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Make your personal contributions by 25 June 2024 to make sure they’re counted towards the 2023/24 financial year.

See important dates for more information.

There might be a time in your life when you experience severe financial hardship. You may not be able to pay for day-to-day expenses for you or your family. If you are in this situation, you can apply to access your super early to help pay your living expenses. 

Key points:

  • To access your super early, you need to meet the following conditions: 
    • you receive government income support payments,  
    • you can’t afford to pay immediate expenses to support you or your family, and 
    • you've been an Aware Super member for more than six months.  
  • If approved, we’ll pay you within 3-5 business days after receiving your application.

Are you eligible to access your super early   

Your super is there to help fund your retirement. If you’re finding it hard to make ends meet, the government may let you access it earlier. 

You will need to meet the following conditions:

  • You've been receiving government income support payments for 26 weeks in a row. These payments must come from Centrelink or the Department of Veterans Affairs. 
  • You can’t afford to pay for immediate expenses like rent or food, to support you or your family, and 
  • you’ve been an Aware Super member for more than six months. 

If you meet these conditions, you can apply for $1,000 to $10,000. You can only receive one payment every 12 months.  

If you have reached your preservation age (between 55 and 60 years), you may be able to receive a lump sum payment from your super. You will need to meet the following requirements: 

  • you are not currently gainfully employed (full-time or part-time) on the date of your application; and  
  • you have received a qualifying Commonwealth income support payment for a total period of 39 weeks after reaching your preservation age

If you meet these requirements, there is no maximum withdrawal limit, and you can request more than one withdrawal per year.

How much you will be taxed 

If you are under 60  years, any lump sum payments are generally taxed between 17% and 22%.  If you have reached your preservation age, you may not need to pay tax, depending on how much you have withdrawn previously. If you are older than 60, you will not be taxed.  

Learn more about how your super is taxed

You may be able to withdraw a lump sum from your super without paying tax. To do so, you will need to meet a condition of release related to your age and working status.

Learn more about when you can withdraw your super

How to apply for early release of your super

Follow these steps to apply. You'll need to submit all the information to us to make sure you can get your money as soon as possible. 

1. Get proof of your income support payments 

  • Provide us with a letter showing proof of your income support payments. Services Australia or the Department of Veteran’s Affairs can provide this to you. This letter must be dated less than 21 days before you apply, or 
  • Provide your Centrelink Customer Reference Number (CRN) in your application. We’ll check your income support payments with Centrelink.  

2. Prove your identity 

Before we can release your money, we need to verify your identity.  

Providing proof of ID electronically 

Some of our forms allow you to provide your proof of identity electronically. You’ll need to use two government-issued identification documents.  

These can include your  

  • Australian Passport 
  • Driver's License  
  • Medicare Card. 

The information we need to verify your documents 

  • Your full name and either  
  • your date of birth or  
  • your residential address. 

The documents you provide must match the details we have for you in our records. If the details don’t match, or the documents you provide are out-of-date, we won’t be able to use the documents to verify your identity. You will need to provide a certified copy of your current documents. 

  • See a full list of government identity documents and authorised persons  

3. Get your documents ready  

You will need these documents for your application: 

  • a copy of your current bank statement showing your account balance, and 
  • the Services Australia or Department of Veteran’s Affairs letter showing proof of your income support payments, or your Centrelink CRN number, and 
  • your certified proof of identity 

4. Apply to Aware Super to release your money 

You can apply via Member Online. Make sure you have all your documents ready.  

If you need help completing the form, contact us.

5. When to expect payment 

When we receive your application, we’ll contact you if we need any more information.  Once we have all your correct information, allow 3-5 business days for us to process your application and transfer your money. This may vary depending on your bank’s processing times. 

Where to next?

Simple advice at no extra cost

Take advantage of simple financial advice over the phone or virtually. Our superannuation advisers can help with questions about your Aware Super account.

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