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Find out when you can start using your retirement savings
Because superannuation is a compulsory, long-term investment designed to provide you with savings for your retirement, there are rules about what age you can access your super.
Rules for accessing your super
Age: 65 or over
Rules for accessing your super:
You can access your super, without restrictions, even if you're still working.1
Age: 60 to 64
You can access your super as long as you've permanently retired.
If you end an employment arrangement on or after age 60, you can also access the super you've earned up until then.
If you're not ready to retire, you could use some of your super while you’re still working, with a Transition to Retirement Income account.
Age: Under age 60, born before 1 July 1964
If you're under 60, you must have reached your access age and be permanently retired to access your super.
Age: Under your access age, born 1 July 1964 or later
You would need to meet one of the conditions for early access, such as severe financial hardship or a terminal medical condition.
Find out when you can withdraw your super tax-free as a lump sum, and how it works. Or if you're 60 or over, you can use a retirement income product to get regular income payments from your super tax-free.
Once you've reached the age you can withdraw your super, there are a number of ways to draw on your retirement savings. You can access your super as:
Learn more about ways to make a withdrawal from your super, or learn more about how our retirement solutions could work for you.
While your super is generally locked away until you are retired, there are some circumstances where you can apply to take it out early.
Our great range of retirement solutions is just one of the many reasons to retire with QSuper.
Enjoy life after work and turn your super into a regular income with our award-winning Retirement Income account. As your money stays invested, your savings could continue to grow. Find out why thousands of Australians have partnered with QSuper in retirement.
Enjoy security and confidence in retirement with our award-winning Lifetime Pension. It provides an income for the rest of your life, and may even increase your Age Pension payment (if eligible). Find out how you could benefit from this industry-first solution.
Your preservation age - or access age - is the government's minimum age that your super must be ‘preserved’ until. It's currently between 55 and 60, depending on when you were born.
When you reach your preservation age, super normally becomes available for you to withdraw or convert to an income stream once you've retired. If you're still working when you reach your preservation age, you can start a Transition to Retirement account instead.
The preservation age for super is different to the government's Age Pension eligibility age.
If you stop an employment arrangement on or after turning 60, you are able to access the superannuation you have accumulated up until that point.
If you decide to return to work, you can still access the super you had before you returned to work. But for any contributions from your new employer, you'll need to wait until you leave that job before you can access that super.
If you are aged 60 years old and not yet ready to retire, you could access some of your super while you’re still working by opening a Transition to Retirement (TTR) Income account.
You can use a TTR Income account to reduce your work hours without reducing your income, or as part of a tax strategy in the lead up to retirement, saving you tax while your savings continue to grow.
If you are between 55 and 60 years old, you would normally need to be permanently retired and reached your preservation age to access your super as a lump sum.
Your preservation age is a minimum age, set by the Australian Government, that your super must be ‘preserved’ until. The preservation age is between 55 and 60, depending on the year and month you were born.
However, if you've met your preservation age and want to draw an income from some of your super, but you're not ready to retire, you could open a Transition to Retirement Income account.
Depending on your age, withdrawals and income payments from your super may be taxed. If you're over 60 years of age, it is tax-free. If you're under 60, the taxable portion of any income payments will be taxed at your marginal tax rate (plus Medicare levy), but you'll receive a 15% tax offset.
Lump sum withdrawals are tax-free if you are over age 60, or for amounts under the low rate cap.2
Learn more about how your super is taxed, or read our Tax Explanation factsheet.
Yes, lump sum withdrawals and payments from your super can also impact any benefits you are receiving from Centrelink.
Managing government benefits such as the Age Pension can be complex, and small changes can have a big impact, so it pays to get personal financial advice to help you maximise your retirement income.
More retirement information
When it comes to making the most of your retirement, getting financial advice can help you decide what's best for your situation.
1. If you hold a Defined Benefit account, there are some important considerations before you access your super when you are still working.
2. The low rate cap is a lifetime cap that limits the amount of taxable components (taxed and untaxed elements) of a super lump sum that can be untaxed or taxed at a lower rate. It applies to members who have reached their preservation age but are under 60 years.