When can you withdraw your super?
When can you withdraw your super?

For many Australians superannuation is the largest asset they will ever own, outside of their own home. With the rules changing every few years and the contamination of changing Centrelink Age Pension ages, it can be confusing working out exactly when you will be able to access your super benefits.

First things first, you must meet a ‘condition of release’ before you can draw down any money from your super as either a pension or a lump sum. This basically sets out the rules and legislation that governs withdrawals from the super environment.

The most common conditions of release for paying benefits are that a superannuation owner:

In some special and limited circumstances, you may be eligible to access part or all of your superannuation earlier than preservation age. These circumstances include:

Beware of schemes that claim you can access your superannuation early. These do seem to be occurring less frequently with more consumer awareness, but we still see them on occasion.

Retirement under superannuation law

If the holder of the superannuation is:

  • under 60 years of age – they can access their preserved benefits only when they reach preservation age, cease gainful employment and have no intention to become gainfully employed in the future
  • at least 60 years of age – they can access their preserved benefits when they leave a job.

For retirement there are no restrictions on the form in which the benefits can be taken.

Transition to Retirement (TTR or TRIS)

A superannuation fund can pay a transition to retirement income stream to a member who has reached preservation age and is still working, provided that the trust deed of the fund allows this type of income stream to be paid.

A transition to retirement income stream must be an account-based pension. The amount paid to the recipient each year must meet a specified minimumand must not exceed 10% of the account balance on the commencement of a TRIS for the year it starts or on 1 July for each subsequent year.

The transition to retirement measure can be complex. It’s best to get advice from an independent financial adviser or accountant on this topic.

Ceasing an employment arrangement on or after age 60

If a superannuation holder who is 60 or over gives up one employment arrangement but continues in another employment relationship, they may:

  • cash all benefits accumulated up to that time
  • not cash any preserved or restricted non-preserved benefits accumulated after that condition of release occurs – these benefits can’t be cashed until a fresh condition of release occurs.

The ATO video below outlines the circumstances in which you can access your super balance:

Disclaimer: The information on this site is of a general nature only. It does not take your specific needs or circumstances into consideration. You should look at your own personal situation and requirements before making any financial decisions.

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