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:
- Reaching preservation age, and
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.
A person’s preservation age can be from age 55 to age 60, 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 Remember, tax may be payable on any super benefits withdrawn before the age of 60.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.
|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: 14 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: 3 ways of taking super benefits before the age of 60.