Financial hardship.

Inevitably, some Members will experience a period of financial uncertainty during their time with Defence Bank – that’s just a part of life. Reasons for this can be as varied as unexpected illness, natural disasters, an accident, period of unemployment or relationship breakdown.

Whatever the reason, Defence Bank can offer assistance tailored to your individual circumstances.

For eligible Members, this may take the form of reduced repayments, an interest only period associated with the postponement of repayments or a number of other options dependent on the Members’ individual circumstances.

Download the Hardship Assistance Application form here.

To find out more, contact Defence Bank’s Financial Hardship Officer on 1800 773 158 or email [email protected] to see how we can help you.

Early access to superannuation due to severe financial hardship (now closed for COVID-19 crisis payments).

You may be permitted to access up to $10,000 of your superannuation benefit on the grounds of severe financial hardship. In order to be eligible for early access on these grounds, you will need to have received eligible government income support payments continuously for 26 weeks and be unable to meet “reasonable and immediate family living expenses”. To apply for early access due to severe financial hardship, contact your super fund.

You can only make one early withdrawal due to severe financial hardship in any 12-month period, and if granted access you will be able to withdraw between $1,000 and $10,000.

“Reasonable and immediate family living expenses” refers to any expense(s) which are a necessity for your family’s day-to-day life, which could include:

  • Housing or accommodation costs.
  • Food expenses.
  • Essential travel costs.
  • Any other essential living costs.

Early access to superannuation on compassionate grounds.

The other reason you may be able to access your super early is if the ATO approves you for early access on compassionate grounds. This refers to situations in which you’re faced with certain expenses which you have no other way of paying, such as medical bills or funeral costs of a partner or family member.

This can potentially be a more stringent process than applying for early access due to severe financial hardship, because it must be approved by the ATO rather than your super fund. You must first apply through the ATO, and if it approves your application, it will provide your super fund with a letter of approval authorising early access to your benefit.

There is no set minimum or limit on how much of your super benefit you may be allowed to access early on compassionate grounds, but the ATO states you will only be permitted to access “what you reasonably need” in order to pay the expense in question. According to the ATO, some of the expenses which may qualify you for early access to super on compassionate grounds include:

  • Medical treatment expenses for you or a dependant.
  • Making a payment on a loan to prevent you from losing your house.
  • Meeting expenses arising from modifying your home or vehicle for the special needs of you or a dependant because of a severe disability.
  • Death, funeral, or burial expenses.

Of those four types of expenses, only mortgage payments constitute debt, so let’s have a look at the rules and regulations which govern early access to super in order to meet a mortgage payment.

For further details, including how and when you can apply please go to:

https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/early-release-superannuation/how-apply
https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Super/In-detail/Withdrawing-and-using-your-super/Early-access-on-compassionate-grounds/?anchor=Earlyaccessoncompassionategrounds#Earlyaccessoncompassionategrounds

The superannuation information provided to you has not taken into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should note that before you act on the advice you will need to consider the appropriateness of the advice having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. To find out more call 1800 979 188.