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Issue 27 - October 2016

The FOS Approach to Early release of superannuation


Early superannuation release to repay arrears should be considered only as a last resort. Even though the borrower may have requested a release, there will generally be other ways of better assisting them. Financial services providers (FSPs) should ensure that they fully explore all options for assistance with the borrower.

FSPs are best placed to make an appropriate decision and meet their obligations if the request is considered by a dedicated hardship team or staff properly trained in the FSP's hardship processes and code obligations.

In most cases that we have reviewed, we have found that it was not appropriate for the FSP to support a release because better alternatives were available, or it was unlikely that a release would help the borrower overcome their difficulty. In almost all instances where an FSP declined to support a release, we found that decision was appropriate.

Read more about the Early release of superannuation, which is part of our Financial difficulty series.

Visit to see all the available FOS Approach documents.