SUPERANNUATION can be withdrawn early to pay for weight-loss surgery and a growing number of Australians are choosing to trade their financial future for a slimmer body.
You can access your superannuation on the basis of medical compassionate grounds according to the Australian Department of Human Services. Applications for compassionate grounds have risen by more than 50 per cent in the last reported financial year with almost $205 million approved for release.
EARLY ACCESS TO SUPER: THE LOWDOWN
- You’re able to access your superannuation early for medical treatment or associated travel if you suffer from these conditions:
- A life-threatening illness or injury
- Acute or chronic pain
- Acute or chronic mental illness You must also show that:
- You can’t get the treatment through the public health system
- You can’t pay any other way, such as using savings or selling assets Once an application has been submitted to Centrelink, it takes up to 28 days for it to be assessed.
WHAT THE FINANCIAL PLANNER SAYS
“The ramifications of accessing super early could be really significant,” Ben Marshan, head of policy at the Financial Planning Association, says.
“Conservatively, every $1000 that you have in super at age 30 will be worth about $4500 at age 60. If you take $1000 out now, you have to put in $4500 over the next 30 years to get back to the same position. Financially, for a lot of people that can be a massive struggle and they’ll never actually catch up.”
Get professional financial help to understand the implications for yourself, Marshan advises.
“Accessing your super early should only ever be a last resort.”