Preservation age: I’m 58. Can I withdraw my super benefits?

Q: Can you please tell me whether I can withdraw my super benefits when I retire at age 58?

A: This answer assumes that your super benefits are preserved, and the answer to your question depends on your date of birth. Under normal circumstances, access to superannuation benefits requires certain conditions including:

Note: If your super benefits include any non-preserved benefits, then different rules apply. I explain how you can access non-preserved benefits in the SuperGuide article Unrestricted access to super, sometimes.

Preservation age

Preservation age ranges from age 55 to 60 years, depending on your date of birth. If you were born before July 1960, then your preservation age is 55. If you were born on or after 1 July 1964, then your preservation age is 60 years. If you were born after June 1960 and before July 1964, then your preservation age will be 56, 57, 58 or 59 (see table below).

So, the short answer to your question is: if an individual has reached his or her preservation age, and then retires, he or she can withdraw any preserved super benefits. Remember, tax may be payable on any super benefits withdrawn before the age of 60. I explain the tax rules when withdrawing benefits before age 60 in the SuperGuide article Retiring before the age of 60: the tax deal.

Preservation age
Date of birth Your preservation age
Before 1 July 1960 55
From 1 July 1960 until 30 June 1961 56
From 1 July 1961 until 30 June 1962 57
From 1 July 1962 until 30 June 1963 58
From 1 July 1963 until 30 June 1964 59
On or after 1 July 1964 60

Source: Source: Adapted from the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994, Regulation 6.01

Note: If you have reached your preservation age but say, you don’t intend to retire then you must satisfy another condition of release to be able to access your benefits. Examples of some of the more common conditions of release are:

  • starting a transition-to-retirement (TRIP). A TRIP is a special type of income stream/pension that permits an individual to access up to 10% of his or her pension assets each year without retiring, provided the individual has reached preservation age. For more information, see SuperGuide article TRIPs: 10 interesting facts about transition-to-retirement pensions
  • reaching the age of 65
  • resigning or otherwise leaving a job on or after the age of 60. For more information, see SuperGuide article Turning 60 means tax-free super

I explain the other conditions of release in the SuperGuide article Accessing super early: 12 legal reasons to cash your super

Note: If you withdraw your superannuation before the age of 60, your benefit payment may be subject to tax. For more information, see SuperGuide article Retirement: Taking benefits before the age of 60

© Copyright Trish Power 2009-2014

Copyright for this article belongs to Trish Power, and cannot be reproduced without express and specific consent.

IMPORTANT: SuperGuide does not provide financial advice. Comments provided by readers that may include information relating to tax, superannuation or other rules cannot be relied upon as advice. SuperGuide does not verify the information provided within comments from readers. Readers need to seek independent advice about their personal circumstances.

Comments

  1. linda holloway says:

    can i use a portion of my super for a deposit on a home loan? if so how much can i use?

  2. I’m 41. Can I transfer some of my super benefits into my Higher Education Contribution Scheme Debt account (HECS)?

  3. minning ye says:

    how can withdraw my super fun?

  4. Hi Trish,
    thanks for your information. I will be 59 in november 2010. was born 1951. Have had too many transient jobs/unemployment since 1975. I would like to know how i can access whatever super may be somewhere in the system. I never knew that fund administrators were allowed to access my “preserved” component and in so doing it would be whittled away to nothing (CBUS). This knowledge prompts the question, as i would prefer to access it rather than the administrators. My daughter who recently became a mum stands to have her super eaten up (likewise hundreds of thousands of other workers) as well. What can be done is these situations please?
    regads,
    Will

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