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When can I access my super?

Education HUB article

6 minute read

When can I access my super?

Super is a long-term investment for your future. You can generally access your super when you:

  • turn 65, even if you haven’t retired
  • reach preservation age and retire
  • reach preservation age and begin a transition to retirement income stream

There are limited circumstances that may allow you to access part (or all) of your super benefits prior to retirement, these situations include:

  • Severe financial hardship
  • Compassionate grounds
  • Temporary resident leaving Australia
  • First Home Super Saver scheme
  • Terminal illness
  • Permanent incapacity
  • Temporary incapacity

Reaching preservation age

Your preservation age is the age you can access your super if you have retired or started a transition to retirement income stream. The age varies depending on your date of birth:

Date of birth Preservation age
Prior to 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
From 1 July 1964 60

Transition to retirement

If you’ve reached your preservation age and are still working, you can use your super to start a tax-effective income stream. This is called a transition to retirement pension (TTR).

A TTR is a great way to ease more slowly into retirement. It allows you to cut back on the number of hours you work each week and start drawing on your super to make up for the income gap.

If you would like to discuss your retirement plans, you can request a call back from one of our wealth specialists.

Severe financial hardship*

If you’re suffering from severe financial hardship you may be able to access some of your super early. To be eligible, you need to demonstrate that you are unable to meet reasonable and immediate family living expenses and have been in receipt of government income support payments continuously for 26 weeks.

You can apply for a minimum of $1,000 and up to a maximum of $10,000 to be released once in any 12-month period.

Compassionate grounds*

You may be able to withdraw some of your super on compassionate grounds. This is paid in very limited circumstances where you have no other means of paying for certain types of expenses. To be eligible, you must be a citizen or permanent resident of Australia or New Zealand.

Temporary resident leaving Australia

If you’re a temporary resident who has worked and earned super, and you leave Australia permanently you may be eligible for a Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP). To claim your super, you’ll need to complete the Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP) application and send the form to us. Withholding taxes will apply to the DASP.

If you do not make a claim within six months of departing Australia and your visa has expired or was cancelled, we are required to transfer your super to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as unclaimed super. Once your account has been transferred you will need to contact the ATO directly to claim it. For more information, please visit DASP (

First Home Super Savers (FHSS) scheme

The FHSS scheme is an Australian government initiative that provides you the opportunity to voluntarily contribute up to a total of $30,000^ to your super fund, and then use this amount (plus earnings, less tax) to buy your first home.

For further information about the First Home Super Saver (FHSS) scheme please refer to the ATO website and our FHSS flyer.

^The amount of eligible contributions will increase to $50,000 from 1 July 2022.

Terminal illness*

If you become terminally ill and have been certified with a life expectancy of under two years, you may be able to access your super early (tax may apply).

Permanent incapacity*

If it has been determined that you are unlikely to engage in gainful employment for which you are reasonably qualified for by education, training or experience due to ill-health (physical or mental) you may be able to access your super early (tax may apply).

If you have Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) cover through your super, you may also be eligible to receive your insurance benefit as a lump sum payment.

Temporary incapacity*

If you are unable to work for an extended period of time or can only work at a reduced capacity due to a physical or mental medical condition, you may be able to receive Income Protection payments.

You must have Income Protection insurance through your super to be eligible for these payments.

*For further information refer to our Guide to making a claim in super or contact us on 1800 033 426 and we will talk you through the process.

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Things you should know

Bendigo Superannuation Pty Ltd ABN 23 644 620 128 AFSL 534006 (Bendigo Super) is the trustee and issuer of Bendigo SmartStart Super and Bendigo SmartStart Pension (products). Bendigo Super is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited ABN 11 068 049 178 AFSL 237879 (Bank). Each of these companies receives remuneration on the issue of the products or services they provide, full details of which are contained in the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). Bendigo Super, the Bank and its related entities do not guarantee the repayment of capital invested, the payment of income or products’ investment performance. An investment in these products does not represent a deposit with, or liability of Bendigo Super, the Bank or its related entities. The Bank does not stand behind or guarantee the performance of Bendigo Super in its capacity as trustee and issuer of the products. Bendigo Super is not an authorised deposit-taking institution within the meaning of the Banking Act 1959.

Information on the website is subject to change without notice. Any advice in relation to superannuation is provided by Bendigo Super. The information contains general advice only and does not take into account your personal objectives, situation or needs. Before making an investment decision in relation to these products you should consider your situation and read the relevant PDS accessible through this site.

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Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited, ABN 11 068 049 178 AFSL / Australian Credit Licence 237879. Any advice provided on this website is of a general nature only and does not take into account your personal needs, objectives and financial circumstances. You should consider whether it is appropriate for your situation. Please read the applicable Disclosure Documents before acquiring any product described on this website. Please also review our Financial Services Guide (FSG) before accessing information on this website. Information on this page can change without notice to you.

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