Super is designed to provide you with funds for your retirement. As a result, the rules around accessing your super are generally structured to keep and accumulate your savings until that time. There are some circumstances outside of retirement in which you may be able to access your super. Find out how and when you can access your super in the tabs below.
When can you access your super?
In most cases, in order to access the funds in your super account, you'll need to meet a 'condition of release'.
Conditions of release include:
- retiring at or after preservation age
- ceasing employment on or after age 60
- reaching 65 years of age (regardless of your working status).
Your preservation age depends on your date of birth as set out below:
|Your 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|
|After 30 June 1964||60|
If you retire after reaching your preservation age, you can access your super either via an income stream by opening an NGS Income account or as a cash lump sum by completing a request for withdrawal form.
If you reach preservation age but aren’t ready to retire, you can opt to open a Transition to retirement account to access some of your super.
Once you reach age 65, regardless of whether you've retired or not, you'll be able to access your super.
If you’d like to open an NGS Income or Transition to retirement account, it’s important to read our Product Disclosure Statement and Income account guide or Transition to retirement account guide before applying.
Transition to retirement
If you've reached your preservation age and would like to start accessing your super without retiring, you can opt to receive an income from an NGS Transition to retirement account. Many people use this option to transition into retirement by reducing their work days and supplementing their income with a transition to retirement income stream.
Each financial year, you can access up to a maximum of 10% of your Transition to retirement account balance. You can find more details in our Understanding transition to retirement fact sheet and Transition to retirement account guide.
First home super saver payment
If you're looking to purchase your first home, you may be eligible to access a lump sum of up to $30,000 (or $60,000 for couples) plus associated earnings from your super fund. You'll need to have made eligible personal before- or after-tax contributions since 1 July 2017 as well as meeting a list of specific requirements. For full details on eligibility and how to apply, read our First Home Super Saver Scheme information sheet.
If you're experiencing genuine financial hardship, you may be granted early access to your funds in super. To get an idea of what 'financial hardship' may look like, examples include being unable to meet the costs of daily living or your bank threatening to repossess your home due to defaulted mortgage repayments.
Generally, you'll need to be able to show your super fund that you've been receiving Commonwealth income support payments for a certain period of time and provide proof of your inability to meet living expenses. You can find details on eligibility and how to apply in our Gaining access to your super fact sheet.Download PDF
In some cases, super may be released early on compassionate grounds, for instance, where you have an obligation to meet unpaid expenses for:
- medical treatment and medical transport for you or a dependant
- palliative care for you or a dependant
- payment on a loan or council rates so you don't lose your home
- modifying your home or vehicle, or buying disability aids for you or a dependant because of a severe disability
- a death, funeral or burial of a dependant.
To access your benefit on compassionate grounds, your application must be considered by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) before we can make a final decision about releasing your super. You can find more information on the ATO's website at ato.gov.au.
To apply for release of super on compassionate grounds, you'll need to complete the ATO's online application through myGov as well as our Request for withdrawal form.
If you were working in Australia as a temporary resident, you may be paid your super (less tax) should you suffer from a terminal medical condition, permanent incapacity or death.
You may also be paid your super if you have worked in Australia under a temporary visa and you leave Australia permanently. This is referred to as a Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP). A DASP release could be subject to tax as high as 65%. You can find more details on the Australian Tax Office (ATO) website.
Australian or New Zealand citizens, residents or permanent resident visa holders are not eligible for DASP. Instead, you may be able to move your retirement savings between Australia and New Zealand. If you would like to transfer your NGS Super to a KiwiSaver account, you will need to complete the Trans Tasman portability form.