When Can I Access My Super?
Since 1 July 1999, all money contributed to superannuation is fully preserved. This means that unlike, say, a bank account, you cannot access your super at anytime. The rules governing when you can receive your super are as follows:
- When you reach age 65
- When you change employment after age 60.
- When you retire permanently and have reached your preservation age (see table below)
|Date of Birth||Preservation Age|
|After June 1964||60|
|July 1963 – June 1964||59|
|July 1962 – June 1963||58|
|July 1961 – June 1962||57|
|July 1960 – June 1961||56|
|Before July 1960||55|
You may also be able to access your super under the following special conditions:
- Financial hardship (conditions apply)
- Compassionate grounds, e.g. to cover medical treatment, funeral expenses or to prevent foreclosure on your home
- Total and permanent disability
- Terminal illness
- You are a temporary resident departing Australia permanently
- Your benefit is less than $200 and you leave your employer
- You take out a transition to retirement pension if you are aged 55 or more and continue to work.
If you die, your super is generally paid to your nominated beneficiary. If you have not nominated a beneficiary the fund trustee will decide where the benefit goes.
Once you meet your preservation age or one of the conditions of release above, you have three options available to you:
- You may keep your funds in a super account and withdraw a lump sum from time to time;
- You may rollover your funds to an account based pension and receive regular payments (like an income stream); or
- You can withdraw the funds.
Keeping your money in the super system can be a very tax-effective approach but the advantages will depend on your overall situation.