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When can I access my super?

For most of us, we can only access our super funds once we reach a certain age and retire. However, in certain circumstances, it is possible to access your super funds early.

When can I access my super?

Reaching a certain age is the most common way to access your super. It’s called your ‘preservation age’ and is determined by when you were born.

You can usually start accessing your super when you either:

  • Retire permanently from the workplace, having reached your ‘preservation age’ (see the table below)
    Or
  • Leave your employer after you turn 60.

The table below will tell you when you can access your super.

Your date of birth Minimum age you can access your super
1 July 1961 – 30 June 1962 57
1 July 1962 – 30 June 1963 58
1 July 1963 – 30 June 1964 59
After 30 June 1964 60

Temporary Australian resident

If you held a temporary visa which has expired or was cancelled, you can withdraw your super if you no longer live in Australia.

You’ll need to go to the Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP) website and either complete the online application or download it, fill it out and return the form to us at GPO Box 1749, Adelaide SA 5001.

We will then pay your super by Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) to your nominated Australian Bank account, or we’ll send you a cheque in the mail.

Transition to retirement

Once you’ve reached the age you can access your super, a great way to ease more slowly into retirement is to cut back on the number of hours you work each week and start drawing on your super to make up for the income gap.

It’s called Transition To Retirement (TTR) and it lets you transfer some or all of your super savings into a pension account and start a TTR pension while you continue to work.

To find out more about transitioning to retirement, give us a call on 1300 65 18 65 or have a chat to one of our specialist financial advisers.

Financial hardship

You may be able to access your super earlier if you’re struggling financially, but you do need to meet certain criteria.

If you’re below your preservation age, you must be:

  1. Receiving eligible Centrelink income support payments for 26 weeks consecutively and;
  2. Unable to meet ‘reasonable and immediate family living expenses’.

If you’ve reached your preservation age, you must be:

  • Receiving eligible Centrelink income support payments for a total of 39 weeks and;
  • Unable to meet ‘reasonable and immediate family living expenses’.

If you meet the above criteria, give us a call on 1300 65 18 65 and we can take you through the claim process.

Compassionate grounds

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) can authorise the release of your super on compassionate grounds. These include such things as:

  • medical treatment,
  • transport and expenses,
  • funeral assistance,
  • mortgage assistance,
  • palliative care,
  • modifications to home, and
  • transport to accommodate a severe disability.

If the ATO authorises the release of your super, the amount of super you can withdraw is limited to what you ‘reasonably’ need in your circumstances.

If you think your circumstances fit the above criteria, you’ll need to apply to the ATO to have your super released. To find out more, contact the ATO 13 28 61.