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When can you access your super?

As superannuation is designed to help you save for your retirement, you generally have to wait until you have retired to access it.

You are defined as "retired" if:

  • 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).

Once you are retired, you can choose to have your superannuation benefit paid out as a lump sum, or you can choose to receive a regular income by opening a Sunsuper for life Income account.

Preservation age

Your preservation age is determined by the date you were born.

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

You may also be eligible to get early access to your super under special circumstances.

Do I have to withdraw my super when I retire?

No, you don't! In fact, you may be better off leaving it invested so it will continue to earning interest in your Super-Savings account. Another option is to activate your Income account so you can access some of your super but keep the rest invested, and still earning interest. Your super may need to last you 30 years so you should consider getting advice before withdrawing it.

Considering withdrawing your super as a lump sum? Consider this!*

Research shows that 60% of your investment earnings can come from post-retirement returns – which means that developing a retirement plan that keeps your money growing after you retire is just as crucial to your financial well-being as saving for retirement during your working years.

As described by the Russell 10/30/60 Retirement Rule, the sources of your investment earnings during retirement can look approximately like this:

  • 10% from money you saved during your working years,
  • 30% from the growth of your savings before you retired,
  • 60% from growth that occurs during your retirement.

How does it work? The key is having an investment strategy in place up to and through retirement.

This is where we can help. Give us a call on 13 11 84 and we can make sure you have the right plan in place.

Thinking of moving to another fund or an SMSF?

Before you do, we encourage you to make a quick comparison with other funds using a comparison tool from super funds ratings house, Chant West. It will show we offer among the lowest fees and best value for money in the industry. Compare us on value, fees and costs.

Setting up and running a self-managed super fund involves significant time and effort. Make sure you understand the costs and what is involved in having a self-managed superannuation fund before you switch. If you're intending to transfer in order to get early access to your benefits, please read this warning from ASIC before taking any action.

If you've made up your mind to move, you'll need to complete the Transfer to another fund form [PDF 193KB]

Help and advice

Making the decision to access your super is a big one, so it's wise to get advice before withdrawing it. We can talk you through all the pros and cons. Just call 13 11 84

*Source: Russell Investments: The 10/30/60 Rule. January, 2015