Q: I am 57. If I decided to retire before 60 when can I access my super?
A: If you have reached your preservation age AND retire, then you can access your super benefits.
Preservation age has moved to at least 58 years (for Australians born after June 1962), although historically, Australians can have a preservation age of 55 years (if born before July 1960), or up to 56 years (if born before July 1961), or up to 57 years (if born before July 1962), and potentially up to 60 years (if born on or after 1 July 1964), depending on specific date of birth (see table below).
At the time of writing (February 2018) if a person is 57 years of age, then they were born sometime during 1962, or early 1963, which means such a person could have a preservation age of 57 years or 58 years, depending on date of birth. If you were born on or after 1 July 1962 and before July 1963, your preservation age is 58 years. If you were born before July 1962, your preservation age is 57 years or younger. A quick way to work out your preservation age is to use the SuperGuide Retirement Age Reckoner: Discover your preservation age and Age Pension age.
A person who has reached preservation age and retired can access super benefits immediately, subject to completing the paperwork with the relevant super fund.
My response is for information purposes only, and you’ll need to confirm how the rules apply for your personal circumstances by undertaking your own research, or by chatting to a financial adviser or accountant.
For the benefit of other readers: If you were born after 30 June 1964, then your preservation age is 60 years. If you were born after June 1960 and before July 1964, then your preservation age is either 56, 57, 58 or 59 years of age. See table below. You can learn more about your preservation age by reading this SuperGuide article: Accessing super: What is my preservation age?
Note: If you retire before the age of 60, then tax is payable on the taxable component of a super benefit. For information on the tax treatment of super benefits taken before the age of 60, see SuperGuide article Retiring before the age of 60: the tax deal.
For information on other ways you can access your super benefits before the age of 65, see SuperGuide article, Accessing super early: 14 legal ways to withdraw your super benefits.
Accessing super: What is your 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