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When can you access your super?


At Club Plus Super, we receive a lot of requests from members seeking clarification on the rules around super withdrawal. Superannuation has been set up to help you save for retirement and this means there are restrictions around how you can access your super. Here are some options available to you, so you know all the facts about super withdrawal.

How do the different types of benefits affect super withdrawal?

There are two milestones at which you can access your super. When you reach your preservation age and you permanently retire, or when you turn 65-years-old, even if you haven’t retired.

The money in your superannuation can fall into several categories. These impact how and when you can access your super and include;

  • Preserved benefits
  • Restricted non-preserved benefits
  • Unrestricted non-preserved benefits.

There’s detailed explanation of each on the Australian Tax Office website. It’s likely that the unrestricted non-preserved benefits sound the most appealing, as they can be withdrawn at any time. For preserved and restricted non-preserved benefits, however, there are specific conditions around super withdrawal you’ll need to read up on. Your annual statement will specify how much of each type of benefit you have in your super.

Of course, the easiest and best way to identify what’s in your fund and learn about your super withdrawal restrictions is to talk to our Member Contact Centre on 1800 680 627. Or you can make an appointment to speak to one of our Member Service Managers. That’s what they’re there for.

Mature friends at a dinner party celebrating super withdrawal
Celebrating a retirement plan coming to fruition

Does my Preservation Age impact my super withdrawal?

The Super Preservation Age is the age at which you can access the funds in your super fund through a super withdrawal. The Australian Taxation Office outlines the age guidelines as follows:

Year you were bornPreservation Age
Before 1 July 196055
Between 1 July 1960 – 30 June 196156
Between 1 July 1961 – 30 June 196257
Between 1 July 1962 – 30 June 196358
Between 1 July 1963 – 30 June 196459
After 30 June 196460

Do I need to withdraw my entire super balance? 

No you do not. Once you do reach your preservation age, there are two options available for super withdrawal:

  1. If you have permanently retired after reaching your preservation age, you can withdraw all of your superannuation money as a lump sum, or some of it as an ongoing income stream. If the former sounds more appealing, there is one key point worth discussing with your tax advisor. Super is held in a concessionally taxed environment, which can help it grow faster than non-super money.
  2. You can transition to retirement (Transition to Retirement Factsheet), which allows you to draw down on your superannuation account balance (up to 10% of your balance a year) as an income stream while you continue to work. Think of it as a 10% pay bump.

Are there any circumstances when I can request an early super withdrawal?

There are certain circumstances when you could withdraw your super before you retire or reach your preservation age. These include:

  • Compassionate grounds
  • Severe financial hardship
  • Terminal illness
  • Permanent incapacity
  • Super death benefits (inheritance)
  • First Home Super Saver Scheme
  • Temporary resident departing Australia
  • Terminating an employment arrangement after turning 60

We talk you through the three most common options in our recent  article on accessing your super early.

Can I increase my contributions before I withdraw my super?

The short answer is yes. There are many different ways to increase your super balance before super withdrawal.

Where can I find out more about my super?

At Club Plus Super we want to answer your questions about your super in a way that best suits you. You can get the answers you need from:

  1. Articles within the News & Insights section
  2. Information on the website
  3. Live chat – simply click on the box on the bottom right of the screen
  4. A phone call with a Member Support Specialist. Call 1800 680 627.
  5. A meeting with one of our member service managers
  6. An email enquiry

Remember, with Club Plus Super you’re not just part of a super fund, you’re a member of our club. From entering the workforce to retirement, we’re with you every step of the way. We’re your club for good.

This article was first published on 31 January 2019. Updated: 4 February 2021.

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