Can I Retire at 55 and Access My Super?

Yes, you can potentially access your super at 55 and retire, but there are some conditions and considerations to be aware of.

Here’s a breakdown of the key information:

When Can I Access My Super?

  • Preservation Age: You can access your super when you retire and reach your “preservation age,” which depends on your birth year:
    • Before July 1, 1960: 55
    • July 1, 1960 – June 30, 1961: 56
    • July 1, 1961 – June 30, 1962: 57
    • July 1, 1962 – June 30, 1963: 58
    • July 1, 1963 – June 30, 1964: 59
    • After July 1, 1964: 60
  • Age 65: You can also access your super at age 65, even if you’re still working.

Accessing Super Before 55:

  • Limited Circumstances: You can only access your super before reaching your preservation age in very specific situations, such as:
    • Incapacity: You’re unable to work or need to work fewer hours due to a medical condition.
    • Severe Financial Hardship: You can’t meet your living expenses and have received government benefits for 26 weeks.
    • Compassionate Grounds: To pay for unpaid expenses related to medical treatment, disability modifications, funeral costs, or preventing home loss due to loan repayment.
    • Terminal Medical Condition: You have a terminal illness or injury.

Important Considerations:

  • Reduced Retirement Savings: Accessing your super early can significantly reduce the amount of money you have available during retirement.
  • Financial Advice: If you’re considering accessing your super early, consult a financial counsellor or licensed financial advisor to explore other options and understand the potential impact on your retirement savings.
  • Unlicensed Advice and Scams: Beware of unlicensed promoters who advise accessing super early for debt repayment, medical procedures, or setting up a self-managed super fund. Breaking the rules around early super access can result in serious penalties.

Alternatives to Early Super Access:

  • Transition to Retirement (TTR) Pension: This allows you to access a portion of your super while still working, supplementing your income and reducing working hours.
  • Defined Benefit Pension: If you’re in a defined benefit fund, you may be eligible for a pension from age 55, regardless of your birth year. Check with your fund for specific eligibility requirements.

Additional Resources:

  • Moneysmart: Provides information and resources on superannuation, including how to access your super and plan for retirement.
  • Australian Taxation Office (ATO): Offers information on superannuation contributions, investments, withdrawals, and tax implications.
  • First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS): Allows you to save for your first home using voluntary super contributions and access them later for your home purchase.

Remember, accessing your super early should be a well-informed decision. Consider all your options and seek professional advice to ensure you make the best choice for your financial future.

When you can get your super

When you reach your preservation age and retire, you can get your super. Your preservation age depends on when you were born.

Your date of birth

Age you can access your super (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


After 1 July 1964


or, even if you are still employed, when you turn 65.

Getting your super early

Under extremely rare circumstances, you can obtain your super before you reach your preservation age. For example:

  • Incapacity: if a medical condition prevents you from working or requires you to work fewer hours
  • Severe financial hardship: if you have been receiving Commonwealth benefits for 26 weeks and are unable to pay your living expenses
  • Compassionate grounds — to pay for unpaid expenses. These could include paying for funeral costs, medical care, making modifications to your house or car due to a serious disability, or repaying a loan to keep your house.
  • If you have a fatal disease or injury, this is known as a terminal medical condition.

The ATO has more information about accessing your super early.

Can I Access My Super At 55 and Still Work?


Can I access some of my super at 55?

When you can access your super. You can access your super when you retire and reach your preservation age. Your preservation age is between 55 and 60 and is based on when you were born.

Can you access super if you retire early?

Once you permanently retire from the workforce at or after your preservation age, you’ll be eligible to access your super. If you have to retire early because you meet the conditions related to permanent incapacity, you can also gain access.

At what age can I access my super as a lump sum?

You may be able to take your superannuation as a lump sum payment when you retire. This is usually tax-free from age 60.

When can I access my Super If I retire?

You can access your super when you retire and reach your preservation age. Your preservation age is between 55 and 60 and is based on when you were born. You may be able to reduce your working hours without reducing your income when you reach your preservation age. Your part-time working income will be supplemented with your super savings.

When can I access my Super if I’m a 60 year old?

Your preservation age ranges from 55 to 60, depending on your date of birth. If you were born before 1 July 1960, you have already reached your preservation age of 55 years. This means you can access your super once you meet a relevant condition of release, such as retirement.

How do I get my Super If I retire?

To access your super, you need to jump through a few hoops. Simply announcing you are retiring is not enough. The first hoop is reaching your preservation age, somewhere between 55 and 60 depending on your date of birth. Next, you also need to meet a condition of release.

Can I access my Super benefits before 60?

One of the main conditions of release allowing you to access your super benefits before you turn 60 is reaching your preservation age and retiring from the workforce. In most cases, this means it’s not possible to access your super before age 60 and continue working. Learn about ceasing employment vs retiring.

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