When can super be accessed?

When can super be accessed?

14:47 19 November in Helpful Articles

We have recently talked about preservation and taxable and tax free components in members statements. Today we are going to talk about when you are able to legally access your Super money.

The most common ways that you can access your Super are:

1. When you reach retirement age (even if you are still working)
2. When you reach preservation age and retire, or
3. When you undertake a Transition to Retirement plan under the rules and you continue working

This is the ability for some people to access their Super earlier than the above, however these are limited to very specific circumstances like terminal illness or severe financial hardship. A full list of those circumstances are here.

As you can see there are two age categories & one term above that needs defining:

• Retirement age &
• Preservation age
• Retirement

Retirement Age is currently 65

Preservation Age depends on when you were born. Please see the table below to find your Preservation Age:

Date of birthPreservation age
Before 1 July 196055
1 July 1960 — 30 June 196156
1 July 1961 — 30 June 196257
1 July 1962 — 30 June 196358
1 July 1963 — 30 June 196459
After 30 June 196460

The table reflects the fact that people are living longer therefore increasing the length of time in retirement. To make sure people have enough super in retirement, the government has increased the age at which Australians can access their Super.


For the purposes of Super rules, retirement means:

• Over preservation age but less than age 60: The trustee of your Super Fund must be satisfied you have ceased gainful employment and never intend to be employed again either full time (at least 30 hours per week) or part time (at least 10 hours per week)

• Over the age of 60: You can cease gainful employment after age 60 or the trustee is reasonably satisfied that the person is not intending to go back to full time or part time work, even if the person subsequently renters gainful employment.

So to summarise, “retirement” is not possible under the age of 55. After the age of 60 retirement can be taken to have occurred upon ending gainful employment even if the person chooses to go back to work.  When you reach 65 can access your Super regardless of whether you have retired or not.

Please look out for Transition to Retirement information in upcoming blog articles.