You’ve worked hard all your life to build your super and now it is time to reap the rewards. Here we explain the rules on how and when you can access your super.
When can you access your super?
Generally, you can access your super once you have reached your preservation age, which is between 55 and 60, depending on your date of birth. Once you reach this age, you may decide to permanently retire or access your super as a transition to retirement pension.
Here are some guidelines:
If you are not retiring, you can access your super as a transition to retirement pension. Read more about this in our transition to retirement section.
If you permanently retire, you can access your super once you reach your preservation age (see table below). However, there may be tax implications for accessing your super before age 60*.
Regardless of if you have retired, if you are aged 65 or over, you can access your super as either a lump sum or income stream.
*If your Defined Benefit income stream is over $100,000 p.a. you could be charged at your marginal tax rate on the excess regardless of your age.
What is your preservation age?
Date of birth
Before 1 July 1960
1 July 1960 to 30 June 1961
1 July 1961 to 30 June 1962
1 July 1962 to 30 June 1963
1 July 1963 to 30 June 1964
After 30 June 1964
In special circumstances, you may access at least part of your super benefits before reaching preservation age. These include:
Temporary or permanent incapacity. You may be able to access your super if you are temporarily unable to work or need to work less hours because of a physical or mental medical condition. You may also be able to access your super if you are permanently incapacitated. Your fund must be satisfied that you have a permanent physical or mental medical condition that is likely to stop you from ever working again in a job you were qualified to do.
Severe financial hardship. When you have been receiving Commonwealth Government income support for at least 26 weeks continuously and you are unable to meet reasonable and immediate family expenses, you may be able to access a portion of your super. If you have reached preservation age and have received income support for at least 39 weeks, you may be able to access all your super.
Compassionate grounds. Examples include a life-threatening illness or potential repossession of your home. The Department of Human Services (DHS) makes decisions on the release of super on compassionate grounds. You can visit the DHS website or call on 1300 13 10 60 to see if you qualify.
Terminal illness. In this case, if you have a proven terminal illness you may access all your super benefits tax-free.
You have less than $200 in super.
To access your super, you will need to complete a Statutory Declaration form and satisfy the conditions of release. This form is only available through our Member Services team. Please call us on 1300 LGSUPER (1300 547 873) between 8.30am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.
Remember that you can only claim your super benefits from LGS within six months of departing Australia, or within six months of the expiry or cancellation of the visa, whichever event is later. If you don’t claim your money within six months of departing Australia, your account balance will be paid to the ATO and your LGS account will be closed without notification. You will then need to contact the ATO directly to claim this 'former temporary resident unclaimed super' .