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When can you access your super?

Superannuation is designed to be your retirement savings, so you normally can’t take out your super until:

  • You turn 65 years old, or

  • You retire and reach the age you can access your super (this preservation age is 60 for most people).

But in special cases, you may be able to withdraw some of your super early.

Options for early release of super

Financial hardship options

Financial hardship super

If you’ve been on Centrelink income support payments for at least 26 weeks in a row (about 6 months), you might be able to take out up to $10,000. Eligibility criteria apply.

Withdrawing old types of super

You can take out some or all of your super if you have unrestricted non-preserved super. (Log in to check.)


Medical access options

Compassionate release of super

You may be able to take out some super on compassionate grounds to pay for medical costs, funeral expenses for a dependant, or mortgage repayments in default.

Terminal illness (terminal medical condition)

If you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness, you can take out your super and make an insurance claim for any Death cover on your account.

Permanent incapacity (superannuation disability payout)​

If a medical condition stops you working in your old job ever again, you can withdraw some super and maybe also make an insurance claim.


Other ways to access super early

First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS)

First home buyers can add extra money (additional contributions) to their super, then withdraw this money for a house or home loan deposit.

Temporary resident superannuation

If you had a temporary visa and worked in Australia, you can withdraw your super when you leave Australia. This is the the Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP).


Risks of accessing super early

Withdrawing some or all of your super early (before retirement) could affect:

  • How much money you have to spend in retirement

  • How much tax you pay

  • Any insurance on your superannuation account

  • Any government benefits you get (e.g. Centrelink Jobseeker).

Compare ways to access super early

Each option for accessing your super early lets you take out a different amount of super. There are also different criteria for each option.

Early access option Eligibility criteria How much super you can take out
Financial hardship Financial hardship $1,000 – $10,000 before tax, based on needs
Withdrawing unrestricted non-preserved super Only if you worked in certain years Any unrestricted non-preserved amount
Compassionate grounds Medical and/or financial hardship ATO decides how much
Permanent incapacity Medical conditions Up to your full balance + any TPD insurance
Terminal illness Medical conditions Up to your full balance + any Death insurance
First Home Super Saver (FHSS) Scheme First home buyers Up to $50,000 + earnings
Temporary residents leaving Australia Temporary visa Full balance