accessing your super

You’ve worked hard all your life to build your super and now it is time to reap the rewards. Here are the rules on how and when to access your super.

When can you access your super? 

Generally, you can claim your super once you have reached your preservation age, which is between 55 and 60, depending on your date of birth. Once you reach this age, you may decide to permanently retire or access your super as a transition to retirement pension. 

Here are some guidelines: 

  • If you are not retiring, you can access your super as a transition to retirement pension. Read more about this in our transition to retirement page. 
  • If you permanently retire, you can access your super once you reach your preservation age (see table below). However, there may be tax implications for claiming your super before age 60.

Regardless of whether or not you have retired, if you are aged 65 or over, you can access your super as either a lump sum or income stream.

What is your preservation age?

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

Special circumstances

In special circumstances, you may access at least part of your super benefits before reaching preservation age. These include: 

  • Permanent incapacity. You may be able to access your super if you are permanently incapacitated. Your fund must be satisfied that you have a permanent physical or mental medical condition that is likely to stop you from ever working again in a job you were qualified to do.

  • Severe financial hardship. When you have been receiving Commonwealth Government income support for at least 26 weeks continuously and you are unable to meet reasonable and immediate family expenses, you may be able to claim a portion of your super. If you have reached preservation age and have received income support for at least 39 weeks, you may be able to claim all your super.

  • Compassionate grounds. Examples include a life-threatening illness or potential repossession of your home. The Australian Tax Office (ATO) makes decisions on the release of super on compassionate grounds. You can visit the ATO website for more information, or see How to make an application for payment - financial hardship and compassionate grounds fact sheet.

  • Terminal illness. In this case, if you have a proven terminal illness you may access all your super benefits tax free.

  • You have less than $200 in super. 

To access your super, you will need to satisfy a condition of release. The applicable form is only available from our Member Care team. Please call us on 1300 547 873 between 8.30am and 6.00pm, Monday to Friday.

Temporary residents leaving Australia 

If you were a temporary resident of Australia and have permanently left Australia, you may be entitled to take your super with you when you leave. This is known as a Departing Australia Superannuation Payment. You can use the Australian Tax Office’s Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP) online application system for the quickest and easiest way to withdraw your super. 

Remember that you can only claim your super benefits within six months of departing Australia, or within six months of the expiry or cancellation of the visa, whichever event is later. If you don’t claim your money within six months of departing Australia, your account balance will be paid to the ATO and your account will be closed without notification. You will then need to contact the ATO directly to claim your super. 

Appropriate DASP tax rates will be applied.