‘Retired’ or ‘retirement’ for the purposes of accessing super benefits means the trustees of the individual’s super fund are reasonably satisfied that the person intends never to again become gainfully employed, either on a full-time or a part-time basis. Note that ‘part-time’ is defined as working up to 30 hours a week and a minimum of 10 hours a week.
In other words, if a person’s intention is to work fewer than 10 hours a week, then that person can be considered to be retired, subject to the person ceasing his or her current employment arrangement. In nearly all cases, the super fund will request that the retiring individual sign a declaration stating that he or she never intends to be gainfully employed for more than 10 hours per week.
Note: You cannot access superannuation benefits before you reach your preservation age (even if you retire before your preservation age), except in special circumstances (see SuperGuide articles Accessing super: What is my preservation age? and Accessing super early: 14 legal ways to withdraw your super benefits).
Important: If an individual is aged 65 years or over, then he or she can access super benefits without having to retire, that is, without having to satisfy the retirement definition. For more information, see SuperGuide article Age 65: Accessing your super is a right.
The following SuperGuide articles answer popular questions on accessing super and retirement:
- Remember! Retirement unlocks your super cash
- What is the retirement age in Australia?
- Retirement Age Reckoner: Discover your preservation age and Age Pension age
- If I retire before 60, when can I access my super?
- I’m 60. Why can’t I access my super benefits?
- Does changing to part-time at 60 years, count as ‘retiring’?
- I’m 60 and not working. Can I access my super?
- Super for beginners, part 24: Do I have to withdraw my super when I turn 65?
- Accessing super early: Living overseas and reached preservation age
- Super for beginners, part 9: If I retire and take my super, can I return to work?