Super is there to help you save for retirement, so there are some rules restricting when you can access your super.
Generally, you can only access or withdraw your super once you reach:
- your preservation age and permanently retire; or
- age 60 and leave your employer; or
- age 65.
However, there are some special circumstances that might mean you can access your super early. These include:
- compassionate grounds;
- financial hardship; or
- if you are a temporary resident departing Australia.
If you are a first home buyer, you may also be able to save for your first home inside superannuation using the first home super saver scheme.
Your preservation age is the age that you can access your super if you are retired, or are ready to start transitioning into retirement, and ranges from age 55 to 60 depending on when you were born.
Date of birth
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
Once you turn 65, or reach your preservation age and retire, you can open a Retirement Income Account. Alternatively, if you have reached your preservation age and are not quite ready to retire, you may wish to consider accessing part of your super by opening a Transition to Retirement Account. These accounts are known as Income Stream Accounts.
QIEC Income Stream Accounts offer you:
- flexibility in accessing your savings;
- a choice of ten investment options;
- tax-free investment earnings in the Retirement Income Account and tax-free payments from age 60; and
- death insurance cover for peace of mind.
Our Income Stream Accounts were awarded a ‘Gold’ rating from SuperRatings in 2017.1
Accessing your super can have tax and Centrelink implications so you may wish to seek financial advice first. For more information on QIEC Super’s Income Stream Accounts, please read the QIEC Income Stream PDS or call our Client Contact Centre on 1300 360 507.
There are limited circumstances where benefits may be released on compassionate grounds. These include:
- medical – to pay for treatment or travel to treatment;
- mortgage – to stop the bank from selling your home;
- disability – to modify your home or car;
- palliative care – for yourself or a dependant; or
- funeral costs– for a dependant.
There are eligibility criteria that need to be met and all applications must be made to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). To find out more about release of super under compassionate grounds, or to apply please visit the ATO website.
There are two ways you may be able to access your super if you are experiencing severe financial hardship. These are known as conditions of release.
Condition of release 1
To be eligible to apply under this condition of release, you can be any age and you must:
- have received an eligible Commonwealth support payment2 for a continuous period of 26 weeks; and
- be able to prove that you are unable to meet your reasonable and immediate family living expenses.
Condition of release 2
To be eligible to apply under this condition of release you must:
- have received an eligible Commonwealth income support payment2 for a total of 39 weeks after reaching your preservation age; and
- not be gainfully employed (i.e. not working 10 hours or more in a week) on a part-time or full-time basis at the date of your application.
Your preservation age depends on your date of birth and is between 55 – 60 years of age. To find out more about accessing your super on the grounds of severe financial hardship, please read the Claiming a benefit Fact Sheet or call the QIEC Super Client Contact Centre on 1300 360 507.
If you have been living in Australia as a temporary resident and have now left the country permanently, you may be able to claim your superannuation that you accumulated while in Australia. This payment is known as the Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP).
To receive the DASP:
- you must have visited Australia on an eligible temporary resident visa;
- your visa has expired or been cancelled; and
- you have departed Australia.3
If you are a temporary resident and you do not claim your DASP within 6 months of departing Australia and your visa has ceased to be in effect, we may be required to transfer your super benefit to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as unclaimed money. The ATO will then hold your money for you until you claim it.
For more information about the making a claim for the DASP, please contact the QIEC Super Client Contact on 1300 360 507 or read the Claiming a benefit Fact Sheet.
From 1 July 2017, you can make voluntary contributions of up to $15,000 per year and $30,000 in total to your super account for the purchase of your first home. These contributions will be taxed at 15%, and can then be withdrawn along with any earnings for a deposit.
Withdrawals can be made from 1 July 2018 and will be taxed at your marginal tax rate less a 30% tax offset, making it tax effective for most people.
To find out more information or how you could benefit, visit the First Home Super Saver Scheme – Estimator.
1 SuperRatings provide independent superannuation assessment and ratings, superratings.com.au. SuperRatings Pty. Ltd. (ABN 95 100 192 283) holds AFSL No. 311880.
2 These payments are made by Centrelink and include social security pensions or benefits (other than Austudy or Youth Allowance if in full-time study).
3 You may still be able to return to Australia on another visa even if you claim and receive your superannuation money.