Information on managing and accessing your super through COVID-19

Superannuation is designed to provide you with an income when you stop working, which means you can generally only access it once you reach your preservation age and have permanently retired. However, there are some circumstances when you may be allowed to access your super sooner, including severe financial hardship.

Severe financial hardship is defined by government legislation and means that you are “unable to meet reasonable and immediate family living expenses”. An immediate living expense refers to any outstanding debts and bills that are no more than three months old, as described below. Future expenses are generally not considered.

Each claim is assessed by the Trustee on an individual basis and we do not guarantee payment.

Am I eligible?

There are two types of claims where you may be eligible for the early release of your super based on severe financial hardship. If you cannot meet the conditions of either claim type A or B below, we cannot authorise the release of your benefit on grounds of severe financial hardship.

Claim type A

You can apply for a financial hardship benefit under Claim type A if you are:

  1. Under age 55; and
  2. Unable to meet reasonable and immediate family living expenses. Please note only specific types of expenses qualify, as outlined under ‘Eligible Expenses’ below; and
  3. Have been receiving Commonwealth income support (from either Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs) for a continuous period of 26 weeks. The types of eligible payments are listed further below, under ‘Eligible Commonwealth income support payments’. However, Centrelink can tell you whether the particular payment you receive qualifies.

To confirm your eligibility, you will need to provide your Centrelink Reference Number (CRN) on your application. To obtain your CRN, you may need to contact Centrelink.

Eligible expenses

  • Household expenses (eg expenses for utilities such as gas, water and electricity)
  • Urgent household repairs not yet commenced (eg a leaking water pipe – a bill or quote is required)
  • Rent and rental bond
  • Child support and child care
  • Car repairs to make vehicle roadworthy (bill or quote required)
  • Medical costs
  • Veterinary bills
  • School fees, uniforms, books
  • Mortgage payments up to three months in arrears (accompanied by a letter from your lending institution)
  • Overdue and minimum outstanding balance only on loans and credit cards
  • Personal loans from family or friends that are:
    • Supported by a statutory declaration from the person making the loan;
    • Supported with evidence that you did receive the money from the person making the loan (ie bank statements and paid bills); and
    • Supported with evidence that the loan was needed to meet reasonable and immediate family living expenses.

Non-eligible expenses

  • Business expenses
  • Traffic and parking fines
  • Discretionary items such as TVs, music systems, computers and internet access
  • Legal fees
  • Personal loans from family or friends that are:
    • Not supported by a statutory declaration from the person making the loan;
    • Not supported with evidence that you did receive the money from the person making the loan (ie bank statements and paid bills);
    • Not supported with evidence that the loan was needed to meet reasonable and immediate family living expenses.

Eligible Commonwealth income support payments

Department of Veterans' Affairs service pension
  • Age service pensions
  • Partner service pensions
  • Invalidity service pensions
  • Carer service pensions
Social security pensions
  • Age pension
  • Disability support pension
  • Wife pension/Carer payment
  • Parenting payment
  • Widow B pension
Drought relief from 1 July 1988
  • Drought relief payment under the Farm Household Support Act 1992
  • Exceptional circumstances relief payment under the Farm Household Support Act 1992
Income support supplements
  • An income support supplement paid by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (effectively replaces any social security age pensions paid to a war widow or widower from March 1995).
Social security benefits
  • Newstart allowance
  • Sickness allowance

Non-eligible payments

  • Family payments (formerly known as family allowance payments)
  • Austudy/Abstudy or other youth allowance payments in relation to full time study.

How much of my super can be released under Claim type A?

Under current legislation, the amount released is at the Trustee’s discretion but can be no more than one single lump sum between $1,000 and $10,000 (before tax) in any 12 month period. It’s important to note that these payments will be subject to tax if you are under age 60.

How to apply

Before we can assess your financial hardship claim under claim type A, we require the following items:

TIP: Check the date on the letter as it’s only valid for 21 days after issue.

  • Copies of outstanding debts and bills that are no more than three months old and support one or more of the categories described above.
  • A certified copy of your current Driver’s Licence or Passport.
  • Any other documents that support your application.
Certifying your documents

To protect your benefit and ensure your privacy is maintained, by law we require certified documentation verifying your identity before we can process certain
requests.

This means each page of the copied document must be clearly labelled “True copy of the original” and signed by an authorised person such as a Justice of the Peace, a solicitor, an employee of Australia Post (with two or more years continuous service) or an officer of a bank, building society or credit union.

For a complete list of authorised persons and more information about getting your documents certified, please refer to the completing proof of identity section of the withdrawal form.

Claim type B

You can apply for a financial hardship benefit under Claim type B if you:

  1. Have reached your preservation age plus 39 weeks (refer to the table below); and
  2. Have been receiving Commonwealth income support for a period of at least 39 weeks since reaching your preservation age; and
  3. Aren’t gainfully employed on a full time or part time basis (on the date of your application).
Your preservation age
When you were bornYour preservation age
Before 1 July 196055
1 July 1960 to 30 June 196156
1 July 1961 to 30 June 196257
1 July 1962 to 30 June 196358
1 July 1963 to 30 June 196459
After 30 June 196460

How to apply

Before we can assess your financial hardship claim under Claim type B, we require the following items:

  1. A completed Early release of super benefits on grounds of severe financial hardship form.
  2. A Q251 letter from Centrelink/DVA confirming that you have been receiving Commonwealth income support payments for a continuous period of 39 weeks since reaching your preservation age.
  3. Certified copy of your current Driver’s Licence or Passport.

How much can be released under Claim type B?

If you meet Claim type B’s criteria, your total account balance can be paid to you.

Where to send your completed application:

Qantas Superannuation Plan

GPO Box 4303 Melbourne VIC 3001

When we have received your documentation, we will check them and come back to you if we require any further information.

We're here to help

If you want to learn more or need help with making a decision about your super, you can get simple advice over the phone or face to face. It’s included as a part of your membership so there’s no extra cost.