Early super access and the pension

Chris’s wife is considering taking $10,000 out of super early but is worried her pension will be reduced.

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Q. Chris
My wife will shortly be laid off work due to the coronavirus. I understand the government is allowing people to withdraw $10,000 from their super account. My wife is considering taking up this offer to pay out our mortgage. I receive a DVA TPI pension, and even though my wife is 60 years of age she can apply for the age pension. Our plan is to use up my super first, then access her super when she turns 67 as she does not have to declare her super in the assets and income test until then. If she decides to take up the government offer and withdraws $10,000 from her super account, does she then have to declare the remainder of her balance ($300,000) in the income and assets test, which will mean her pension would be reduced?

A. The applications for early release of superannuation will be accepted through myGov from today (20 April).

Individuals don’t need to pay tax on amounts released and the money they withdraw will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.

The government is allowing individuals affected by COVID-19 to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019–20 and a further $10,000 in 2020–21. 

Eligible individuals will be able to apply to access up to $10,000 of their super before 1 July 2020 and a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 until 24 September 2020.

To apply for early release, you must satisfy one or more of the following requirements:

  • you are unemployed
  • you are eligible to receive a JobSeeker payment, Youth Allowance for job seekers, Parenting Payment (which includes the single and partnered payments), special benefit or Farm Household Allowance
  • on or after 1 January 2020, either you were made redundant, your working hours were reduced by 20 per cent or more, or you were a sole trader and your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20 per cent or more.

You will not be required to attach evidence to support your application; however, you should retain records and documents to confirm your eligibility.

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Disclaimer: All content on YourLifeChoices website is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care but no guarantees are provided for ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness in regard to your own circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a Centrelink Financial Information Services officer, financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.

Written by Ben

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