Compassionate early release of super moving to ATO on 1 July 2018

Responsibility for administering the early release of superannuation on compassionate grounds is set to move from the Department of Human Services (DHS) to the ATO, from 1 July 2018.

The Government said this would improve the early release of superannuation by ensuring applicants received funds sooner.

“These changes will expedite the assessment of early release applications, improve the integrity of the process and allow the funds to be released more quickly to successful applicants,” said Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer.

“The ATO is responsible for most of an individual’s interactions with the superannuation system. This change will enable the ATO to build on these existing relationships and provide a more streamlined service to members,” said a statement from the office of Minister O’Dwyer.

A “key improvement” under the new processing by the ATO will be providing electronic copies of approval letters to super funds at the same time as the applying member. This is aimed at mitigating fraud risk and removing the need for super funds to verify such letters with the regulator.

Early release applicants will also upload documentation at the same time as their application, instead of as part of the current ‘two-step process’.

Early release applications will be accepted by the DHS until 30 June 2018 and there will be a “short transition period”. The ATO will process all new applications from 1 July 2018.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank DHS and its staff for administering the early release provisions since 2011,” Minister O’Dwyer said.

The Government says this change “complements” the review of the early release of super rules, on which the Treasury will report to the Government later in 2018.

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