Super Funds for Cosmetic Surgery
Super Funds: Can you Use Super For Surgery? Early Release
Many people ask if they can access their SUPER FUND to help pay for their cosmetic or plastic surgery procedure. The answer is, it depends. Some Funds allow early super withdrawal for procedures and some do not.
SAVING UP FOR YOUR LIFE-CHANGING SURGERY?
Several recent plastic surgery patients have been able to access their accumulated Superannuation Funds to pay for their own life-changing surgery. There is a special government process to follow and many forms to fill out, but it could be a possibility.
This may be most likely to apply to Abdominoplasty, Breast Reduction and Body Contouring or Skin Reduction Contouring Body Surgery after weight loss or Bariatric Surgery.
CAN YOUR SUPERANNUATION FUND PAY FOR YOUR PLASTIC SURGERY?
In most cases, Australians cannot unlock their Super until they reach ”preservation age”, which is between 55 and 60, depending on birth date.
But, under exceptional circumstances, the Department of Human Services (DHS) will assess early access on ”compassionate grounds”, which include medical procedures to treat life-threatening illnesses and chronic pain. Your Super fund will make the final decision to release the money. Note that not all super funds permit early access of super benefits on these grounds, so you should check with your super fund before applying.
- 18,024 people applied to the Department of Human Services for early release of super on compassionate grounds during the 2012-13 financial year.
- Of those, 11,510 were approved. (around 2 out of 3 applicants).
- There are Special Access criteria: Under limited circumstances, you can apply for early access to superannuation for Medical treatment expenses and Medical transport.
APPLYING TO ACCESS YOUR SUPER FUNDS FOR PLASTIC SURGERY
You must apply to the Department of Human Services in the first instance, and then when you have the okay of the DHS, you (or the DHS), liaise with your super fund.
The super regulations (SIS Regulations 1994, Reg 6.19A) allow early release of super benefits on compassionate grounds where:
a. the money is required to pay for medical treatment or medical transport for the person (or dependant of the person)
b. based on the certification of two medical practitioners (including one a specialist in the area of illness) that the treatment is necessary, the medical treatment is necessary to treat a life threatening illness or injury; or to alleviate acute, or chronic, pain; or alleviate an acute, or chronic, mental disturbance
c. the treatment is not readily available to the person (or person’s dependant) through the public health system
d. the person does not have the financial capacity to meet the expense of the treatment
You can find further information on the requirements, including documentation, by visiting the DHS website, https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/early-release-superannuation