Accessing your super when you retire

Once you reach your preservation age and have retired, you can generally access your super. It’s important to know how your preservation age affects your super withdrawals and the amount of tax you pay on your savings. Find out everything you need to know about accessing your super and satisfying the conditions of release.

Due to Media Super merging with Cbus, Media Super Pension accounts have closed and been moved to a Cbus Super Income Stream.

We appreciate change can bring uncertainty. Please be assured all practical pension product options were scrutinised for benefits and the need to act in the best financial interests of our members.

For members with an existing Media Super Pension account, your benefits have been transferred to a new Cbus Super Income Stream and will continue to provide you with a regular pension payment. You will also enjoy additional benefits, such as:

  • Fortnightly payments in addition to monthly, quarterly, half-yearly and yearly options Additional flexibility on how payments are drawn down from investments
  • Retirement Spending Planner and Cbus Advice Team.

Named Money Magazine’s Best Pension Fund for 2022, you’re in great hands with Cbus.

The information on this web page relates to the Cbus Super Income Stream (SIS)

Superannuation is designed to help you save for your retirement, so it stands to reason there are rules around when you can access it.

Accessing your super

Super benefits are there to fund your retirement

Generally, you’re able to access your super when you've reached:

  • Preservation age and have permanently retired
  • Preservation age and are starting to transition to retirement (income stream)
  • 60 and have ceased working in an employment arrangement
  • 65 years old
  • Meet a condition for early release.

Your super may also be accessed by your beneficiaries after you’ve died.

Date of birthPreservation Age
Before 1/7/196055
1/7/1960 to 30/6/196156
1/7/1961 to 30/6/196257
1/7/1962 to 30/6/196358
1/7/1963 to 30/6/196459
After 30/6/196460

Once you turn 65, you can access your super any time, even if you're still working.

If you’ve reached preservation age and retired but are below 60 years of age, you may have to pay tax on any payments you receive.

Find out how your super withdrawal or pension income will be taxed

Please note, your preservation age is different to your Age Pension age.

Super withdrawal options

Once you reach your preservation age, there are several options for accessing your super savings:

  • Start a Transition to Retirement account, allowing you to continue working while accessing f your super savings
  • Start a Fully Retired account and receive a regular income stream
  • Withdraw your super as a lump sum.

Find out more about the benefits of starting a Super Income Stream.

Transfer balance cap

A limit, called the transfer balance cap, applies to the total amount of super you can transfer to a retirement phase income stream. The transfer balance cap for people starting a retirement phase income stream for the first time on or from 1 July 2021 is $1.7 million.

Your personal transfer balance cap is available on ATO Online.

More information about the transfer balance cap is available on the ATO website.

Conditions of release explained

There are multiple ways that you can access your superannuation. These are known as conditions of release.

You will generally only need to satisfy one condition of release to gain access to some or all of your super.

The most common conditions of release are:

  • Reaching your preservation age and retiring
  • Reaching your preservation age and starting a Super Income Stream
  • Ceasing employment at age 60 or over, even if you don't intend to retire
  • Turning 65, even if you're still working
  • Death

Can I access my super early?

In certain situations, you may be allowed to withdraw your super early. If you have unrestricted non-preserved money in your account, you can withdraw it any time. Otherwise, you may be able to withdraw your super early in the following circumstances.

  • Through the First Home Super Saver Scheme.

For more information and other circumstances, see early access to your super on the ATO website.

Do you need advice? We can help at no extra cost

Don’t feel you have to make these decisions alone. Advice Services can help you work through all the questions you need to consider, call us on 1800 640 886 (option 4) to get the ball rolling or visit