Your balance, age, needs and entitlements all play a factor in determining when you can retire.

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


What happens if I am under 55?

If you are under 55, you will not be able to access your superannuation or the aged pension. If you wish to retire, you will need an alternative income stream!

What about retiring between 56 and 60? Is there any other choices?

While many Australians may be able to access their super (depending on when they were born) during this time, it might be an idea to consider a transition to retirement (or TTR) plan. This could enable you to still work, while beginning to access your funds. To learn more about it, click here.

If you want us to assist you with understanding your options, our financial planning team can assist with projections and creating a tailored plan that may assist. Click here to get in touch with them.

What conditions are there for getting 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)
  • 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

Learn more about your options here.