Preservation rules

Commonwealth provisions generally require part of your superannuation benefit to be preserved until you either:

  • cease employment from age 60
  • retire from the workforce permanently at or after your preservation age (between 55 and 60).

In effect this means you cannot withdraw your super until you meet one of these conditions of release.

In the event that you are permanently incapacitated or if you die, your preserved component is immediately payable.

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

Date of birth          Preservation age
Before 1 July 1960    55 years
Between 1 July 1960 and 30 June 196156 years
Between 1 July 1961 and 30 June 196257 years
Between 1 July 1962 and 30 June 1963  58 years
Between 1 July 1963 and 30 June 196459 years
After 30 June 1964   60 years

Preservation rules at different ages

  • 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 preservation age, refer to STC Fact Sheet 4: When can I be paid my superannuation benefits.