Superannuation scams

Scammers who want your super

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 want.

Once your super has been withdrawn or transferred, the scammer then takes a large commission or may even steal the entire amount for themselves.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 scam.

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 your super.

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 fraud webpage.

Who the scammers target

Promoters of illegal super scams often target people struggling with debt, unemployed people and those from non-English speaking backgrounds.

Warning signs

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 action against

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 legal

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.


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Last updated: 03 Oct 2013

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