Early release

In certain circumstances, you may access your PSS benefit early on severe financial hardship or other specified grounds (not available to associate members).

Implications for preserved benefit members

If you are a PSS preserved member and you do access part of your benefit on hardship or other specified grounds during your last period of preservation before retirement, you cannot receive a pension as part of your final benefit.

Hardship grounds

If you experience difficulty meeting your everyday living costs, you may be able to access up to $10,000 of your PSS benefit over a 12 month period if you can prove you continuously received Commonwealth income support payments for a:

  • 26 week period if under age 55, or
  • 39 week period if over age 55.

Generally speaking, PSS only releases money under hardship grounds for reasonable family expenses due and payable immediately; you may need to provide documented evidence to support your application. Amounts released cannot exceed $10,000 gross and only one payment amount will be approved and released in any 12 month period.

How do I apply?

In the case of hardship or specified grounds, you must complete a benefit application form and provide any documentary evidence that is required.

Specified grounds

Circumstances in which other provisions may apply include:

  • treatment of life threatening illnesses
  • palliative care
  • funeral and burial expenses
  • prevention of foreclosure by a mortgagee.

In all cases, your super will only be released if you meet qualifying criteria.

How do I apply?

You must apply through the Department of Human Services not PSS. You should also complete a PSS benefit application form and provide documentary evidence.