In order to access your super on medical grounds, you must satisfy the definitions of Permanent incapacity or Terminal medical condition as defined by the superannuation regulations.
Permanent incapacity means ill health (whether physical or mental) where the Trustee is reasonably satisfied that you are unlikely, because of ill health, to engage in gainful employment for which you are reasonably qualified by education, training or experience.
If you are under 60 and a permanent incapacity benefit (which may include a TPD benefit paid by the Insurer) is payable, part of the normal taxable component of your benefit may be recalculated to form part of the tax-free component. Learn more in How super is taxed.
You can access your benefit as a lump-sum withdrawal or you may choose to open a Media Super pension.
Terminal medical condition
Terminal medical condition means the following circumstances exist:
- two registered medical practitioners have certified, jointly or separately, that the person suffers from an illness, or has incurred an injury, that is likely to result in the death of the person within 24 months
- at least one of the registered medical practitioners is a specialist practising in an area related to the illness or injury suffered by the person, and
- for each certificate, the 24-month period has not ended.
If you are terminally ill and are not expected to live past 24 months, your benefit will be paid to you as a tax-free lump-sum.
Please note that these definitions are different from the definitions that apply to insured benefits and, accordingly, for insured benefits to be released, both the insurance and the above definitions (as applicable) must be satisfied. If you are eligible to release your super benefit but the definitions that apply to insured benefits are not satisfied, withdrawing your super balance will effectively close your account and you will lose any insurance in your super as premiums will no longer be able to be deducted.
Read the Insurance Guide for insurance definitions.