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Where can you access your super?

Have you thought about withdrawing your superannuation? Can you do it early? All this and more, in this edition of Aged Care Guide!

Accessing your nest egg? It’s a simple process locked behind a few barriers. [Source: Shutterstock]

Accessing your nest egg? It’s a simple process locked behind a few barriers. [Source: Shutterstock]

Key points:

  • To withdraw your superannuation, visit the site of your super fund and look for a menu bar with headings that would indicate a withdrawal portal, such as ‘managing your super,’ ‘accessing your super’ or ‘withdrawing super’
  • You will only be able to access your superannuation when you reach the age of 65 or your ‘preservation age,’ which varies depending on your year of birth and your retirement status
  • You may be eligible for early access to your superannuation in rare circumstances, despite your age or retirement status


Throughout your career, your super fund will manage your money by investing your super guarantee and salary-sacrificed funds, with the returns growing over time and giving you a fall-back for financial support during retirement.

The process to withdraw your superannuation is rather simple and is typically done through your super fund of choice, which you are encouraged to review over time to ensure the best returns later in life.

Generally, your superannuation is better to access later in life — not just for you, but for the value of your super. If factors such as liquidity — meaning the total pool of available funds that can be withdrawn — are constantly affected by withdrawals or expected withdrawals, new investment methods will be adopted.

Call now for an obligation-free chat regarding Financial Services options for you or your loved one with a financial services expert.

Eligibility for withdrawals

You must meet one of the following requirements before you can lodge a claim to withdraw your superannuation legally:

  • You must be 65 years of age or older — regardless of retirement status
  • You must reach the preservation age, which can range from 55 to 60, depending on the year you were born and retirement/retirement transition status
  • You must be eligible for access on compassionate grounds as per the Australian Taxation Office criteria

Illegal early access to withdraw super

You may encounter unsolicited offers by phone or listings online that claim you can access your super before you become eligible. Do not, under any circumstances, provide your personal information or click on any hyperlink that is sent to you by a person claiming to represent your fund or the ATO.

If someone attempts to contact you regarding an early withdrawal of your super, you should make sure to verify the legitimacy of the person, which you can do by emailing your respective fund or the ATO.

These ‘early access’ schemes may be presented as an offer to transition to a self-managed super fund and are generally targeted at vulnerable people. If someone reaches out to you and claims to be a financial adviser, you can verify their legitimacy through the Australian Securities and Investments Commission website Moneysmart.

The Australian Government takes a hardline stance against people involved in illegal early-access schemes which can cost participants far more than their overall superannuation balance. Illegal early access is counted as income in your tax return, meaning that you will have to pay additional income tax, tax shortfall penalties and interest on any super that you illegally access. To learn more about SMSF early-access schemes and their consequences, please visit the ATO information page.

If you believe that you are eligible for early access, you must provide the required evidence to the ATO. You can access the online application form for early access on compassionate grounds via your myGov account.

If you aren’t able to apply for early access to your superannuation on compassionate grounds through the online application process, please call 13 10 20 on Monday to Friday from the hours of 8am to 6pm AEDT or 10am to 2pm on Saturday.

Once the evidence and application have been received, verified as true and approved by the ATO, a letter will be sent to notify you of the outcome and you will be granted access to withdraw your super.

To learn more about the application process, please visit the complete guide to early withdrawals via the ATO website. If you’re not sure whether to opt for a lump-sum withdrawal or an incremental stream, please do some research to determine which option is right for you.


Have you reviewed the performance of your super fund recently? Let the team at Talking Aged Care know about your tips and tricks to stay financially secure in retirement!


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