• Accessing your super

  • When can you access your super?

    To gain access to your super savings, you generally need to:

    • Retire after reaching your preservation age (see table below)
    • Commence a transition to retirement pension account after reaching your preservation age or
    • Reach age 65.

    These are the main conditions for the release of superannuation benefits.

    Your preservation age

    Preservation age is not the same for everyone as it depends on when you were born.

    It shouldn’t be mistaken with qualifying for the Age Pension.

    Use the table below to work out your preservation age.

    If your date of birth is... Your preservation age is...
    Before 1 July 1960 55
    1 July 1960 – 30 June 1961 56
    1 July 1961 – 30 June 1962 57
    1 July 1962 – 30 June 1963 58
    1 July 1963 – 30 June 1964 59
    On 1 July 1964 or after 60
  • Early access to super

    There are certain other circumstances in which you may be able to access your super early, but you’ll still need to meet a condition of release:

    • Cease employment after age 60
    • Endure severe financial hardship (conditions and dollar limits apply)
    • Apply to the Department of Human Services on compassionate grounds:
      • If you’re suffering a life-threatening illness
      • To prevent foreclosure of the mortgage on your home
      • For medical or funeral costs, or palliative care
      • To modify your home or vehicle to if you (or your dependant) is severely disabled
    • Hold preserved super benefits of less than $200
    • Leave Australia permanently if you’re a non-resident
    • Suffer from a terminal medical condition
    • Become permanently incapacitated or die.

    Note that if you’re a temporary resident (but not a citizen of New Zealand or a holder of a Subclass 405 or Subclass 410 visa), you won’t have access to your super benefits before leaving Australia, unless:

    • You become permanently incapacitated or 
    • You satisfied one of the other conditions of release before 1 April 2009.

    If you have any unrestricted non-preserved benefits, you can also access this amount at any time. Login to Members online to check your latest statement for any unrestricted non-preserved benefits.

  • Transition to retirement

    A transition to retirement strategy is an option to consider if you’ve reached your preservation age, but you’re not quite ready for full retirement.

    Taking out a transition to retirement pension (also often called a transition to retirement account-based pension) will allow you to draw on some of your super savings as a regular income stream while you still continue to work.

    You can also continue contributing to super to tax-effectively build your wealth. From 1 July 2017, the investment earnings on a transition to retirement pension are taxed at up to 15%.

    Under transition to retirement rules, you are limited to withdrawing a maximum of 10% of your account balance each year, and you can’t take lump sum payments.

    Find out more about using your superannuation in retirement.

  • More information

    Contact us if you’d like more information on accessing your super.