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When can you access your super?
Accessing your super depends on two things: Your ‘preservation age’ and on meeting a ‘condition of release’.
Your ‘preservation age’
The preservation age is the age at which you can access your super either as a regular pension payment or by withdrawing a lump sum. This age has gradually been rising to 60 and is based on when you were born:
- If you were born on or after 1 July 964 your preservation age is 60 years
- If you were born before 1 July 1964 your have already reached your preservation age
Even if you have reached your preservation age but are under age 65, you must meet another condition of release to access your super either as a pension or as a lump sum withdrawal.
Once you're age 65, you can access your super regardless of your employment status and you don't have to meet any other condition of release.
Being able to access your super is known as a 'condition of release'. This means that your funds can be released from your super account and credited to your bank account.
Generally, you’re able to access your super when you have reached:
- your preservation age and have permanently retired,
- your preservation age and have started a Transition to Retirement pension account,
- 60 and have stopped working for an employer, or
- 65 (it doesn't matter if you haven't retired).
If you don’t meet any of the above criteria, you may meet a condition of release to access some or all your super under limited circumstances – for more on this see Early release of super.
Frequently asked questions
Can I access super while I’m still working?
If you’ve reached your preservation age you can set up a Pre-retirement Super Pension (using a Transition to Retirement strategy) and keep working while drawing down a maximum of 10% of the balance you have in your Pre-retirement Super Pension.
I'm under preservation age and in hardship – can I access my super?
There are specific circumstances when you may apply for early release of super, but these come with strict criteria set by the Australian Government. Find out if your situation meets criteria for early release of super.
When can I access my super tax-free?
Once you reach age 60 you can normally access your super tax free. If you choose, from preservation age you can roll your superannuation balance into a TransPension account with TWUSUPER – this is our Super Pension product.
Members who have met a condition of release may have access to tax-free payments.
Before you turn 60, pension payments are taxed at your marginal tax rate less a 15% tax offset. When you turn 60, your pension payments (or any lump sum withdrawals) are usually tax free.
All lump sums and pension payments are tax-free after age 60. If you're under age 60, tax may be applicable. How these are taxed depends on many factors. Use the form at the bottom of this page to speak to a specialist about this.
How do I access my super?
When you meet a condition of release, such as retirement, there are four options for your super.
Transfer your super to a pension account such as TWUSUPER’s TransPension and use it as a tax-free income stream once you are over age 60. You may even be able to combine it with the Government Age Pension depending on other assets and income you have.
Withdraw SOME of your super as a lump sum and leave the remaining balance invested in super.
Withdraw ALL your super as a lump sum. Like Option 2 above, you can choose what you want to do with it.
Keep it invested in super until you need it. This option may suit you if you do not need to draw down on your super to meet your living expenses.
Note: Some options may have tax implications or benefits depending on age and work status – you can speak to a retirement specialist using the callback request form below if you have general questions about tax and super.
Your other assets, as well as any income you're estimated to receive from investments, will also be taken into account by Centrelink when it assesses your eligibility for the Government Age Pension.
Need more details? Speak to a specialist
*Let us know your preferred contact number and preferred callback time between 9am and 5pm (AEST/AEDT) weekdays.
Our specialists are here to answer your questions about accessing super. The team's available between 9am and 5pm (AEST/AEDT) weekdays. Use the online form below to request a callback at your preferred time.
Note that the call back service is available for Australian residents only. If you're overseas, please call +61 3 9192 4414.
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General advice on this website has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the advice, consider its appropriateness. Refer to our Product Disclosure Statements (PDS). The PDS is relevant when deciding whether to acquire or hold a product. A Target Market Determination (TMD) is a document that outlines the target market a product has been designed for. Find the TMDs at twusuper.com.au/tmd