Accessing super and qualifying age for the age pension

There is no strict retirement age in Australia.

For many people, the age at which they consider retiring from the workforce is generally decided by a couple of factors:

  • The age that they can access super
  • Their qualifying age for the Age Pension

There are also a few other factors to consider.


In most cases, you must reach your ‘preservation age’ to access your super. The following table outlines your preservation age based on your date of birth.

Date of Birth

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
From 1 July 1964 60

Once you reach preservation age and have retired, you can access your super.

For example:

Fiona is 56 and was born on 13 January 1958. She has just retired from the workforce and doesn’t intend to work again. She can now withdraw from her superannuation, subject to any tax considerations.

If you have reached ‘preservation age’ and are still working, then you may only have limited access to your funds. This means you may be able to access your super in the form of an income stream, rather than a lump-sum payment. The technical name for this is a ‘Transition to Retirement’ pension where you can receive regular payments from your super while you continue working, subject to maximum payments of 10 per cent of your super account balance each financial year.

For example:

Brad has reached ‘preservation age’ and has a super balance of $300,000 at 1 July. He can start a Transition to Retirement pension and receive up to $30,000 in pension payments for that financial year.

Once you reach 65, you generally have the green light to access your super without any restrictions. You can take it as a lump sum if you want to pay off something large like your mortgage or you can take it as a regular payment or pension.

Age Pension

Men and women currently aged 65 are eligible to apply for the Age Pension. However the qualifying age is changing in future years.
The lift in pension age will occur in a staggered approach rather than in one swift increase, as outlined in the following table:

Date of birth between Eligible at age
1 July 1952 to 31 Dec 1953 65.5
1 Jan 1954 to 30 June 1955 66
1 July 1955 to 31 Dec 1956 66.5
1 January 1957 onwards 67

For those wishing to retire early, it will mean potentially relying on super and other savings between retiring from the workforce and reaching Age Pension age.

To find out more, please always feel welcome to contact us at any time.

General Advice Disclaimer

This article contains general advice only, which has been prepared without taking into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any person. You should, therefore, consider the appropriateness of the information in light of your own objectives, financial situation or needs and read all relevant Product Disclosure Statements before acting on the information. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the material, Paradigm Strategic Planning or Sentry Advice Pty Ltd will not bear responsibility or liability for any action taken by any person, persons or organisation on the purported basis of information contained herein. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, no person, persons or organisation should invest monies or take action on reliance of the material contained herein but instead should satisfy themselves independently of the appropriateness of such action.

Paradigm Strategic Planning Pty Ltd is an Authorised Representative of Sentry Advice Pty Ltd AFSL 227748

Scroll to Top