Super changes offer financial relief for terminally ill

People with a terminal illness can now access their super sooner, providing valuable financial relief.

Terminally ill Australians are now able to access their superannuation if they have just two years to live. The change, introduced as part of the 2015 Federal Budget and effective from 1 July 2015, ends the previous situation where super couldn’t be accessed unless a person had just one year to live.

It’s a significant breakthrough for the terminally ill, who are often forced to give up work to focus on their health, adding financial hardship to an already challenging situation.

Small change, big benefits

Having early access to super can mean being able to afford life-prolonging medical treatment. For some terminally ill people it will provide funds to shore up their family’s financial security, or provide the means to spend precious time with loved ones.

No matter how super savings are used, this small regulatory amendment will make a tremendous difference to the lives of those affected by a terminal medical condition.

Financial advice is essential

For anyone planning to access their super early, good financial advice is critical. Most super fund members hold life insurance through their fund, and the change in regulations extending access to two years does not apply to insurance payouts.

While all of us hope to enjoy a long and rewarding life, it's good to know that your super can be accessed in tough times. However it’s important to seek expert advice whenever you are making a significant financial decision.

If you are ever in the position where you need to dip into your super due to illness, I can help you work out how and when to access your super, and how your personal insurance cover will be managed. It could make a significant difference to the financial wellbeing of yourself and your family.