COVID-19 early release payments – potential impacts on your insurance cover & account

20201116 early release impact on insurance account

Updated 6 January 2021

If you’ve taken a COVID-19 early access payment from your super, it’s important you understand the potential impacts on your insurance cover and your account.

You may lose your insurance cover

If your balance is now insufficient to cover your insurance premiums, your insurance cover may be cancelled.

If you have already accessed your super early, please check your account balance and ensure you have sufficient funds to cover your premiums. If you’re unsure or have any questions, please call the Helpline.

What happens if your balance is zero

If we have paid all available funds through your early release request and your balance is now zero, you may lose your insurance cover and your account may be closed if we do not receive another contribution to your account.

All insurance cover ceases 30 days after the date your account balance becomes insufficient and you may not be able to obtain insurance through Media Super again if you don’t meet the health and eligibility criteria.

What happens if we receive a subsequent contribution for you

If we receive a contribution from you or your employer after we have processed your early release payment but before your account is closed, your contribution will be allocated to your existing account.

If we receive a contribution from you or your employer after we have closed your account, we will open a new account for you. Note that this will impact your insurance cover:

  • New members who are under the age of 25 or who have a balance below $6,000 will not receive automatic default insurance cover.
  • All automatic default insurance eligibility criteria that usually apply for new members will apply.

Less retirement income

Many members made the tough but necessary decision to access their super early to deal with financial hardship caused by the pandemic. Depending on your age and how much you withdrew (including last financial year), you could have between $17,000 and $47,000 less super* when it’s time to retire.

Of course, there’s always actions you can take in the future to boost your super savings. When you’re ready, our team can help you figure out a strategy that suits your personal situation.

*Scenarios modelled by MoneySmart (

We're here to help

If you have any questions about the impact of early access on your super, including your insurance cover, please call the Helpline on 1800 640 886.

Please note, the ATO is no longer accepting applications for early release of super due to COVID-19. Payments for applications received by 31 December 2020 will be made throughout January.

If you are experiencing financial hardship, you may be able to access your super on other grounds. Please see the Accessing your super page for details.