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Let's talk about preservation age

Your preservation age means how old you have to be to start using your super. Until then, your super's preserved, or locked away.

The Australian Government sets these age limits, and you have to be retired.

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What is my preservation age?

Generally, you can get money from your super once you reach age 60.

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Rules for accessing super

There are usually a couple of conditions you need to meet as well as preservation age, when you're ready to start using your super.

How to withdraw my super
Under 60

Sometimes you can get some super early (e.g. disability, financial hardship).

Early access to super
Ages 60–64

You can access your super when:

  • You retire
  • You leave a job
  • You open a Transition to Retirement Income account while you’re still working (limits apply).
65 or older

Everyone can get their super when they turn 65. Even if you haven't retired, you'll have full access to your super savings.

Preservation age vs Age Pension qualifying age

The superannuation preservation age and the age that you can get the government's Age Pension aren't the same.

  • To get the Age Pension, you must be age 67 or over, depending on when you were born (and you need to meet some other rules).
  • The age you can access your super (preservation age) is generally age 60 if you've retired.

So even if you've reached your preservation age, you may have to wait a long time to be able to get the Age Pension.

Check your Age Pension eligibility
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FAQs about preservation age

Want to know more? Check these frequently asked questions.

Or contact us

As long as you meet the rules to withdraw your super, you can take out as much as you like. You can even take out all your super on your preservation age as a lump sum.

But keep in mind, it depends on your situation. So before you start withdrawing your super, think about getting financial advice.

It's a big decision and there are a range of options to make your super last longer. Like setting up an income account so you get regular payments, or getting payments for life with our Lifetime Pension.

Your membership includes financial advice to help you make decisions about:

  • Ways to withdraw/access your super
  • How each option is taxed
  • Your account and the Age Pension.

If you haven't reached your preservation age yet and need to retire unexpectedly, there may be cases when you can access your super early, such as:

  • Severe financial hardship
  • Medical conditions that prevent you from ever working again
  • Under compassionate grounds
  • Temporary residents leaving Australia
  • First Home Super Saver Scheme.

There are rules you need to meet for each situation.

Super's a long-term investment that's meant to give you money when you retire, so you can have a better retirement. But we understand that sometimes life doesn't go to plan.

If you're struggling or have any questions, please contact us.

If you've turned 65, then yes you can keep working and access your super.

If you're under 65, you could access some of your super after your preservation age by opening a Transition to Retirement (TTR) Income account.

You can use a TTR Income account to reduce your work hours without reducing your income. Or as part of a tax strategy, saving you tax while your super continues to grow.

Also, if you've left one employer after turning 60 and start working for another, you can start using the super you've saved until that point.

Yes, your super continues to be taxed in a few ways once you're old enough to access your super, mainly on:

  • Contributions
  • Investment earnings (unless you have a retirement income stream)
  • Death benefit payments.

Learn more about how super is taxed.

Withdrawing all your money once you reach your super preservation age is tempting. But is it the best decision for you? Here are some other common options to think about.

Transition to retirement

  • Keep working and get regular payments from some of your super.


  • Get regular payments with an income account and/or Lifetime Pension.
  • Take out extra when you need it.
How to access your super

You don't have to retire just because you reach preservation age. But you'll need to if you want to access all your super before you turn 65 (unless you meet the rules for early access to your super).

If you leave a job after turning 60 and start working for another employer, you can access the super you've saved until that point.

Once you turn 65, you can access all of your super, whether you're working or retired.

If you've reached preservation age and don't want to retire

You can get some of your super as a transition to retirement (TTR) pension. A TTR pension lets you access up to 10% of your super each financial year while you're still working.

With our TTR Income account, you can get regular payments from your super straight into your bank account. And you can change the payment timings and amount when you need to.

Planning for retirement is an exciting time. And there's a lot to think about. A good place to start is by exploring your retirement options for your super.

We also have a range of webinars and podcasts to help you decide what to do once you reach preservation age.

If you need one-on-one help, your membership includes personal financial advice about your super with us.1

There are some things to think about when using this account type. So before you plan to retire or take out your super, please call us on 13 11 84 for information.

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Make your super last longer

Turn your super into regular income payments once you reach preservation age. Our retirement products can help make your super last longer.

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1. Employees in the Australian Retirement Trust group give advice to members and employers as representatives of Sunsuper Financial Services Pty Ltd (ABN 50 087 154 818 AFSL No. 227867) (SFS), that is wholly owned by the Trustee as an asset of Australia Retirement Trust. SFS is a separate legal entity responsible for the financial services it provides. Eligibility conditions apply. Refer to the Financial Services Guide (pdf) at for more information.