Illegal access to Super

Beware of Illegal Access to your Super

Have you been approached by a promoter of illegal super scheme?

These promoters usually:

  • encourage you to transfer your super from your existing super fund to a self-managed super fund (SMSF) to access your super before you are legally entitled to
  • target people who are under financial pressure or who do not understand the super laws
  • claim that you can use your super for anything you want
  • charge high fees and commissions, and you risk losing some or all of your super to them.

Taking your super out from any super fund early, without meeting a condition of release, or encouraging others to do so is illegal.

When can you legally access your super?

Generally, you can only access your super when you reach preservation age and stop working or turn 65 years old. Currently, in Australia, the preservation age is 55 years old for those born before 1 July 1960. It then increases gradually. For anyone born after 30 June 1964, the preservation age is 60 years old. There are some special circumstances where you can legally access your super early. These include specific medical conditions or when you are experiencing severe financial hardship.

Consequences of Illegal Access of your Super

  • Severe penalties apply for illegally accessing your super early.
  • Illegally accessed super will be taxed at 45% regardless of your marginal tax rate
  • If you set up an SMSF and knowingly illegally access your super early, you may incur a fine of up to $340,000 and a jail term of up to five years. Corporate trustees may incur up to $1.1 million fine.
    You may be disqualified as SMSF trustee and unable to operate as a trustee of an SMSF

If you have been involved in illegal super access scheme, contact ATO immediately. ATO will take your voluntary disclosure and circumstances into account when determining any penalties.

Disclaimer: This information should not be considered personal financial advice as it is intended to provide general advice only. This factsheet has been prepared by Superhelp Australia Pty Ltd without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situations or needs.

The information contained in the fact sheet may not be appropriate to your individual needs, therefore, you should seek personal financial advice before making any financial or investment decisions.