Early release of super

In order to access your super due to severe financial hardship and compassionate grounds, you are required to meet conditions set by the Federal Government.


The Federal Government has announced new temporary compassionate grounds for early release of super, available from mid-April 2020

Under the new grounds of release, eligible people will need to apply online through myGov to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation before 1 July 2020. People will also be able to access up to a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 for approximately three months (with exact timing dependant on the passing of relevant legislation). 

Please note, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will be assessing these compassionate grounds applications, not Media Super. Members must apply via myGov.

In order to apply for early release under the new temporary compassionate grounds, people must be able to show they satisfy any one or more of the following requirements when they apply:

  • they are unemployed; or
  • they are eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment (which includes the single and partnered payments) special benefit or farm household allowance; or
  • on or after 1 January 2020:
    • they were made redundant; or
    • their working hours were reduced by 20 per cent or more; or
    • if they’re a sole trader – their business was suspended or there was a reduction in turnover of 20 per cent or more. 

Once the ATO has process and approved an application for early release on the temporary compassionate grounds, we will be advised to release a member’s funds as soon as practicable. To ensure people receive their payment as soon as possible, the ATO has advised members to check if we have your correct details. 

The quickest way for members to check and update their details is by logging into their account online and heading to the 'Personal Details' page in the menu. You can update your address, phone, email address, and supply your Tax File Number if needed.

Alternatively, members can call the Helpline on 1800 640 886 to update contact details, or send us a completed 'Providing a tax file number' form. 

You can find more information on the temporary compassionate grounds measures and how to apply on the Treasury website.

Severe financial hardship

To access your super if you are not retired, you must:

  • be receiving a Centrelink income support payment, and have been receiving one continuously for the last 26 weeks, and
  • satisfy your super fund that you are unable to meet reasonable and immediate family expenses.

If you satisfy both components of this test, we are allowed to release to you one lump sum payment of no more than $10,000 and no less than $1,000, in any 12-month period. These limits apply to the gross payment before any tax is deducted. If your account is less than $1,000, your entire balance will be paid to you.

If you have reached your preservation age, your entire benefit can also be released if you meet the following conditions:

  • you have received a Centrelink income support payment for a total period of 39 weeks after reaching your preservation age, and
  • you are not gainfully employed on a full or part time basis on the date of your application to your super fund.

Specified compassionate grounds

You may be able to claim part of your superannuation balance on compassionate grounds by making a direct application to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

How to claim

Details of how to apply to release super due to specified compassionate grounds are available from the ATO website.

To make an application for release on the grounds of severe financial hardship, you must complete the Early release of super benefits on grounds of severe financial hardship form.

If you need assistance with accessing your super, please contact us.