Superannuation laws can be confusing for everyone. These procedures often make it difficult to work out when you can retire or if there are any special conditions you need to meet before you can claim your funds. Every individual needs to be aware of their preservation age and regulations when accessing their superannuation benefits.
A person’s preservation age differs from the Age Pension. Age Pension is separate to your super and is a scheme which pays out a consistent income to help cope with the costs of living once you have retired. This age in Australia is 65 and not everyone is eligible for this system. Preservation age, however, is the age at which you can retire and access superannuation benefits. This age depends on your birth year.
- 55 – Before 1 July 1960
- 56 – 1 July 1960 – 30 June 1961
- 57 – 1 July 1961 – 30 June 1962
- 58 – 1 July 1962 – 30 June 1963
- 59 – 1 July 1963 – 30 June 1964
- 60 – From 1 July 1964
Normally, accessing super benefits requires an individual to meet two conditions; reaching their preservation age and retiring from the workforce. Those who reach their preservation age but don’t intend to retire must meet other criteria to have access to their benefits. Some of these requirements of release are:
- Reaching the age of 65, even if they haven’t retired.
- Reaching the preservation age and beginning a transition-to-retirement income stream (TRIS).
- Ceasing an employment arrangement on or after the age of 60.
There are also special considerations to accessing super before preservation age. These can be circumstances such as release on compassionate grounds, severe financial hardship, terminal medical condition, incapacity (temporary or permanent) or inheriting super, known as super death benefits.