Experiencing financial hardship

We’re here to guide you through accessing your super early.

Super for severe financial hardship

Super is designed as a long-term investment to fund your retirement. However, under some circumstances, like severe financial hardship, you may be able to access some or all of your super early.

It’s important to note that you can only access your super if you’re eligible and provide all the relevant documents. 

We understand this is a difficult time, so we’ve developed a step-by-step guide to help make the process as easy as possible.

Three steps to making a financial hardship claim:

  • Check your eligibility
  • Gather all your documents
  • Apply for a financial hardship payment

How to make a Mercer Super financial hardship claim

Step 1: Check your eligibility 

Apply for financial hardship and you could access $1,000 to $10,000 of your super. Before applying, if you haven’t reached preservation age (from 1 July 2024, this will be 60 for most people), make sure you:

  • haven’t received a financial hardship payment from Mercer Super or another super fund in the last 12 months,

  • are unable to meet ‘reasonable and immediate family living expenses’ such as food or rent, and

  • have been (and still are) receiving eligible Commonwealth income support payments for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks. You can find a full list of eligible payments in the Mercer Super Financial Hardship form and factsheet.

The rules are a bit different if you’ve reached your preservation age. You can withdraw some or all of your super if you’re:

  • unemployed or working less than 10 hours a week when you apply, and

  • receive eligible Commonwealth income support payments for a continuous period of at least 39 weeks since reaching your preservation age. 

Not eligible for a financial hardship super withdrawal? 


Step 2: Gather all your documents

You need to share some important information with us to confirm your eligibility. This includes:

Step 3: Apply for a financial hardship payment

Once you’ve got your documents, the next step is to:

  • Return your completed form to: Mercer Super Trust, GPO Box 4303, Melbourne, VIC 3001.

As part of your membership, our Helpline Advice team can provide financial advice about your Mercer Super account at no additional cost.



Remember, you can only make one withdrawal, up to $10,000, under severe financial hardship every 12 months.

What to consider before you apply:

  • Withdrawing super now could mean less super in retirement.
  • Financial hardship payments are taxed as a super lump sum. If you're under 60, this is generally taxed between 17% and 22%. If you're 60 or above, your payment is tax-free unless the lump sum includes an untaxed element.
  • Check the impact of the payment on other government benefits you receive.
  • To keep any insurance cover linked to your super, you'll need to leave some money in your account to pay for future premiums.
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Frequently asked questions

Applying for financial hardship can be overwhelming. When submitting your application form you want to avoid delaying the process by ensuring you don’t miss anything. To help with this we’ve put together a list of some frequently asked questions.

Support is here for you

We appreciate how stressful this may be for you. You have access to free and confidential support during this difficult time:

Financial Counselling Australia: a free, independent and confidential service (1800 007 007 or www.financialcounsellingaustralia.org.au)

1800 RESPECT (24 hours): a free, sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling line (1800 737 732 or www.1800respect.org.au)

Lifeline (24 hours): crisis support and suicide prevention services (13 11 14 or www.lifeline.org.au)

Kids Help Line (24 hours): assists people aged up to 25 who are exposed to violence as well as staff who have concerns about the safety of their children (1800 551 800 or www.kidshelp.com.au)

Relationships Australia: relationship support services for individuals, families and communities (1300 364 277 or www.relationships.com.au)

MensLine (24 hours): counselling and resources for men in crisis (1300 789 978 or www.mensline.org.au)

Men’s Referral Service (24 hours): telephone counselling for men dealing with family violence matters (1300 766 491 or www.ntvmrs.org.au)

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Advice at the right time

As a Mercer Super member, you can access advice when you need it. No minimum requirements – all you need is a Mercer Super account.

Need more help? We’ve got you covered.

Have questions about Mercer Super or need more information about becoming a member? We’d love to hear from you.

Member Online Support

Member Online support

Log in to your account for more information or to submit an online enquiry.

Contact Our Helpline

Contact our helpline

Visit the member support page or call 1800 682 525, Monday to Friday, 8am-7pm (AEST/ AEDT).


Disclaimer: This document has been prepared and sent on behalf of Mercer Superannuation (Australia) Limited (‘Mercer Super’), ABN 79 004 717 533, Australian Financial Services Licence #235906, the trustee of the Mercer Super Trust ABN 19 905 422 981. Any advice contained in this document is of a general nature only, and does not take into account the personal needs and circumstances of any particular individual. Prior to acting on any information contained in this document, you need to take into account your own financial circumstances. Please consider the Product Disclosure Statement, Product Guide, Insurance Guide, and Financial Services Guide before making a decision about the product, or seek professional advice from a licensed, or appropriately authorised financial adviser if you are unsure of what action to take. 'MERCER' is a registered trademark of Mercer (Australia) Pty Ltd ABN 32 005 315 917. The material contained in this document is based on information received in good faith from sources within the market and on our understanding of legislation and government press releases at the date of publication which we believe to be reliable and accurate. Neither Mercer nor any of its related parties accepts any responsibility for any inaccuracy.