Condition of Release

To withdraw preserved benefits from superannuation, an individual typically must meet one of the following conditions:

Condition of release




1. From preservation age: If an arrangement under which an individual is gainfully employed has ended, and the individual does not intend to be employed for more than 10 hours a week.

2. From age 60: If an arrangement under which an individual was gainfully employed has ended after turning 60.

There is no restriction on accessing super funds if either of the definitions are met.

Attaining age 65

An individual reaches the age of 65.

There is no restriction on accessing super funds if an individual turns age 65.

Attaining preservation age

Benefit can be taken as a non-commutable income stream (transition to retirement pension). Please see the “Preservation Age” section below for further details.

An individual can only draw a maximum 10% pa of the account balance.


An individual passes away leaving a super benefit.

The full accumulated balance of super can be accessed on the death of a member.

Permanent incapacity

Where an individual is unlikely to engage in gainful employment, as a result of mental or physical ill health, for which they are reasonably qualified by education, training or experience.

There is no restriction on access to accumulated superannuation benefits when a permanent incapacity condition is met.

Terminal medical condition

An individual has an illness or injury, certified by two medical practitioners, which is likely to result in death in the next 24 months.

The individual will have full access to the accumulated superannuation funds.

Temporary incapacity

An individual has physical or mental ill-health that has caused them to cease gainful employment however not permanently.

Benefits (other than member-financed and mandated employer contributions) may be accessed as a non-commutable income stream to continue the pre-temporary incapacity income for the period of incapacity.

Severe financial hardship

1. The trustee of the fund is satisfied the individual is:

  • is and has been continuously on Commonwealth income support benefits for 26 weeks, and
  • is unable to meet reasonable and immediate family living expense.


2. The individual has reached preservation age and 39 weeks and the trustee of the fund is satisfied that the member:

  • has been on Commonwealth income support for a cumulative period of 39 weeks since reaching preservation age, and
  • is not gainfully employed for at least 10 hours per week.

If definition 1 applies: Access to a single lump sum amount of between $1,000 and $10,000 per annum.

If definition 2 applies: Access to the entire superannuation balance.

Compassionate grounds

On application to the ATO benefits may be released to:

  • pay for medical treatment or medical transport for member or dependent
  • make loan repayments to prevent foreclosure or mortgagee power of sale of principal residence
  • modify principal residence for severe disability needs of member or dependent
  • meet member’s palliative care expenses
  • pay expenses for dependent’s palliative care, death, funeral or burial, and
  • meet other expenses related to the above points.

Single lump sum amount determined in writing by the ATO.

Temporary resident’s permanent departure

1. The benefit is less than $5,000 and a copy of the temporary resident’s visa and passport showing departure is provided, or

2. A written statement from the Department of Home Affairs that a temporary resident’s visa has ended and the individual has permanently departed.

An individual’s super balance must be paid in full.

(Reference: Conditions of Release)

Preservation age

Preservation typically refers to the earliest age in which you can access your superannuation benefits (unless as a result of a death, severe illness or injury or unfortunate financial circumstances). An individual’s preservation is set based on their date of birth as can be seen in the table below:

Date of birth

Preservation age (years)

Before 1 July 1960


1 July 1960 – 30 June 1961


1 July 1961 – 30 June 1962


1 July 1962 – 30 July 1963


1 July 1963 – 30 June 1964


After 30 June 1964


(Reference: Preservation Age)