Flood victims may qualify for early-release superannuation but circumstances limited
The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) today reminded super fund members affected by flooding across Australia that they may, depending on their circumstances, be able to seek early access to some of their superannuation.
AIST CEO Fiona Reynolds said the rules for early-release of super were necessarily very strict and that those in need of immediate assistance should first contact Centrelink which is administering Government programs specifically put in place to assist people in disaster zones.
However in the medium term - for those with continuing hardship - there were grounds under which members could qualify for early-release including ‘severe financial hardship’ and ‘compassionate grounds’.
“The superannuation industry sympathises with the many flood victims across Australia and wishes to ensure that those affected, particularly those who are not insured, understand the avenues available to them for financial assistance,” said Ms Reynolds.
Many funds had already begun to prioritise assistance to flood victims including those needing help with superannuation-linked insurance claims such as total and permanent disability (TPD) or income protection, she said.
Ms Reynolds said while applications for early-super release payments on prescribed ‘compassionate grounds’ were separately administered by the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) members should contact their super fund in the first instance.
Ms Reynolds said it was important to note that early-release superannuation was limited to certain purposes and financial amounts. (see below ‘Grounds for early release of superannuation’).