Patients win access to earlier super at end of life

Cancer Council Queensland has commended the Federal Government for improving early access to superannuation for Australians affected by life-limiting illnesses.

Yesterday, the Government announced an amendment to enable Australians living with a terminal illness to access their superannuation early and tax-free.

The changes have extended the life expectancy provision period from 12 to 24 months, effective from 1 July 2015.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Professor Jeff Dunn AO welcomed the Federal Government action.

“This amendment will help provide financial certainty to advanced cancer patients, reducing the burden of cancer and enhancing quality of life at the end of life,” Prof Dunn said.

“This change will ease the financial strain on many thousands of Queenslanders and their families living with a terminal illness.

“Many Queenslanders living with a terminal illness face financial hardship associated with the costs of treatment and care.

“This move will allow Queenslanders to access their super fund earlier to pay for treatment, day-to-day expenses and out-of-pocket costs, alleviating the financial burden of terminal illness.

“We unreservedly endorse the amendment and applause its timely introduction this July.”

Under the current provision, Australians with a terminal illness are required to obtain certification from medical specialists that they have less than 12 months to live.

“The change from 12 to 24 months will make a significant difference to all Queenslanders affected by terminal illness, allowing them to access much-needed funds much earlier,” Prof Dunn said.

Queenslanders affected by terminal illness are encouraged to call PalAssist, the State’s palliative care helpline supporting patients and their families coping with terminal illness.

PalAssist is a free service, available to Queenslanders 24 hours, seven days a week, on 1800 772 273 or

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at or 13 11 20.

For more information or interviews, please contact:

Katie Clift, Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson, Cancer Council Queensland

Ph: (07) 3634 5372 or 0409 001 171