Accessing your money
Super is a long-term investment, designed by the Government to pay for your retirement. It has set rules for when it can be accessed, which are generally the same for all super funds.
When can I access my super?
- After you reach preservation age;
- In times of financial hardship;
- On compassionate grounds;
- If you're a temporary resident permanently leaving the country; or
- If you are terminally ill or permanently incapacitated.
What’s my preservation age?
Your preservation age is the minimum age, set by law, that your super must be 'preserved' until. Your preservation age is currently between 55 and 60, depending on when you were born.
When you reach preservation age, you can access your super as long as you are permanently retired (or reached age 65). If you haven't permanently retired, you can still access part of your super via a transition to retirement pension.
|Date of birth||Preservation age|
|Before 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|
|1 July 1964 and onward||60|
Retirement benefits & retirement income options
Once you have reached preservation age and the terms of release, you can choose to receive your super as a:
- lump sum (part or the whole amount deposited to your bank account) or
- an account-based pension, also known as a retirement income stream (e.g. $500 a fortnight)
- or a combination of both.
Seek financial advice if you need help working out what's best for you.
Transfer balance cap
There is a limit on how much money can be held in an account-based pension. This is called the transfer balance cap and is currently set at $1.6 million. Details of this and other changes to super are available on the Australian Tax Office (ATO) website.
Cashing in your super
When you retire you can take your super as a lump sum. You don't have to take it all at once, you may decide to leave it in super and withdraw it a bit at a time as you need it.
Taking your super as a lump sum can have tax and Centrelink implications. If you make a mistake you might not be able to put the money back into super.
If you are aged 60 or over you can withdraw your super tax-free. If you are under age 60 you may have to pay tax depending on the components of your super.
If you would like to access your super, please contact us on 1800 060 312.
By law, legalsuper must pay the ATO the benefit of any temporary resident who has departed Australia (and whose visa has not expired or been cancelled) if it is not claimed within six months of departure. On request, legalsuper will provide an exit statement to a non-resident. Visit ato.gov.au for more information.