Find out what you need to know about accessing your super, the Age Pension and your retirement options.

Most people want to know when they can withdraw their super. And some people want to know if they can get their super released early. In this article, we explain when and how you can access your super (and the Age Pension) and what else you need to consider for a comfortable retirement.

When can I get my super?

You can access your super:

  • when you have retired and reached your preservation age
  • when you have reached age 65 (even if you haven’t retired), or
  • through a transition to retirement strategy

Can I get my super early?

Yes, you can access your super before your preservation age, but only in certain circumstances.

  • Incapacity – you must be permanently or temporarily disabled.
  • Severe financial hardship – if you have received Commonwealth benefits for 26 continuous weeks and can’t meet your living expenses.
  • Compassionate grounds – if you need to pay for medical bills when you are seriously ill.
  • Terminal medical condition – if you have been diagnosed by two medical practitioners with a terminal illness or injury that is likely to result in your death within 24 months.

If you want to know more about how you can access your super in special circumstances check out the early release of superannuation section at Centrelink.

What is preservation age?

This is the age at which you’re able to access your super. It ranges from age 55 to 60,depending on when you were born.

Date of birth Preservation age
Before 1 July 1960 55
1 July 1960 – 30 June 1961 56
1 July 1961 – 30 June 1962 57
1 July 1962 – 30 June 1963 58
1 July 1963 – 30 June 1964 59
From 1 July 1964 60

Transition to retirement strategies

Another way to get access to your super is through a transition to retirement (TtR) strategy.

If you’re not ready to give up work yet, but you still want to save for your retirement, you have two choices. You can use a TTR strategy to either:

  1. Reduce your hours at work, receive the same amount of pay and increase your super, or
  2. Keep working the same hours, contribute more to your super through salary sacrifice, and supplement your income with a TtR pension.

Find out more about how you can access your super through transition to retirement strategies.

How can I access my super when I retire?

You can receive your super in three ways:

  • A lump sum – which is yours to choose where to invest, but you’ll be taxed on any interest or capital gain
  • An income stream – an allocated pension (also called an account-based pension) that pays you money from your super account on a regular basis
  • An annuity – where you are paid an agreed amount over a number of years.

Each one is taxed differently, so you’ll need to consider which option is right for you.

Making choices about your super

Whatever choice you make, just remember super is designed to help you save for your retirement. So it’s important to make sure that you will have enough to live the lifestyle you want. Speak to us to work out how much you’ll need for a comfortable retirement.

When can I get the Age Pension?

Currently, you need to be at least 65 years old and meet an income and assets test to receive the Age Pension. However, the age at which you can apply for it is changing from 1 July 2017.

To help you work out when you can get access to your super and apply for the Age Pension, give us a call on 03 9021 2089.

Need help?

If you would like help with working out your super or retirement options, please contact us on 03 9021 2089 or send your questions to info@jhfinancialpartners.com.au


Source: AMP, originally published on 10/05/16 amp.com.au/insights

  1. Important note: © AMP Life Limited. This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account.  It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, AMP does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete.  You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any investment decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, AMP does not accept any liability (whether under contract, tort or otherwise) for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.