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You can access your super in Australia when you turn 65. It is the most straightforward condition of release.
How do you apply for your super benefits when you reach 65?
You should contact your super fund. They can send you the appropriate forms, and you will also need to provide proof that you have reached 65.
You can access your super as a lump sum, as an income stream (also known as a superannuation pension), or as a combination of both.
Can I access super at 65 and keep working?
Yes. You can access your super when you turn 65 regardless of whether you’re still working or not.
You can also make contributions up until you turn 75, provided that you pass the work test. To satisfy the work test, you must work a minimum of 40 hours in any consecutive period of 30 days.
Do I have to access my super when I turn 65?
No. You can leave your super in your fund until a later date (or even until you die) if you want.
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It’s compulsory though for super funds (including SMSFs) to pay member benefits to their beneficiaries when a member dies.
What are the tax implications?
Both lump sum and income stream withdrawals from super are tax-free in Australia for anyone over the age of 60.
Other conditions of release
Besides reaching the age of 65, other common superannuation conditions of release are:
- Retiring from the workforce after you’ve reached your preservation age. Your preservation age is between the ages of 55 and 60, depending on your date of birth.
- Ceasing an employment arrangement once you’ve reached the age of 60, even if you get another job.
- Reaching your preservation age and beginning a transition-to-retirement income stream (TRIS).
You can also access part (or all) of your super prior to reaching your preservation age in special circumstances, such as:
- If you become permanently or temporarily incapacitated.
- If you’re suffering severe financial hardship or from a terminal medical condition.
- On compassionate grounds.
Accessing your super is a big financial decision. You should seek independent financial advice to help you determine the most appropriate financial strategies for your individual circumstances.
The information contained in this article is general in nature.