When can you access your super?

It depends how old you are!

Broadly speaking you can get your super when you retire and reach your 'preservation age' — between 55 and 60, depending on when you were born.

If you were born before 1 July 1960 you can get access to your super when you turn 55 and have permanently retired from employment. If you were born later, the preservation age varies between 55 and 60. You still need to have permanently retired from employment to access your super.  Depending on your status, there may be tax payable.

If you are aged between age 60 and age 65, you can access your superannuation after an employment separation has occurred.  You do not need to be permanently retired. 

Once you reach age 60, superannuation is generally accessed tax free.        

People aged 65 or over can access super and continue to work as well.

The term “preservation age” just means the age at which you can access your super in Australia.

There are limited circumstances when you can have early access to your super, such as compassionate grounds, a terminal medical condition and incapacity to work, more details found here. And there are also special circumstances, (like COVID-19) where you can access some of your super early.

As part of its COVID-19 coronavirus economic response, the Federal Government is allowing eligible Australians to access some of their superannuation early. You can apply to access up to $10,000 of your super if you have been financially affected by the COVID-19 until 31 December 2020.

Our members are our top priority.

There is no doubt that the next few months are still going to be difficult for many of us. However, we all have a role to play to adapt to the changes we are facing and understand the best option for each of us, to cushion the impact of what is happening. This means considering our financial needs now and in the future.

GuildSuper members are understandably concerned about any possible impacts on their super. There are real challenges for members and the broader community, and we are all adjusting to the changes in our daily lives as a result. A calm and considered approach towards your super, is more important than ever.

Accessing your super early is not without its risks. Super is designed to pay for your life in retirement, so withdrawing money from it now could affect your retirement lifestyle. Before you apply to access your super, you should carefully consider all your options.

To get a view on the impact withdrawing your super today may have on your retirement, use the MoneySmart calculator: COVID-19 Accessing Your Super.


Insurance in super can also provide important financial protection if you become seriously ill and are unable to work for an extended period of time. 

The cover provided by our insurer MetLife does not have any exclusions in relation to the coronavirus.

However, it is important to note however that the cover provided does not cover you being made redundant, taking unpaid leave or having your hours reduced.

Find out more about the insurance cover provided through Fund membership.

Get Super Savvy Resources

Checkout the Moneysmart preservation age table

Great read: Canstar - the long-term cost of taking $20,000 out of your super fund

ATO: Application for early release of super