When you can access your super
Your super is set aside for your retirement, but you may be able to access it before you retire in special circumstances. You can usually access your super for the following reasons:
- Reaching your preservation age
- Financial hardship
- Compassionate grounds (including COVID-19)
- Leaving Australia
- Buying a home.
Reaching your preservation age
Once you reach your preservation age (between 55 and 60, depending on your birth date) you can:
- retire and withdraw your super
- retire and use it to start an income stream
- use your super to help you transition to retirement.
You can withdraw your super if you leave a job for any reason after you turn 60. Once you turn 65, you can access your super whether you’re still working or not.
Find your preservation age
Your preservation age according to your birth date.
If you were born Your preservation age is Before 1 July 1960 55 1st July 1960 - 30 June 1961 56 1st July 1960 - 30 June 1962 57 1st July 1960 - 30 June 1963 58 1st July 1960 - 30 June 1964 59 1st July 1964 or after 60
How to withdraw your super
Start a regular income
We offer 3 pension products for choice and flexibility.
If you’re experiencing financial difficulties, 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 applying to withdraw your super.
If you haven’t reached preservation age
You might 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%.
If you've reached preservation age
You can apply to take some or all 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
We can help you work out if you’re eligible to apply. Call 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.
The Government is allowing individuals in financial stress to access up to $10,000 of their super this financial year (2020-21) up to 24 September 2020.
The ATO assesses and manages these applications. To apply, visit the ATO website.
You may be able to access 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.
How to apply under compassionate grounds
Firstly, you need to apply to the ATO.
If successful, complete the Compassionate grounds application form (PDF, 147 KB) and return it to us along with certified copies of your ID.
If you’ve earned super in Australia and it’s time to leave, you can apply to withdraw your super as a Departing Australia Super Payment (DASP).
How to apply
Apply for the DASP with the ATO once you have left Australia and no longer have an Australian visa. Check with your employer to ensure they’ve made all your super contributions.
You’ll need to provide:
- your employment details
- your passport number
- your UniSuper member number
- UniSuper’s ABN (91 385 943 850)
The ATO will tell us when they’ve approved your application. Check your details are up to date so we can contact you to arrange your payment. Restrictions may apply around the countries and currencies we pay in. Bank fees may also apply.
You can generally claim a DASP if:
- you’ve earned super while working in Australia on a temporary resident visa
- your visa has expired or been cancelled
- you’ve left Australia
- you’re not an Australian or New Zealand citizen, or a permanent resident of Australia.
If you haven’t yet left Australia or your visa is still in effect, you can start your application and submit it when you’re eligible to. If your visa hasn’t yet expired, contact the Department of Home Affairs to cancel it.
Tax and your DASP
Generally, you’ll pay tax on the taxable component of your super:
- 65% for Working Holiday Makers
- 35% for other visa holders
If you’ve earned more than $250,000 in a financial year and paid the extra 15% tax on your super contributions (the division 293 tax), you can apply to the ATO for a refund of the extra tax.
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.
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.
Buying a home