Getting superannuation

Woman sitting on a mat paintingIf you're about to retire you should think about how you're going to get your super.

If you have any questions about your super you can talk to your super fund, a financial counsellor or your local financial capability worker worker.  

Getting your super when you retire

You get your super when you reach the minimum age set by law.

You can choose to receive your super as a lump sum, a regular income stream (e.g. $400 a month) or a combination of both.

For more information see income from super.

Work out when you can get your super.

Super and pension age calculator

Getting your super early

Senior man at the ATM with two girls and a dogYou are usually not allowed to touch your super until you reach a certain age or until you retire. In special cases, super funds may give you some of your super money early for hardship or compassionate reasons. But the law is very strict about when super funds can do this.

If you think you might need to get some of your super money early, talk to your super fund, a financial counsellor or a financial capability worker.

Case study: Joanne talks to a financial counsellor

Joanne has been sick and had to give up her job at the supermarket. She has five kids and her Centrelink benefit doesn't cover all her expenses. Joanne talks to a financial counsellor who thinks Joanne might be able to get some money out of her super to help pay for everyday items until she gets better.

Superannuation scams

Stay away from people who say they can help you get your super early for a fee. This is illegal and these people are scammers who just want to get your super money. Some people have lost all their super savings and risked paying extra tax because they got caught up in one of these scams.

If someone tries to convince you to get your super out early, call ASIC's Indigenous Help Line on 1300 365 957 or ASIC's Infoline on 1300 300 630 to report them. See superannuation scams for more information.

What happens to your super when you die 

Your super fund will pay your dependants (e.g. your husband or wife, children and other people who depend on you financially):

  • The money in your super account
  • Your life insurance if you have this with your super

Most funds let you name your dependants either as a non-binding or binding nomination. 

Smart tip

Keep your super nominations up to date, especially if you marry, re-marry or have children.

For example, if you make a binding nomination that you would like your super to be paid to your children, then the super fund must follow your instructions and pay your money to your children. A non-binding nomination will guide the super fund to pay your money to your children but does not force them to.

It is important to name your dependants in your will so that when you die, the super fund will be able to pay out your money in the way you want. For more information, see super death benefits.

If you have any questions about your super contact your super fund or see a financial counsellor.  For more information see get help with money.

Related links

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain images and voices of deceased people.

Last updated: 19 Jan 2018