Many people that have long wanted cosmetic surgery are now taking advantage of the fact that they can access money from their superannuation, thanks to COVID-19.
Previously an avenue existed to do just this though the Australian Taxation Office. If they approved the release, your super fund would then consider the grounds and release the funds if appropriate under the rules of your fund.
Essentially your superannuation can be accessed at any time if you are suffering a serious medical condition, especially where you have no other means to fund the surgery and the surgery cannot be performed in a public hospital.
To put it clearly, this is not meant for people wanting to change their appearance for purely “cosmetic“ reasons.
Procedures that may be suitable for early access to your superannuation are:
- Breast reduction
- Abdominoplasty or Apronectomy
- Removal of breast implants for medical reasons
Procedures that are not suitable are:
The process is long winded, you require proof of your reason for needing the funds, and if you are not eligible, pretty much don’t bother. Below is their list of suitable reasons for early access to your superannuation. It is very clear what can be claimed.
- COVID-19 early release of superannuation
- Access on compassionate grounds
- Access due to severe financial hardship
- Access due to a terminal medical condition
- Access due to temporary incapacity
- Access due to permanent incapacity
- Super less than $200
- First home super saver scheme
The ATO Website has detailed information on this topic:
This process is completely different to the Covid-19 early access program, which allows two withdrawals of up to $10,000 on each occasion by June 30th 2020 and then September 30th 2020.
This program is not meant for everyone. It is designed to assist people financially impacted by COVID-19. If you are within the government guidelines and are eligible to release either, or both lots of up to $10,000 of your superannuation, there are no guidelines as to what you can spend your money on. This is where we are finding lots of people are using this money to fund surgery.
What surgery are people requesting at the moment?
The most common procedure that we are being asked about in relation to this injection of funds, is women that have put up with extra large breasts for years, because they could not afford surgery. Public hospital waitlists for this type of surgery are long and rarely eventuate in surgery. This has been a god-send for these women, who really do suffer with large breasts and all of the many complications associated.
Deciding to apply for release of superannuation
Be cautious when deciding to release funds from your superannuation. This money is meant to help you in your retirement, when you may not have any other income. Seek financial advice from someone you trust before making the decision to release these funds.
Another word of warning is to stay in touch with government changes. Nothing ever stays the same, but in these times of COVID-19, rulings can change weekly.
If you would like to discuss any surgical procedures, feel free to call us on 54792922. Our staff are happy to spend time answering any queries you may have and can give you an idea of the costs involved.