Super withdrawal options

Conditions of release of super

The conditions of release that must be satisfied for legal superannuation withdrawals.

You can withdraw your super when you:

Retirement means you have ceased gainful employment either:

  • when you were 60 years old or over

  • before you turned 60 years old and you have reached your preservation age – the fund trustee must be satisfied you have no intention of becoming employed again in the future.

Preservation age

Your preservation age is the age at which you can access your super if you’re retired (or start a transition to a retirement income stream).

(Your preservation age is not the same as your pension age. Check with Services Australia for the age pension eligibility requirements.)

Your preservation age depends on when you were born, as set out in this table.

Preservation age based on date of birth

Date of birth

Preservation age

Before 1 July 1960


1 July 1960 – 30 June 1961


1 July 1961 – 30 June 1962


1 July 1962 – 30 June 1963


1 July 1963 – 30 June 1964


From 1 July 1964


Accessing your super early

In very limited circumstances, you can access your super early:

  • on medical, compassionate, hardship and incapacity grounds

  • under the First home super saver scheme – to withdraw voluntary contributions you’ve made to your super

  • if you’re a temporary resident and are leaving Australia

  • if your super account balance is less than $200 and your employment is terminated, or you have a ‘lost super’ account with a balance less than $200.

Super death benefits

When a person dies, in most cases their super fund pays their remaining super interest to their nominated beneficiary.

Super paid after a person’s death is called a super death benefit.

Illegal early access schemes

It is illegal to withdraw your super for any reason other than when it is allowed by the superannuation law – that is, when you satisfy a condition of release.

Beware of people promoting early-access schemes. Participating in illegal early-access schemes will cost you a lot more than the super you withdraw.

If you’d like to find out more about withdrawing super, call us. 

Source: August 2023
Reproduced with the permission of the Australian Tax Office. This article was originally published on

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