Accessing your super

Preservation rules apply to your super

The purpose of super is to help you save money for your retirement. For this reason there are restrictions on when you can access your super. By law, most super must be kept within the super system until you satisfy a certain condition of release. This is known as preservation and means that you can't access your super until you meet one of these conditions:

  • You permanently retire after reaching your preservation age (refer to the table below).
  • You reach your preservation age and begin a transition to retirement pension.
  • You reach age 65 (regardless of whether you are still working).
  • You leave an employer at or after age 60.
  • You retire early due to permanent incapacity.
  • You meet the criteria of having a terminal medical condition.
  • You meet the criteria for early release on compassionate grounds (partial release only - limits apply).
  • You meet eligibility requirements for severe financial hardship (partial release only - limits apply).
  • You permanently depart from Australia, if you are a temporary resident (except New Zealand citizens).
  • You leave an employer and your preserved benefit is less than $200.
  • You become a 'lost' member and when found, the value of your preserved benefit is less than $200.
  • You have a liability for excess contributions tax set out in an Australian Taxation Office release authority.
  • You die.

All superannuation acquired from 1 July 1999 is subject to preservation. This includes any investment earnings credited to your super.

Your preservation age depends on when you were born:

If you were born: Preservation age
Before 1 July 1960 55
1 July 1960 to 30 June 1961 56
1 July 1961 to 30 June 1962 57
1 July 1962 to 30 June 1963 58
1 July 1963 to 30 June 1964 59
After 30 June 1964 60