Who can access their super early

There are eligibility rules you need to meet to access your super early.

You normally can’t get your super until you reach your preservation age and retire. Preservation age is usually between 55 and 60, depending on your birth year. You can read about when you can withdraw and use your super on the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website.

In some cases you may be able to get some of your super early. You’ll need to meet one of these eligibility requirements:

  • be in severe financial hardship
  • have a terminal illness
  • be a temporary resident
  • have less than $200 in your super fund
  • meet compassionate grounds.

Read full details about early access to super on the ATO website.

If you’re in severe financial hardship

Your super fund will decide if you can access your super early because of severe financial hardship.

You’re considered to be in severe financial hardship if you meet all of the following:

  • you’re unable to pay for essential family living costs
  • you’ve been getting an eligible income support payment from us for 26 weeks with no gaps.

There are different rules if you’re over preservation age and haven’t retired. You must meet all of the following:

  • still be out of retirement, which means you’re looking for work, studying, working full or part time
  • have reached your preservation age plus 39 weeks
  • get an income support payment for at least 39 weeks in total since you reached your preservation age.

If you’re over your preservation age and retired, you can access your super under normal conditions. You should contact your super fund. Read more about how to apply.

Which income support payments aren’t eligible

The Department of Treasury decides which income support payments allow you to apply for your super early. Most income support payments are eligible but there are some that aren’t.

You can’t access your super early if you get one of these payments:

  • Austudy
  • Youth Allowance as a full time student.
Page last updated: 28 September 2023.
QC 43171