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  • Accessing your super to retire

    If you have reached your preservation age, you may be able to access your super to fund your retirement.

    You can access your super:

    • when you reach preservation age and retire
    • when you turn 65 years old
    • under the transition to retirement rules (if you are eligible), while you continue to work.

    Under the super laws, you don't have to cash out your super just because you've reached a certain age, but the rules of your particular super fund may specify otherwise.

    Your preservation age is not the same as your pension age. Your preservation age is the age you must reach before you can access your super and depends on when you were born.

    If you are 60 years old or older your super payments may be tax free.

    You may receive your super benefits as either:

    • an income stream
    • a lump sum
    • combination of both.

    If you're 60 years old or older and your only source of income is super benefits from a taxed source, you won't need to lodge a tax return. However, you will have to lodge a tax return if you have income from other sources. This includes investments or some public sector super funds.

    The tax payable on super benefits depends on a number of things, including:

    • your age
    • the amount of the payment
    • whether your super comes from a taxed or untaxed source.

    Some super benefits have a tax-free component and a taxable component. The tax-free component generally includes:

    • amounts you have contributed to your super fund without claiming those amounts as a tax deduction
    • certain other tax-free amounts you may have rolled into your super fund.

    When considering the tax aspects of retirement, transition to retirement or superannuation income streams, we recommend you seek financial advice.

    See also:

    Last modified: 24 Jun 2021QC 27130