Almost every working Australian has employer funded superannuation to access on retirement, but what do you do if you are forced to cease work early through injury or illness?
If you are forced to cease work as a result of injury or illness and do not hold any insurance through your superannuation, you may still be able to access your superannuation account balance on the grounds of permanent incapacity.
In order to access your account balance you need to submit an application to your superannuation fund with supporting material, including certification from two different legally qualified medical practitioners confirming that you are unlikely to engage in gainful employment for which you are reasonably qualified for by way of education, training or experience.
An application for the release of your account balance on the grounds of permanent incapacity is not subject to any waiting period and can be submitted to the Trustee of the relevant fund at any time after the cessation of all employment.
It is important to note that if superannuation funds are released prior to the member reaching the relevant preservation age funds are likely to be subject to taxation.
In addition to the possible taxation of these funds it is important to note that releasing your account balance may impact on any ongoing insurance you may hold with the relevant superannuation fund.
It is important to fully explore all superannuation insurance options relating to incapacity, such as a claim for Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) benefits before making an application for the release of funds on the grounds of permanent incapacity.
If you are unable to return to employment as a result of injury or illness and are considering your superannuation entitlements contact Turner Freeman Lawyers for advice.