The purpose of super is to help you save money to provide you with an income in retirement, so there are rules around when you can withdraw it in cash – these are known as preservation rules.

Accessing your super: Preservation age

Knowing your preservation age will help you understand when you can access your super: 

If you were born: Your preservation age is:
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
After 30 June 1964 60

Retirement and transition to retirement

Generally, you’ll only be able to withdraw your super in cash once you permanently retire at or after your preservation age.

However, once you reach your preservation age, you can begin receiving money from your super as a transition to retirement pension, also known as a pre-retirement pension or Transition to Retirement Income Stream (TRIS), regardless of whether you are still working.

A transition to retirement strategy may help you top up your income if you reduce your work hours or semi-retire, while still allowing you to contribute to your super for when you fully retire. 

Find out more about transition to retirement. 

Additional limited circumstances for access to your super

There may be some other limited circumstances in which you’re eligible to access your super in cash, including:

  • You reach age 65 (regardless of whether you are still working)
  • You leave an employer at or after age 60
  • You retire early due to permanent incapacity*
  • You meet the criteria of having a terminal medical condition*
  • You leave an employer and your preserved benefit is less than $200


* Eligibility criteria and/or approval from the trustee or a government body may be required in this case.

Other useful resources

    Super and pension age calculator

    Try this calculator to see when you can access your super and when you can apply for the age pension. (Source: ASIC MoneySmart)