How to Access Your Australian Super Early

If you’re suffering financial hardship as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, you may be able to access super early.

Experts warn that accessing a portion of your superannuation early may leave you with less in your final retirement pot; however, if you’ve lost your job or had your hours reduced at work, you may be able to withdraw up to $10,000 before 30 June 2020.

Temporary visa holders currently in Australia are not entitled to the Government’s JobSeeker and JobKeeper payments, so early withdrawal of super may be the only option if you’re struggling financially.

Eligibility for early super withdrawal

It’s important to note that eligibility criteria is different for temporary visa holders compared to Australian citizens, permanent residents and New Zealand citizens.

Temporary residents may be eligible to access up to $10,000 during this financial year.

You may be eligible, if you meet one of more of these requirements:

  • You’ve been on a student visa for more than 12 months and you’re unable to meet your living costs
  • You hold a temporary skilled visa, your hours have been reduced to zero, but you remain employed
  • You’re a temporary visa holder (not student or skilled) and you can’t afford your living expenses

Apply for early release of super

You can apply for early release of up to $10,000 of your superannuation via the myGov website.

You’ll be asked for your bank account details and you’ll receive a letter of approval a few days later. Once approved, the funds will be deposited into your nominated account by your super provider.

Multiple accounts

You can request to release funds from multiple super accounts, if you have more than one. You’ll find a section dedicated to this on the application form.

Other support for temporary residents

It was announced earlier this month (15 April 2020) that the Red Cross will receive Government funding for the next six months to deliver emergency relief and support to migrants in difficulty.

The funds won’t be used for regular ‘income support’ payments, but help is on offer to eligible visa holders in need of urgent funds for essentials such as food, medicine and accommodation.

If you think you might be eligible for assistance, email the Red Cross directly.  Due to social distancing restrictions, the organisation is asking that members of the public do not visit Red Cross offices.

Other organisations which may be able to provide assistance include the Salvation Army, St Vincent De Paul Society, OzHarvest and the Home Stay Network.

The Tasmanian State Government has unveiled a $3 million package to support struggling temporary visa holders.

There are more than 26,000 temporary visa holders currently living in Tasmania, including skilled workers, students and farm workers.

Migrants who can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the current pandemic can access payments of $250 per person and up to $1,000 for families.

The newly launched Covid-19 pandemic event visa is designed to help temporary visa holders stay lawfully in Australia. You might be eligible if:

  • You work in a critical sector
  • You cannot leave Australia and have no other visa options

 

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