Accessing your deferred benefit

A deferred lump sum benefit is payable at any time after you reach age 55, or in the event of earlier death or total and permanent invalidity.

In the event of a deferred member's death, the deferred lump sum benefit is payable to the member's spouse (including de facto spouse) or, if there is no eligible spouse, to the member's estate.

If a member defers their entitlements in the scheme, the original resignation or dismissal benefit (immediate lump sum), plus interest at the Fund Earning Rate, can be taken at any time, subject to the Commonwealth's compulsory benefit preservation rules. If a member takes the immediate lump sum they forfeit their right to the deferred lump sum and no further benefit such as a spouse or de facto partner benefit is payable.

What about public sector senior executives?

If you are a public sector executive and deferred your benefit without ceasing employment, you are not entitled to an immediate lump sum benefit at any time. However, you can elect to have the actuarially calculated transfer value of your deferred benefit rolled over to another complying superannuation fund at any time while you remain an executive officer.

From age 55, an application for a deferred benefit can be made after you have ceased employment with the public sector employer that gave rise to the deferred benefit.

How to apply for the deferred benefit once you reach age 55?

You can make a written application to have your deferred benefit paid to you at any time after you turn 55.

For additional information about how to apply for your benefit, please contact Customer Service on 1300 130 094.

Early release of a PSS deferred benefit

In exceptional circumstances you may be able to gain early access to part of your PSS benefits on the grounds of severe financial hardship or on compassionate grounds.

For more information regarding the early release of your benefit, refer to STC Fact Sheet 2: Early release of superannuation benefit on the grounds of severe financial hardship and STC Fact Sheet 6: Early release of superannuation benefits on compassionate grounds.

Commonwealth conditions of release

For members of PSS, the above conditions of release only apply to your SANCS basic benefit entitlement.

Commonwealth provisions generally require part of your superannuation benefit to be preserved (that is, kept in the superannuation system) until you:

  • cease employment from age 60
  • retire from the workforce at or after your preservation age
  • reach age 65, even if you continue to work
  • suffer from a terminal medical condition
  • become permanently incapacitated or die
  • meet the criteria for part of the benefit to be released on financial hardship or compassionate grounds.

Preservation rules

The preservation age of fund members is defined in the table below. You will see that it increases gradually between 55 and 60 for those born after June 1960.

Date of birthPreservation age
Before 1 July 1960 55 years
Between 1 July 1960 and 30 June 1961   56 years
Between 1 July 1961 and 30 June 1962  57 years
Between 1 July 1962 and 30 June 1963   58 years
Between 1 July 1963 and 30 June 1964  59 years
After 30 June 1964      60 years

If you have reached your preservation age but are under 60 years of age, retirement means you have ceased work permanently.

  • After you reach 60 years of age, you can access your preserved benefit whenever you cease your employment.
  • At age 65, you can access all of your benefit whether or not you have ceased employment or retired.

For more information about your preservation age, refer to STC Fact Sheet 4: When can I be paid my superannuation benefits?

Payment standards and normal retirement age

It is important to understand that the Commonwealth provisions do not affect the age at which you are entitled to a PSS benefit (that is, from age 55), but they may result in a part of your benefit accruing within a superannuation account and being paid to you later, when you have satisfied a condition of release.

Please refer to STC Fact Sheet 5: Retiring or resigning? What you need to know for payment of your benefit for more information about the conditions of release.