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Start working less

Just because you reach retirement age doesn’t mean you actually need to retire. The flexibility of the workforce has seen many people choosing to work full-time into their 70s and others choosing to wind back slowly by going part-time and supplementing their income with their super savings. 

When you continue to work beyond your preservation age you'll:

  • keep topping up your super for when you do decide to retire;
  • enjoy tax advantages from contributing to your super while you’re receiving an income from it at the same time;
  • be able to access some of your super to supplement your income.

Transition to retirement income account

If cutting back your hours at work and easing your way into retirement sounds good to you, you can supplement your income with regular payments from a Transition to retirement income account.

When can you access your super?

The Government “preserves” (or ensures you keep any money you invest in super in your super account), until:

  • You have reached preservation age and are retired permanently from work;
  • You have reached the age of 60 and stopped any employment arrangement; or
  • You have reached the age of 65 (whether you're still working or not).

The preservation age is a Government specified age at which you can access your super benefits and depends on your date of birth as shown below:

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

Once you are retired permanently from work, you can choose to receive a regular income by activating a Retirement income account or have your superannuation benefit paid out as a lump sum.

Early access to super

While the aim of investing in super is to ensure your needs are met throughout your retirement, there are some special circumstances such as temporary residents permanently departing Australia or during times of financial hardship where you will be able to access your super earlier than your preservation age.