Accessing your super

Your super is money put aside or ‘preserved’ for your retirement and rules apply to how and when you can access it.

Generally, you can gain access to your super once you have reached your preservation age (see table below) and retired from the workforce. Your preservation age is based on your date of birth.

Date of birth Preservation age
Prior to 1 July 1960 55
1 July 1960 to 30 June 1961 56
1 July 1961 to 30 June 1962 57
1 July 1962 to 30 June 1963 58
1 July 1963 to 30 June 1964 59
After 1 July 1964 60

You will be eligible to access your super when you meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • You have reached age 65 (regardless of your employment status)
  • You have reached age 60 and ceased an employment arrangement that meets the relevant requirements
  • You have reached your preservation age and have permanently retired from the workforce
  • The portion of your super you wish to access is classified as unrestricted non-preserved (see the relevant Member Guide for classification of super benefits).
  • You meet the criteria for early release of your benefit (see the relevant Member Guide for definition)
  • You have reached your preservation age, are employed and access a Transition to Retirement income stream. 
Accessing your super early

In very limited circumstances you may apply to access some of your super early.

Small account balance

If you have less than $200 in your account and are ceasing employment with your employer.

Severe financial hardship

A claim for severe financial hardship may be made in certain circumstances. To qualify, members must be able to prove the receipt of a Commonwealth income support payment continuously for the last 26 weeks and provide a Q230 letter (from Centrelink) and a statement of income. Proof of inability to meet reasonable and immediate family living expenses is also required. A financial hardship claim generates a benefit payment of no more than $10,000 (gross) and no less than $1,000 and may be claimed only once in each 12 month period. Approval of any claim is not automatic and must be assessed in accordance with the relevant law. Contact us on 1800 675 839 for more information.

Compassionate grounds

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) assesses applications for the early release of superannuation benefits on compassionate grounds and determines if they meet the specific legislative requirements - call 13 10 20 for more information. Circumstances where such applications may be considered include:

  • To pay for medical or dental treatment for yourself or a dependent or to pay for the transport to treatment
  • Prevent foreclosure on your home’s mortgage
  • Modifications to your home to accommodate your needs or the needs of a dependent because of a severe disability
  • Palliative care for yourself or a dependent with a terminal medical condition.

Keep your super savings in the tax friendly super environment and pay yourself an income after you retire with an income stream account.

Benefit payments to temporary residents leaving Australia

If you are working in Australia as a temporary resident, you may be eligible to claim your super money when you leave Australia. This payment is called the Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP). Refer to the Australian Taxation Office for further information.

How far will your super go?

Will you have enough super to last you? Use the super calculator as a guide to see how making extra contributions along the way can make a difference.

Access the super calculator

Want to know more?

Talk to the Prime Super team - call 1800 675 839

Talk to the Prime Super team