long will the process take?

The ATO is aiming to reach a decision on applications within 4 business days. Once the ATO has reached a determination, they will notify you in your myGov inbox and may also send you a text message. They'll also let CareSuper know to make your payment.

CareSuper will then aim to process the payment within 5 business days. It may take a little longer to appear in your bank account, depending on your financial institutions processing times.  

Why is my account balance in myGov different to my account balance in MemberOnline?

The balance shown in MemberOnline is the best indication of your account balance with CareSuper. The ATO’s data is typically showing your account balance as at early April 2020, and the value of your account will have changed daily since then. We’ve explained more about how current market volatility is affecting our members’ account balances on our COVID-19 hub.

What is CareSuper’s ABN?

You’ll need the CareSuper fund ABN for your application. It’s 98 172 275 725. If you need our USI, it's CAR0100AU. There’s more information on our ID numbers page.

What if my super balance is less than $10,000?

We can only pay you money you have in your CareSuper account. Check your account balance online so you know how much super you have with us. If you have an account with another fund(s), and your CareSuper balance isn’t enough to cover what you need, you can elect for up to five of your other fund(s) to pay you too. This must be done in one application.  

It’s important to keep in mind that if you have insurance with us and you apply for your full account balance, we’ll close your account and you’ll lose any insurance cover you have with CareSuper.

What’s the difference between early release types?

The new early access to super payment announced as part of the Government’s response to COVID-19 is in addition to existing early release options such as severe financial hardship and compassionate grounds. You may be eligible to claim under more than one release type but will need to separately meet the eligibility criteria of each.

For more information on other release options, visit accessing your super.

Can I claim a smaller amount now, then more later (in the current financial year) if I’m unsure how long my work will be affected?

You will be limited to a single claim in the 2020/21 financial year. Applications can be made from 1 July 2020 until 24 September 2020 for the current financial year.

What happens if someone makes a false declaration?

The ATO will be verifying all applications against government databases to make sure they’re accurate.

Any false applications will be identified (even after the fact), and penalties will apply to anyone who makes a fraudulent request.

Can I apply to access money from my lost or unclaimed super held at the ATO?

No. You can only apply to access money held by a super fund – not lost or unclaimed super held by the ATO. If you have any questions about lost super, contact the ATO. Learn  more about how to find and consolidate your super into CareSuper.

Can my withdrawal be paid from my investments in the Direct Investment option (DIO)?

No. We can only pay your withdrawal from the non-DIO part of your account. If there’s not enough money in your non-DIO investments to fund your payment and you want to proceed with your withdrawal, you’ll need to decide which of your DIO investments to sell down and transfer to non-DIO assets to make up the difference.

Selling your investments and allowing time for trades to settle will delay your payment, as we cannot pay you until this process is complete.

If you’re applying to access your super and you’re invested in the DIO, you need to check if you have enough funds in your non-DIO investments. View your latest balance by logging in to MemberOnline then click through to your DIO account from ‘My investments’.

If you need to close your DIO account, the Exiting the Direct Investment option fact sheet outlines the steps you’ll need to follow.

Once you’ve applied to the ATO
The ATO has approved my request. When will CareSuper be making my payment?

Once the ATO has notified you that they’ve approved your application to access your super, CareSuper will process your payment as quickly as we can. We’re aiming to make your payment within five business days.  It may take longer to reach your bank account depending on your bank.

You don’t need to do anything or contact us – we’ll be paying your withdrawal into the bank account you provided to the ATO. If we encounter any issues while trying to pay you, we will be in contact with you directly.

Once we’ve processed your payment, we’ll send you written confirmation. You’ll be able to view the withdrawal and your updated account balance in MemberOnline. If you’re withdrawing your full account balance, we’ll let you know when we close your account.

Which bank account is my payment being made to?

We’ll be paying your withdrawal into the bank account you provided to the ATO. If you made a mistake and need to change your bank details, please contact us immediately. We’ll need you to provide additional documentation before we can update your bank account, which will delay your payment.

Can I reduce my payment amount?

If you would like to reduce the amount you requested, call us on 1300 360 149. We may be able to help you depending on the stage your application is at.

I want to cancel my original request to the ATO. How can I do that?

Depending on where your application is at you may be able to cancel your payment. Please call us on 1300 360 149 as soon as you can. Please note you will not be able to make another request this financial year if you cancel your ATO approved payment.

Why is my payment amount different to the amount I requested?

If you’ve received less than you requested, it could be because your account balance with us was less than the amount you asked for. We can only pay you the money in your account right now. If you still have an account with us, you can check your latest balance in MemberOnline.

I received a notification from the ATO that my payment has been approved – but I didn’t request a payment. What should I do?

If you did not make a request to the ATO to access your super, call us on 1300 360 149 immediately and contact the ATO to advise your myGov account may have been compromised.

Can I apply to the ATO for another payment?

You can only request one payment each financial year. 

Which investment option will my payment be made from?

We’ll make your payment in proportion from your existing investment options. If you’re only invested in one option, your entire payment will come from that option. This does not include any investment in the Direct Investment option.

If you’re invested in two options, we’ll take money from those options in the same proportion that you hold them. So if you have 60% of your super in the Balanced option, and 40% in the Fixed Interest option, we’ll draw 60% of your payment from the Balanced option and 40% from the Fixed Interest option.

General questions
Should I apply for early release of my super?

Accessing your super early is a big decision, and it’s one you don’t have to make on your own. If you want a hand to figure out whether you’ll need to access your super, how much to take and the best time to make another withdrawal, speaking to a Financial Planner can help.

Financial advice over the phone is included as part of your membership, at no extra cost.* Find out more and book a callback

Taking money out of super now might affect how much you end up with when you retire. It’s also important to keep in mind that if you have insurance with us and you apply for your full account balance, we’ll close your account and you’ll lose any insurance cover you have with CareSuper.

*Financial advice obtained over the phone or through MemberOnline is provided by Mercer Financial Advice (Australia) Pty Ltd (MFAAPL) ABN 76 153 168 293, Australian Financial Services Licence #411766

Where can I find more information?

The ATO website has all the details. We’ll also continue to update this page with more information as it becomes available.

If I find I don’t need all the funds I accessed early, can I contribute the excess back? Would this impact contribution caps?

Contributions back to your super account would be subject to current contribution caps.

I want to access my super early. Will CareSuper have the money available?

CareSuper’s investment portfolios have strong cash holdings and we have been cash-positive throughout the current market volatility. We can assure you your money will be there when you need it. We’ve explained more about how we’re managing liquidity on our COVID-19 hub.

Will CareSuper charge me any fees to access my super?

CareSuper doesn’t charge any fees for members who are withdrawing money from their account. Find out more about what it costs to be a CareSuper member

Will I pay any tax on the claim?

The Federal Government announced tax will not apply to the temporary early release payment type.