To help you get the information you need about early access to superannuation due to COVID-19, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions from our members at this time.

It is important that members consider all the Covid-19 Government entitlements for which they may be eligible. This will enable members to make the best decision for their specific circumstances. 

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Individuals in financial stress as a result of the Coronavirus will be able to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in the 2019-20 financial year and a further $10,000 in 2020-21 financial year. This legislation is now final with royal assent received on 24 March.

Eligible individuals will be able to apply online through MyGov or by calling the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 61 for access of up to $10,000 of superannuation before 1 July 2020. A further $10,000 is also accessible from 1 July 2020. Tax will not need to be paid on amounts released and the money withdrawn will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.

There are certain conditions you must meet in order to access your super early on compassionate grounds as a result of COVID-19:

  • You must be unemployed; or
  • You must be eligible for a job seeker payment, youth allowance for job seekers, parenting payment (both 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% or more; or
  • You are a sole trader, your business has been suspended, or your turnover reduced by 20% or more.

Applications must be made online from 20 April 2020 through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Go to the Compassionate Relief tabs on the MyGov website. The ATO will then process applications for early release and notify us, your super fund. The ATO usually makes a determination within 2-3 days of receiving your application.

You cannot apply through First State Super.

Once we receive approval from the ATO to release your super, we will endeavour to process payment within 10 business days and deposit it into the bank account you provided to the ATO. It may take a few more days for the payment to appear in the bank account.

If you’re unable to access online services, you will be able to call the ATO on 13 28 61. You will be asked to confirm your identity and complete the application over
the phone.

All withdrawals will be tax free.

This initiative is in addition to provisions (to access super) already in place for existing compassionate grounds or severe financial hardship. The application for early access to super due to COVID-19 must be made directly to the ATO, not through First State Super.

Applications are available for both FY20 and FY21. If you are applying for access to you super in FY20, your application must be received by 30 June 2020. If you are applying for access to your super in FY21, your application must be received by 31 December 2020. You can submit your application for your FY20 access to your super from 20 April. 

You are able to access up to $10,000 this financial year, that is, before 30 June 2020 and a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 (assuming you have sufficient funds). Applications for next financial year must be made before 24 September 2020.

Yes, the early access to super rules do not exclude existing provisions such as severe financial hardship. If you meet the criteria for both, then you can apply to receive both.

This means you can:

  1. Access two releases of your super (total of $20k) based on adverse economic effects of Coronavirus; and
  2. Also make a claim for up to $10k on severe financial hardship grounds. 

No, you can only make one application per financial year per super fund. For example, if you initially ask for $6k for FY20, you cannot then request the remaining $4k for FY20 with the same fund.

If you have multiple accounts with different funds each containing less than $10K, you can withdraw from all of these accounts up to a total of $10K for each financial year.

If you decide to apply for early release of super and your new super balance dips below $6K, your insurance cover will not be affected. However, if you withdraw your full account balance and close your account, then any insurance will be cancelled. To keep your insurance, you need to maintain a sufficient balance to pay premiums and if you are not contributing you need to opt in to keep insurance. There are other terms and conditions that affect your insurance. Please read the Insurance Member Booklet to understand the full terms and conditions of your insurance.

You need to check your current balance with your super fund directly. The amount displayed on MyGov will be your balance as at the end of the last financial year which will be incorrect. Visit the First State Super app or log in to your account for your up to date balance and the amount available to access your super early, if you choose to do so. 

From Monday 20 April 2020, the ATO is processing applications for early release of super. Once they have approved your application, they will notify us. We know this is important to you. We also know that the safety of your account is important to you.

Once we receive their instructions, we expect it will take 5 to 10 days to pay the money into the account you nominated when you applied through myGov. We are expecting high volumes of applications early on, which may result in slight delays.

The timeframe applies to accounts we can process immediately, which we think will be most applications.

There could be exceptions, for example, where members’ details received from the ATO don’t match the information we have on file. These cases will be carefully checked by us to make sure your money is safe, and everyone else’s as well. These exceptions will be individually examined and that means they could take longer than 5 days to process.

The value of your super balance changes daily and is dependent on the value of the assets in your investment option for that day.

When you apply to withdraw super from your account, you receive the effective unit price for  the day we receive all of the details required to process the transaction (as long as it’s before 4 pm AEST/AEDT on a business day) - not the day money reaches your nominated bank account.  

If you request a withdrawal transaction for a specific dollar amount, the unit price effective for the transaction (which changes day to day) will impact your remaining balance. If the unit price is higher, then the transaction will require less units to meet your dollar balance request, and if the unit price is lower, then the transaction will require more units to meet your dollar balance request.

For example, a transaction to redeem $5,000 from your option at an effective unit price of $1.10 will require 4,545.455 units to meet the requested dollar amount. If the same redemption of $5,000 was processed at an effective unit price of $1.00, you would require 5,000 units to receive the requested dollar amount.

If, prior to the transaction, you had a balance of 10,000 units, after the transaction you will have a different unit balance depending on the unit price that was applied, as per the below: 

Unit Price Units required to meet $5,000 redemption Remaining unit balance (from starting balance of $10,000 units)
$1.10 4,545.46 5,454.55
$1.00 5,000.00 5,000.00

As can be seen in the above simplified example, it a transaction is processed at a higher unit price, your remaining unit balance, and therefore dollar balance, will be higher than if it is processed at a lower unit price.

Our unit prices page on our website will show you the latest available unit price for all investment options with the ‘as at’ date.

For more information on how unit pricing is calculated, read our market volatility FAQs.

For further information on unit pricing and switching, please refer to the relevant disclosure document available here. Please note there may be circumstances where unit pricing is delayed as disclosed in the PDS.

Early Access to your super

A summary of the new measure

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