COVID-19 support – early release of super

This article is archived and may not be up-to-date.

Started ‎3 April 2020 by
Modified ‎13 July 2020 by

If you've been financially affected by COVID-19, you may be able to access some of your superannuation early. Eligible citizens and permanent residents of Australia or New Zealand can access up to $10,000 in 2019–20 and up to a further $10,000 in 2020–21.

What if I'm receiving JobKeeper payments from my employer?

JobKeeper payments won’t affect your eligibility for COVID-19 early release of super.

Can I access my super a second time if my hours have gone back to normal since 1 July 2020?

Yes. If your hours have gone back to normal after 1 July 2020, you are still be eligible to apply for a second withdrawal as long as on or after 1 January 2020 your working hours were reduced by 20% or more (including to zero).

What are the eligibility requirements?

See the Eligibility information on our website.

How do I check my super balance?

Before you apply, you should check your super balance.  There are four ways you can do this:

  • Check your total super balance in ATO online services via myGov. Keep in mind that super funds are only required to report to us once a year so your balance might have changed since it was last reported to us.
  • If you have access to your super fund's online member portal, you can log on and check your current account balance there
  • Check the last statement that your fund issued to you
  • Phone your super fund

How do I apply?

Once you've checked your super balance, you can apply for early release of super through ATO online services via myGov. When we have processed your application, we'll send you a letter of approval or rejection to your myGov Inbox. If approved, your super fund will make the payment to you. You don’t need to contact us or your fund. See Submit an application on our website to apply.

How long does it take to receive the amounts?

Once you've applied, it takes us four business days to process your application. If your application is approved, you should expect payment from your super fund within five business days. This may take longer if your fund needs to contact you to clarify information.

Why is my super balance on myGov lower than I thought?

myGov displays the latest information that your super fund provided us. For most funds this was provided in October 2019. Check your most recent Super statement or contact your super fund for more recent figures.

I accidentally put the wrong bank account on my application. How do I fix it?

We can't change your application after you have submitted it. If the bank account you provided on your application form is incorrect, contact your super fund urgently to correct it.

What if I have a self-managed super fund (SMSF)?

If you’re a member of a SMSF, you can apply through the same process. After you apply, we will issue you with a determination advising of your eligibility to release an amount. You will need to let your SMSF know that you have received the determination so they can make the payment to you.

If I’m on a visa can I still apply to release my super?

The government has announced that eligible temporary residents will be able to apply to access up to $10,000 of their super before 1 July 2020.

To apply for early release as a temporary resident, you must satisfy one or more of the following requirements:

  • You hold a student visa which you have held for 12 months or more and you are unable to meet immediate living expenses.
  • You're a temporary skilled work visa holder, your working hours have reduced to zero and you remain engaged with your employer.
  • You're a temporary resident visa holder (excluding student or skilled worker visas) and you can't meet immediate living expenses.

What time frame is the 20% or more reduction in working hours based on?

Your working hours on or after 1 January 2020 need to have been reduced by 20% or more of your average hours over the six months prior to your hours being reduced. If you’re a sole trader, your business would need to have been suspended or seen a reduction in your turnover of 20% or more.

How can I apply if I can’t get into myGov?

The application is on our online services through myGov, and there isn't a paper form option. For help applying through myGov, read our article linking your myGov account to the ATO. If you're still unable to apply phone us.

How will this affect my tax return - do I need to pay tax on the amounts released?

You won’t need to pay tax on amounts released and won’t need to include these amounts in your tax return. See this thread: COVID Early Super Release Tax Return

Can't find the answer to your question here?

You can ask the Community or read more information at COVID-19 early release of super

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