Early access to your super

August 20 |  5 min read

Updated 31 December 2020

Applications to the ATO for early release for your super due to coronavirus closed on 31 December 2020. Other grounds for early release, like financial hardship, may be available to eligible members.

Updated 20 August 2020

Updated 24 July 2020

Government announcements

The Government announced that individuals affected by the Coronavirus will be allowed to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and can make a second application of up to $10,000 in 2020-21 prior to 31 December 2020. The measure was due to end on 24 September 2020 originally but the Government has announced that this measure will be extended until 31 December 2020.

To date the scheme has been well received by Australians with more than 2.1 applications received and $14.8b of payments.

ATO takes firm stand on Early Release compliance

The ATO will be acting where people deliberately exploit the system and access superannuation under the early release measures when they should not.

The ATO has stated it has a variety of data sources to check for claims that were made incorrectly including Single Touch Payroll (STP), income tax returns and information reported by super funds.

Behaviours that attract the ATO’s attention include:

  • applying when there is no change to your regular salary and wage, or employment information
  • artificially arranging your affairs to meet the eligibility criteria
  • making false statements or fraudulent attempts to meet the eligibility criteria
  • withdrawing and recontributing super for a tax advantage.

The ATO has updated it’s early release web content with compliance information stating that those who provide false or misleading information could face penalties of more than $12,000 for each false and misleading statement.


Updated 1 May 2020

Who’s eligible

To apply for early release, you must satisfy any one or more of the following requirements:

  • you are unemployed; or
  • you are eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, 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; 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.

Vision Super is not required to make Early Release payments from defined benefit accounts under the law. However, these will be treated on a case by case basis and all members will be contacted to discuss available options.

Those who do access their super won’t pay tax on the amounts released, also the money withdrawn will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.

Please note: if you wish to access your super you need to apply to the ATO. You will not be able to apply through Vision Super directly.

It is important, however, we have your correct contact details. You can check and update your details by logging in to Members Online or the Vision Super app.

Superannuation was introduced to help us save for retirement but irrespective of how far away retirement might be for you (a long way away or just around the corner), you need to consider the real cost to your future before you dip into your super.

Before you make a decision, it is important to understand that $20,000 in your super today will likely be worth more than $20,000 by the time you retire. Why? Because of compound interest. Compound interest is interest that includes “interest on the interest” previously earned. This is where interest earned is added to the balance so that when interest is applied next it’s calculated on a larger balance.

Try our Super modeller calculator first

If you’re considering withdrawing money from your superannuation, have a look at our calculator first. After putting in some personal details into the Super Modeller calculator, you can see how taking a lump sum out of super will affect your account over the long term.

Super modeller calculator >

Remember, super is a long-term investment and any changes or withdrawals you do today, may affect your balance upon retirement, regardless how far away that is!

August 20 |  5 min read

Must Reads

Feature, Fund news, Investments, must read  |  8 min read

US Inflation

It has been over a year since COVID-19 ended one of the longest equity bull markets in US history. Governments and central banks responded quickly and, as a result, global equity markets have not only recovered but some have hit record highs.

Feature, Fund news, Investments, must read  |  2 min read

Investment update March 2021

Auction clearance rates have recently reached elevated levels and this has coincided with very strong growth in house prices across Australian capital cities.

Feature, Fund news, Investments, must read  |  2 min read

Investment update October 2020

The global pandemic has created heightened levels of concern around asset valuations, especially for infrastructure and property assets.

Feature, Fund news, Investments, must read  |  3 min read

Investment update Sept 2020

September saw positive returns as investors continue to adjust to the ‘new normal’ of the Covid-19 affected world.

Build a better future for you and your family

Invest in your future self

Sustainable products, quality advice, education and of course, low fees.

You have options when it comes to saving in your super and drawing from it on retirement. Find out which of our retirement products is most suited to you.

The Latest

Feature, Investments  |  5 min read

High Petrol Prices

With travel restrictions easing, it has become more noticeable that petrol prices have risen significantly this year.

Feature, Investments  |  3 min read

Investment snapshot November 2021

During this year, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has implemented extreme policy measures aimed at ensuring that the Australian economy recovers from the adverse impact of the pandemic.

General  |  7 mins

GM Strategy and Growth update

I’ve seen a few changes over my three decades in super, and one of those was joining Vision Super at the beginning of 2015. One of the reasons I made the move was the shared passion of the whole team at Vision Super for helping members achieve the best possible retirement outcome.

Already a Vision Super member?

The great news is you can now open your pension account online through the secure site.

Not a Vision Super member?

You’ll just need to open a Vision Personal account first and then you can transfer across to a Vision Super pension.