Why is My Super Preserved?

The Australian government enforces preservation rules to ensure your super grows for retirement. Imagine if you could access your super freely – it might be tempting to spend it before you truly need it. Preservation helps you build a substantial sum for your golden years.

When Can I Access My Preserved Benefit?

The key to unlocking your preserved benefit is reaching your preservation age and satisfying a condition of release.

  • Preservation Age: This age varies depending on your date of birth. Currently, it sits between 55 and 60, gradually increasing for those born after June 1960. You can find the exact age for your birth year with a quick online search.
  • Conditions of Release: Even after reaching your preservation age, you can’t simply withdraw your super whenever you like. You need to meet one of the following conditions:
    • Retirement: This is the most common condition. You’re considered retired if you’ve permanently stopped working.
    • Reaching Age 65: At 65, you can access your super regardless of your employment status.
    • Severe Financial Hardship: If you’re facing extreme financial difficulty, you may be allowed to access some of your super early.
    • Terminal Medical Condition: A diagnosis of a terminal illness can qualify you for early access.
    • Permanent Incapacity: If you’re permanently unable to work due to illness or injury, you may be eligible.

Important Considerations:

  • Cashing Restrictions: Even when you meet a condition of release, there might be restrictions on how you can access your super. Some funds may require you to take your benefit as a pension or transfer it to another super fund.
  • Part Time Work: Reaching your preservation age doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stop working altogether. You can still access your super if you’re working part-time.
  • Tax Implications: Withdrawing your super may have tax implications. It’s wise to consult a financial advisor to understand the potential tax consequences.

Managing Your Preserved Benefit:

While your preserved benefit is locked away, it’s not out of sight, out of mind. You can usually access online portals provided by your super fund to monitor your balance, investment options, and track your progress towards retirement.

The Bottom Line

Preserved benefits ensure your super grows for your future financial security. Understanding these rules empowers you to plan effectively for retirement. If you have any questions about your preserved benefit or super in general, contacting your super fund or a financial advisor is a great first step.


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