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Accessing your super to retire

Find out how and when you can access your super to fund your retirement.

Last updated 10 June 2024

When you can access your super

When you reach your preservation age and retire, you can access your super to fund your retirement.

You can also access your super:

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

You don't have to cash out your super just because you've reached a certain age. However, you need to check if the rules of your super fund specify otherwise.

Preservation age

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:

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.

You will need to lodge a tax return if you have income from other sources or if you have tax withheld on your PAYG payment summary – superannuation income stream. This includes investments or some public sector super funds.

Tax on super benefits

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

  • your age
  • the amount of the payment
  • whether you receive your super benefits as a super income stream or a super lump sum
  • 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.

We recommend you seek financial advice when considering: