Accessing your super

Your super is there to support you in your retirement. But in some special circumstances, you can access it sooner.

You can access your super: 

  • when you retire or turn 65 
  • if you are experiencing financial hardship
  • on compassionate grounds, including coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • if you're a temporary resident leaving Australia.

Retiring or reaching age 65

You can generally access your super if you reach your preservation age and retire, or turn 65. You can withdraw a lump sum or take it as a regular income. If you want to keep working but reduce your hours, you can also use your super to supplement your salary while you transition to retirement.

Use the Super withdrawal form (PDF, 175KB) to make a full or partial lump sum withdrawal.

Find your preservation age

Your preservation age depends on your birth date.

Date of birth Preservation age
Before 1 July 1960 55
1 July 1960 - 30 June 1961 56
1 July 1961 – 30 June 1962 57
1 July 1962 – 30 June 1963 58
1 July 1963 – 30 June 1964 59
1 July 1964 or after 60

Experiencing financial hardship

You might be able to withdraw some of your super if you can’t meet your living expenses and have received a Commonwealth income support payment for 26 continuous weeks.

You can apply to withdraw between $1,000 and $10,000 in a 12-month period, or your whole balance if it’s less than $1,000. If you’re under your preservation age your withdrawal may be taxed up to 22%.

If you've reached preservation age

You can apply to take some or all of your super without retiring if you are at your preservation age plus 39 weeks and:

  • have received a Commonwealth income support payment for a cumulative period of 39 weeks after reaching your preservation age
  • work fewer than 10 hours a week on the date of your application.

The Severe financial hardship fact sheet and form (PDF, 563 KB) gives more information on eligibility and how to apply.

Compassionate grounds

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

From 20 April 2020, new rules introduced by the government will allow eligible individuals in financial stress – impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) – to access up to $10,000 of their super this financial year (2019-20), and a further $10,000 next financial year (2020-21).

The ATO assesses and manages these applications. To apply, visit the ATO website.

Other reasons

You may also be able to access your super on compassionate grounds if you need it to cover the cost of:

  • medical treatment or transport for you or a dependant
  • palliative care for you or a dependant
  • modifications to your home and/or car due to severe disability
  • a funeral for a dependant
  • your mortgage so you don’t lose your home.

You need to apply and be approved by the ATO first. The Compassionate grounds application form (PDF, 147KB) has more information about eligibility and how to apply.

Temporary resident leaving Australia

If you’re not an Australian or New Zealand citizen or permanent Australian resident, you may be able to claim your super when you leave Australia. Read more about the Departing Australia Superannuation Payment.

Using your super to buy a home 

You can save for your first home by putting extra money into your super and withdrawing it to pay your deposit. Find out more about the First Home Super Saver Scheme.