Accessing your super
You can generally access your super when you reach the minimum legal age, which is called preservation age and you have retired.
Your preservation age is not the same as your pension age. Preservation age, depending on your date of birth, is at least 55 and can be up to 60 years of age. Anyone born before 1 July 1960 has a preservation age of 55 years. If you were born on or after 1 July 1964, then your preservation age is 60 years.
MoneySmart calculator to work out when you can get your super and to see when you can apply for the Age Pension.
WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH YOUR SUPER
When you’re eligible to withdraw your super you have three main options:
Leave your super where it is
This will give you more time to consider your options and seek advice while continuing to have your super invested in your chosen investment option
You can continue to grow your super by making additional contributions, depending on your age and employment
If share markets have dipped you may decide to wait for an upturn before withdrawing your money
Your investment earnings will continue to be taxed at 15%, which may be more than you’d be charged in a retirement income stream
Start a retirement income stream (pension)
Your investment earnings are tax-free and, for people over 60, income payments are also tax-free
Your money can be invested to suit your income needs and appropriate timeframe
Your money may last longer if you take it as an income stream rather than as a lump sum
You have to withdraw minimum amounts each year, as a percentage of your balance, based on your age
Withdraw it as cash
You can withdraw your super as a single lump sum or in stages. If you withdraw your funds, you will no longer be making potential earnings from your investments.
Before you make any decisions, it's a good idea to speak to an accredited professional to determine the best approach for you. Speak to a Mercer financial adviser today.