Temporary early access to your super

21 May 2020

Commonwealth legislation was passed on 24 March 2020, allowing people who are financially affected by the coronavirus, temporary access to their super of up to $10,000 in each of the 2019/20 and 2020/21 financial years.

You can only submit one application in each of the following financial years, even if the total amount released is less than $10,000:

  • Year one: between 20 April and 30 June 2020
  • Year two: between 1 July and 24 September 2020

You’ll need to apply directly with us

As GESB is an exempt public sector superannuation scheme, members who have a GESB account must apply with us directly.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Assess your eligibility based on the criteria below
  • Call your Member Services Centre on 13 43 72
  • Be prepared to answer a series of questions to confirm your eligibility
  • Have your bank details available so your application can be actioned

If you’ve applied with the ATO, you’ll need to contact us

If you have an account with us and applied with The Australian Tax Office (ATO) directly, your application will still need to be finalised with us.

After they receive your application, the ATO will send us a determination which generally takes 1-2 days. Once we receive this determination, we will then contact you to confirm some information, before finalising your application.

If you’re applying with the ATO, and you have an account with us, you need to apply with them before 25 June 2020, and have your application finalised with us by 30 June 2020, for your application to be processed this financial year. Applications received after this date will be made for the 2020/21 financial year.

If you’ve applied with the ATO and you do not have an account with us, you don’t need to do anything. The ATO will process your application.

If you’re applying for the 2019/2020 financial year

  • From 20 April 2020 and until 30 June 2020, you can apply to access up to $10,000 of your super
  • You won’t need to pay tax on this money, and the money you withdraw won’t be included in any income or means testing
  • Eligible temporary residents will also be able to apply to access up to $10,000 of their super before 1 July 2020
  • If you’re applying directly with us, your application needs to be received by 30 June 2020 in order for it to be processed this financial year
  • If you’re applying with the ATO, and you have an account with us, you need to apply with them before 25 June 2020, and have your application finalised with us by 30 June 2020, for your application to be processed this financial year. Applications received after this date will be made for the 2020/21 financial year

If you’re applying for the 2020/2021 financial year

  • From 1 July 2020 until 24 September 2020, you can apply to access up to $10,000 of your super
  • You won’t need to pay tax on this money, and the money you withdraw won’t be included in any income or means testing

You need to be eligible to apply for temporary early release of super

If you’re a citizen or permanent resident of Australia or New Zealand, you must be in one of the following circumstances to apply for temporary early release of your super:

  • Unemployed
  • Eligible to receive one of the following:
    • Jobseeker payment
    • Youth allowance for jobseekers (unless you are undertaking full-time study or are a new apprentice)
    • Parenting payment (which includes the single and partnered payments)
    • Special benefit
    • Farm household allowance
  • On or after 1 January 2020, either
    • You were made redundant
    • Your working hours were reduced by 20% or more (including to zero)
    • You were a sole trader and your business was suspended, or there was a reduction in turnover of 20% or more

If you’re a temporary resident, you must be in one of the following circumstances:

  • You hold a student visa that 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

You need to be able to assess and confirm your eligibility 

You don’t need to include evidence when you apply, but you should keep records and documents to confirm your eligibility should we need it from you at a later stage.

It’s important that you assess your eligibility accurately against the eligibility criteria above. The information you provide to us must be true and accurate.

Early access to super may affect your future retirement 

Being paid some of your super early will affect your super balance and may affect your future retirement income. Withdrawing some of your super early, may also affect your Salary Continuance Insurance (SCI) or Death and Total & Permanent Disability cover.

We suggest you seek personal financial advice from a qualified and appropriately licensed financial adviser before applying for early release of super.

Please be aware of scammers

Please be aware of scams and schemes contacting you directly and asking you to pay for releasing your super. There should be no costs involved, and you should be applying directly through GESB if you have an account with us. Read our article on coronavirus super scams to find out more.

For more information

The ATO has more information on their website on temporary early access to super.

For GESB related information on COVID-19 please see our website at Coronavirus: keeping you informed.

If you have any questions about your account with us, please contact your Member Services Centre on 13 43 72.

Additional resources

Page last updated 29 May 2020