How to Access Your Super Before Retirement

There are a number of ways that you can access your super before retirement… legally…. but unfortunately most of them require you to die, be close to death, be severely injured or be on the bones of your ar#e.

There are also many dodgy schemes out there promoting how you can access your super before retirement. Be very wary of these, as there are severe consequences for accessing your superannuation prematurely without meeting a condition of release.

However, there is one way you can partially access your superannuation while you are still working. Click here to learn more.

When it comes to accessing your superannuation. It is highly recommended that you speak to an adviser and/or your superannuation provider, as this is a delicate area of superannuation law.

Access to your superannuation savings requires you to meet a superannuation condition of release.

There are many forms of a condition of release. The most common forms are:

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  • Reaching age 65
  • Permanent Retirement after your Preservation Age
  • Ceasing an employment arrangement after age 60

The above conditions essentially require you to retire or reach age 65.

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How to access your super before retirement?

A few conditions of release that allow you to access your savings before retirement are as follows:

Death – If you die, you superannuation can be paid to a beneficiary as a lump sum or sometimes as an income stream.

Terminal Medical Condition – Two registered medical practitioners certify that you have suffered an injury or illness that is likely to result in your death within 12 months. One of these practitioners must be a specialist in the relevant injury or illness

Permanent Incapacity – If you become permanently incapacitated you can access your superannuation.

Temporary Residents – A holder of a temporary visa may apply to access their Australian super once they leave Australia

Severe Financial Hardship You may withdrawal between $1,000 – $10,000 worth of your super  within any given 12 month period if you are under age 55, have been on Government support income payments for no less than 26 continuous weeks and are able to demonstrate severe financial hardship.

Compassionate Grounds – You may apply for a single lump sum by applying to the Regulator for Compassionate Grounds

Temporary Incapacity – You may be able to commence a non-commutable income stream with your superannuation savings, which provides you with limited access to your savings if you are unable to work due to incapacity, not exceeding the amount that you were earning while working prior to becoming incapacitated. This income can only continue while you remain incapacitated.

Transition to Retirement – You are able to commence a non-commutable pension while you are still working, provided you have reached your superannuation Preservation Age.

More Conditions of Release can be found here.

It is important to note that the above payments from superannuation are likely to incur some form of tax, as the only time that superannuation payments are usually received tax free is when the member/recipient is over age 60.

More information on Tax on Superannuation.

You should always consider how long you have before your reach your preservation age before committing funds to super.

If you would lHow to access your super before retirementike anything clarified or have any further questions about the How to Access Your Super before Retirement or any other topics, please do not hesitate to leave a comment in the section below.

Chris Strano

Hi, I hope you enjoyed reading this article. If you want my team and I to help with your retirement planning, click here. If you prefer a DIY approach, then check out the SuperGuy HUB. Thanks for stopping by - Chris.

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  1. Jane

    Hi Chris
    I am 56 & haven’t worked for years after losing everything in the GFC. My husband works but I am unemployable. Can I access my super? If so, would my husband be able to make contributions to my fund to top it up first as I don’t have very much?
    Thanks in advance

    • Chris Strano

      Hi Jane, sorry for the late reply, I was away on leave.
      A condition of release includes reaching your superannuation preservation age and ceasing work with no intention of returning to work. As you are 56 you have met your preservation age. What do you mean when you ask if your husband can make contributions to your account? He is unable to transfer money from his account to yours.
      If you mean contributions from his bank account, what would be the purpose of contributing to your account, only to withdraw it again?

  2. Amaranath Gorur

    Thanks for the reply Chris. I will check with my Super Provider.

  3. Judy

    Hi Chris,
    I am 63 in June and would like to access my super to buy a motorhome to live in, as I don’t own my own home and I am renting, working full time at present but under threat of loosing my job in June. Is it possible and what do I need to do?

    • Chris Strano

      Hi Judy
      One form of accessing your superannuation in full is retirement. One of the definitions of retirement is ‘ceasing an employment arrangement after age 60’. You should speak with your superannuation provider or an adviser to confirm this and ensure that it is relevant to your personal situation.

  4. Tanya New

    Thoughts on ttri to pay off mortgage.5 years till retirement. Loan would be paid off in 2.5 years.
    Leaves 2.5 y to built super up. Cheers

    • Chris Strano

      Hi Tanya, there is no right or wrong answer for this. It is based on what is trying to be achieved. From purely a financial perspective, you might consider the expected returns received from super investments each year (expressed as a percentage) compared to the interest rate on the mortgage, taking tax into account.

  5. scott hall

    hello i am 56 years old have not been working for over 8 years now .i have reached a stage where i need to either access a part of my super due to financial hardship or find some way of being able to at least be able to use my super for personal reasons. i am close to getting a bankruptcy payout within the next 18 months. i have personal losses in the order of $500,000 . i dont want to close my account but i am in need of a financial boost to secure my future in the short term. is there any way this can happen? regards scott

    • Chris Strano

      Hi Scott,
      You would need to speak with your super fund about accessing your super early, possibly through ‘Severe Financial Hardship’ or ‘Compassionate Grounds’, depending on the criteria you meet.
      Other early release of super conditions include ‘temporary or permanent disablement’ or ‘terminal medical conditions’. I’m assuming these are not relevant, but just in case.
      All the best mate.
      Read more here:
      Compassionate Grounds
      Severe Financial Hardship


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