An offer to help you get your superannuation money early might
seem like a great idea. But if you agree to it you could end up in
a lot of trouble.
Accessing your super before age 55 (at the earliest) is illegal
except in very limited circumstances. Don't be tempted to accept an
illegal offer. Find out how super scams operate so you can protect
your retirement savings.
How super scams operate
The scammers say they can withdraw your super or move it to a 'self-managed super fund' so you can
pay off your debts or use the money for something you really
Once your super has been withdrawn or transferred, the scammer
then takes a large commission or may even steal the entire
amount for themselves.
By agreeing to the scam, you risk losing your hard-earned
super savings. You may also unintentionally get caught up in tax
penalties as a result of taking your super early. The scammers may
even get you to sign false statements, exposing you to fines.
To find out more about how super scams work, read our case study on a super
To find out more about the age you need to be before you can get
hold of your super money, see our page on getting
There is another type of super scam where scammers steal your
identity and pretend to be you so they can transfer your super
across to a fake self-managed super fund that they can access. Read
more about how to protect yourself from this scam on the identity
Who the scammers
Promoters of illegal super scams often target people struggling
with debt, unemployed people and those from non-English speaking
Promoters of illegal super schemes will try to get you to
believe that anyone can access their super with their help.
Be alert to these signs of a super scam:
If you have been approached about accessing your super early you
should report it to ASIC via the online complaint form or by
calling ASIC's Infoline on 1300 300 630. You can also report
it to the Australian Taxation Office by phoning 13 10 20.
Recent schemes ASIC has taken
To find out more about the actions ASIC has taken over early
release super schemes, see the following media releases:
When early release of super is
Early release of super is legal only in very limited
circumstances: when you are experiencing financial hardship or on
'compassionate grounds'. For more information, see our getting
your super webpage.
Super is money for your retirement and not money
for now. The superannuation and
retirement section of our website sets out everything you need
to know about super.
Last updated: 14 Oct 2016