Temporary early access to your super in 2020/21

9 July 2020

Updated 23 July 2020

Commonwealth legislation was passed in March, 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. Find out more on the changes that were introduced.

You can only submit one application in this 2020/21 financial year, between 1 July and 31 December 2020 - even if the total amount released is less than $10,000.

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 send you a notification to contact your Member Services Centre on 13 43 72 so that we can confirm your information prior to finalising your application.

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 2020/2021 financial year

  • From 1 July 2020 until 31 December 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 require the early release of super to assist you to deal with the adverse economic effects of COVID-19. In addition, one of the following circumstances must apply:

  • You are unemployed
  • You’re 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 (partners in a partnership are not eligible unless the partner satisfies any other of the eligibility)

Please note, temporary residents are not eligible to apply for a COVID-19 early release of super in 2020/21. If your visa has expired and you have left Australia, you may be eligible for the Departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP). Visit the ATO’s website to find out more.

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, including information on early release of super integrity and compliance.

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 23 July 2020