Getting your super
Tomorrow's super, today
If you're approaching retirement you need to think about how
you're going to get your super. There are many rules that apply to
getting tomorrow's super.
Retiring on your
You get your super when you reach the minimum age set by
The minimum age is known as your 'preservation age' because your
super is 'preserved' until this point in your life. Your
preservation age can range from 55 to 60 depending on how old you
are. Use our super and pension age calculator to work out your
and pension age calculator
When you reach preservation age, you can access your
super as long as you are permanently retired (or have reached
age 65). If you haven't permanently retired, you can still access
part of your super via a transition to retirement
How much will you get?
If you are at point where you're considering retiring, seek financial
advice about how best to get your super.
Your final retirement benefit is determined by:
- Your employer's contributions over your working life
- Your own additional contributions
- Your investment returns
- The tax you pay
- The amount of fees
You can choose to receive your super as a lump sum, a retirement
income stream (e.g. $400 a month) or a combination of both. If you
choose to receive your super as a regular income stream, the money
that you're not accessing continues to work for you and earn an
Taking your super as a lump sum can have tax and Centrelink
implications and is often not the best way to deal with your super.
This can be a real problem if you make a mistake and can't put the
money back into super.
Use our retirement planner to work out what retirement income
you're heading for and see how you can improve your situation.
Getting super early
There are some very limited circumstances when you can access
your super before you reach your preservation age:
- Incapacity - if you suffer permanent or
- Severe financial hardship - if you have
received Commonwealth benefits for 26 continuous weeks but are
still unable to meet immediate living expenses
- Compassionate grounds - to pay for medical
treatment if you are seriously ill
- Terminal medical condition - if you have a
terminal illness or injury likely to result in death in 24 months
or less as certified by two registered medical practitioners, at
least one of whom is a specialist.
The Department of Human Services has some useful resources on
the early release of
Carefully consider whether you really need to access your super
early. Seek advice if you're unsure. Accessing your super now may
not be a long term financial solution if money is tight. Taking
money from your super now, reduces the amount you have for
You may also be able to access your super early if you are
permanently leaving Australia or if you have less than $200 in your
super account. Go to the Australian Taxation Office's individuals'
superannuation webpage and
select the 'receiving benefits' option.
Super is a lifetime investment that will provide
for you when you retire. Grow your super before you stop working so
you can make the most of it after you retire.
Last updated: 17 Oct 2016