You can get your super when you retire and reach your 'preservation age'. This is between 55 and 60, depending on when you were born. Or when you reach age 65, even if you are still working.
There are special circumstances where you can access your super early.
When you can get your super
You can get your super when you retire and reach your 'preservation age'. 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 when you reach age 65, even if you are still working.
If you haven't permanently retired
If you have reached your preservation age but haven't permanently retired, you can still access part of your super via a transition to retirement pension.
If you're in a defined benefit fund
You may be able to access a defined benefit pension from age 55, regardless of when you were born. Check with your fund. Eligibility requirements are different for each fund.
Getting your super early
You can only get your super before you reach your preservation age in very limited circumstances. For example:
- Incapacity — if you're unable to work or need to work fewer hours because of a medical condition.
- Severe financial hardship — if you can't meet your living expenses and have been receiving Commonwealth benefits for 26 weeks.
- Compassionate grounds — to pay for unpaid expenses. These could include medical treatment, modifying your home or vehicle because of a severe disability, funeral expenses, or a loan repayment to prevent you losing your home.
- Terminal medical condition — if you have a terminal illness or injury.
The ATO has more information about accessing your super early.
Advice about getting your super early
Getting your super early could reduce the amount of money you have when you retire. If you plan to access your super for any of the reasons above, talk to a financial counsellor or a licensed financial adviser first. You may have other options.
Unlicensed advice and scams
Beware of unlicensed promoters who recommend you access your super to pay debts, for medical procedures, or to set up a self-managed super fund.
There are serious penalties for breaking the rules around accessing your super early.
Persuading you to access your super early is also a common tactic used by scammers. Learn how to spot a super scam.
Using super to buy your first home
If you're buying your first home, you may be able to access super contributions under the First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS).
The scheme allows you to make voluntary super contributions to your super account to save for your first home. You can then apply to access those contributions and their earnings to buy your first home.
Eligibility criteria and savings limits apply.
See first home super saver scheme on the ATO website for details.