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 on compassionate grounds, or if you're experiencing financial hardship.
Other conditions for early access include buying your first home under the First Home Super Saver Scheme, or leaving Australia (if you are a former temporary resident).
Talk to us about your options.
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 ageYour 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
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 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% (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.
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.
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).
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.
You can apply for the DASP with the ATO once you’ve left Australia and no longer have an Australian visa.
If your visa hasn’t yet expired, contact the Department of Home Affairs to cancel it.
How to apply for the DASP
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 to the countries and currencies we pay in. Bank fees may also apply.
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
If you don’t claim your super
Buying a home
You can withdraw some of your voluntary contributions (plus associated earnings) to pay for a home deposit under the First Home Super Saver Scheme.
Things to consider before you withdraw your super
- Got a Defined Benefit Division (DBD) account? Check how partial withdrawal may affect your super. Read the DBD partial withdrawal fact sheet (PDF, 73 KB).
- If you're under 60 you may pay tax on your withdrawal. See how your super is taxed.
- Accessing your super may affect your Centrelink payments. Visit Centrelink for more information.