Your balance, needs and entitlements all play a factor in determining when you can retire. Learn how you can figure out when you can retire – and ways you can use your super funds while you’re still working!

How old do I have to be to retire?

There is no absolute age that you must be to retire, however you may not be able to access your super until you reach your preservation age. If you retire and access your super benefits before you reach your preservation age, which can vary from 57 to 60 depending on the year of your birth, you may be required to pay tax on some of your super benefits.

The chart below will assist in establishing your preservation age.

Date of birth

Your preservation age

Before 1 July 1960 


From 1 July 1960 until 30 June 1961


From 1 July 1961 until 30 June 1962


From 1 July 1962 until 30 June 1963


From 1 July 1963 until 30 June 1964


On or after 1 July 1964


Can I access super early?

There are circumstances where you (or a beneficiary) are able to access your super early however you will need to meet a condition of release, such as:

  • Endure severe financial hardship (conditions and dollar limits apply)
  • Download the financial hardship claim form
  • Compassionate grounds as approved by the Department of Human Services
  • Hold preserved super benefits of less than $200
  • Are a non-resident who leaves Australia permanently
  • Suffer from a terminal medical condition
  • Become permanently incapacitated or die

Apply to the Department of Human Services for a release on compassionate grounds

If you would like to have your super released early, you may need to apply to the Department of Human Services. Some of the reasons you can request compassionate release include:

  • Suffering a life-threatening illness
  • Prevent foreclosure on the mortgage on your home
  • For medical or funeral costs, or palliative care
  • To modify your home or vehicle if you or your dependent is severely disabled.

Transition to retirement

If you have reached your preservation age but aren’t ready for a full retirement, a transition to retirement pension (also called a transition to retirement account-based pension) will allow you to draw on some of your super savings while you continue to work.

You can withdraw up to 10% of your super per year and spend it on whatever you want – anything from travel to home repairs to reducing your working hours while keeping up your regular income.

Our financial advice team can help you plan for your retirement.

Have questions about when you can retire? Want to know about accessing your super early? Think transition to retirement might be right for you? Our award-winning financial advice team can help you define your goals and create a plan that works best for your unique needs.

Organise a financial advice call back here.