When can I access my super?

You can usually access your super if you've reached preservation age (between 55 and 60, depending on your birth date).

You may be able to access your super early in limited circumstances. These limited circumstances include compassionate grounds, financial hardship, buying your first home under the First Home Super Saver Scheme, and leaving Australia (if you are a former temporary resident).

Talk to us about your options.

Preservation age

Once you reach your preservation age (between 55 and 60, depending on your birth date), these circumstances may allow you to access your super:

  • permanently retired from employment
  • commenced a transition to retirement income stream
  • retired from an employment arrangement on or after turning 60.

Once you turn 65, you can access your super whether you’re still working or not.

  • Find your preservation age
    Your preservation age is the age at which you can access your super if you're retired (or start a transition to a retirement income stream). It's different to your pension age, for access to the government Age Pension.
    If you were born Your preservation age is
    Before 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
    1 July 1964 or after 60

Things to consider before you withdraw your super

How to withdraw your super

piggy bank with coins

Start a regular income

Choose from UniSuper’s three flexible retirement products.


Request a super withdrawal

Submit an online request to withdraw an amount from your super account. You’ll need to meet a condition of release.

Accessing your super early

There may be limited circumstances that can allow you to access some or all of your super before you reach your preservation age.

Financial hardship

If you’re experiencing financial difficulty, we’re here to help.

Call us on 1800 331 685 to find out if you have other options, such as making an insurance claim – before you apply to withdraw your super.

  • Not yet reached preservation age?

    You may be able to withdraw some of your super if you can’t meet your living expenses and have received Commonwealth income support for 26 continuous weeks.

    You can generally apply to withdraw between $1,000 and $10,000 in a 12-month period, or your whole balance if it’s less than $1,000.

    Your withdrawal may be taxed up to 22% (including Medicare Levy).

  • Reached preservation age?

    You can apply to take some or all of your super without retiring if you’re at your preservation age plus 39 weeks and:

    • have received Commonwealth income support for a total of 39 weeks after reaching your preservation age
    • work fewer than 10 hours a week on the date you apply.
  • How to apply for financial hardship

    We can help you work out if you’re eligible to apply. Call us on 1800 331 685 with your Centrelink Customer Reference Number (CRN).

    Complete the Severe financial hardship fact sheet and form (PDF, 147 KB) and return it to us.

Compassionate grounds

You may be able to withdraw your super on compassionate grounds, if you need it to cover the cost of:

  • medical treatment or transport for you or a dependant
  • palliative care for you or a dependant
  • modifications to your home and/or car due to severe disability
  • a funeral for a dependant
  • your mortgage so you don’t lose your home.

Buying your first home

You can withdraw some of your voluntary contributions (plus any deemed associated earnings) to pay for a home deposit under the First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS).

To use the FHSSS, you need to make voluntary contributions to your super account. These can be before-tax or after-tax contributions. When you’re ready to buy your home, you apply to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to withdraw your money.

You can find out more on the ATO website.

Departing Australia

If you’ve earned super in Australia and it’s time to leave, you can apply to withdraw your super as a Departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP).

Visit the ATO website for more information on the eligibility criteria, tax, and how to apply for the DASP.

If you don’t claim your super

We’re required to transfer your super to the ATO 6 months from the date your visa expired, or you left Australia, whichever is later. You can still apply to withdraw your super from the ATO.

If you have any questions, call us on 1800 331 685 (+61 3 8831 6141 outside Australia) or contact us.

Download the DASP fact sheet (PDF 73 KB) for more information.

New Zealand residents

You may be able to transfer your super to a New Zealand KiwiSaver account. Download the KiwiSaver fact sheet (PDF, 155 KB) for more information.

We can help you decide

UniSuper Advice is on hand to help you understand your options. You can make an appointment with an adviser over the phone, video call, or in person at one of our member centres in Australia. There’s no extra cost for this appointment.
Cookies help us improve your website experience.
By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.