(03/05/2019) Did you know that if you’re aged between 60 and 64, you can access your super if you change jobs – without retiring permanently? The rules about when you can access your super on “retirement” grounds vary depending on your age. Find out exactly what’s required for your age group.

Under preservation age: Before you reach your preservation age, you can’t access super on any “retirement” grounds. Your preservation age depends on your date of birth, starting at 55 years if you were born before 1 July 1960, then up to 60 for those born from 1 July 1964.

If you need to access your super before preservation age, speak to your adviser about whether you might qualify on other grounds such as severe financial hardship, compassionate grounds, terminal medical condition or permanent or temporary incapacity.

Preservation age to age 59: Once you’ve reached preservation age you can potentially access your benefits on “retirement” grounds, but if you’re under 60 you must have the intention of permanently retiring. Specifically, two things need to occur:

  • an arrangement under which you were gainfully employed must come to an end (eg you leave a job); and
  • the trustee of your super fund must be reasonably satisfied that you intend never to again become gainfully employed (either on a full-time or part-time basis).

For these purposes, “part-time” gainful employment means at least 10 hours a week. This means you can “retire” even if you intend to work a small amount each week.

If you don’t meet the retirement test, but need to access some of your benefits, consider starting a “transition to retirement income stream”. The only eligibility requirement is that you’ve reached preservation age.

Age 60 to 64: Once you reach age 60, you can potentially access your super without permanently retiring (although you can, of course, retire permanently if you choose). All that’s required is that an arrangement under which you were gainfully employed comes to an end after you reached age 60. This means you could leave one job, but continue working in another job.

Age 65 and over: After age 65, all of your superannuation becomes accessible. There’s no need to meet any “retirement” grounds.

Need to access your super?

Contact us for expert advice on accessing your superannuation. We can guide you through the requirements for “retirement” and other release grounds, and help you withdraw your benefits in a tax-effective way.