When and how you can withdraw your super

Government preservation laws place restrictions on when you can withdraw your super. Your super is divided into preserved, restricted non-preserved and unrestricted non-preserved components.

Any part of your super categorised as preserved must remain in an approved superannuation arrangement until such circumstances as your death, Total & Permanent Disablement, your permanent retirement from the workforce on or after preservation age, you cease employment or change employers after age 60 or following certain other events.

Any part of your super categorised as restricted non-preserved becomes available to you once you leave your employer, while unrestricted non-preserved funds can be withdrawn at anytime, however withdrawals prior to age 60 may be subject to tax. See Tax and my super for details.

You can find out the amount of your benefit that is preserved, restricted non-preserved and unrestricted non-preserved by:

  • checking your balance in SuperOnline
  • checking your last statement
  • calling 1300 033 166.

You may also wish to seek expert financial advice from Telstra Super Financial Planning before withdrawing your super.

How to withdraw your super (if eligible)

Once you are sure you are at an age or circumstance where you can withdraw your super, claiming your Telstra Super benefit is simple.

To make a full or partial withdrawal from your super you will need to complete a Super Benefit Instruction Cash Withdrawal form (755kb). 

Proving your identity

Under Commonwealth law, the Trustee must collect and verify information about your identity before paying, rolling over or transferring your benefit. This means you have to provide certified copies of documentation such as your driver's licence, or passport with your instructions. Further information on the documentation required is supplied when you request a payment or you can view a full list of people authorised to certify your Proof of Identity.

Tax and withdrawing your super

Tax may apply if you are withdrawing your super. Check out our Tax and your super information before you decide to withdraw.

Changing super funds?

If you are thinking of moving to a new fund remember to compare the fees and charges, investment returns, insurance options and other services carefully. We have listed the 10 top reasons to stay with us.

If you are thinking of changing funds, be aware that some of the benefits you currently receive may be lost.

If you are changing employers but would like to stay with Telstra Super, Telstra Super Personal Plus is our product for members who no longer work for the Telstra Group. It offers everything you need in one low cost, easy-to-manage super account. We have explored some of the available options within Changing jobs.

If you have considered the above options and still wish to change, please download and complete Super Benefit Instruction form.

Moving overseas permanently?

If you are a temporary resident, that is, not an Australian or New Zealand citizen, a permanent resident of Australia, or the holder of a Subclass 405 visa or a Subclass 410 visa, conditions of release to access your super changed on 1 April 2009:

  • If you have not claimed your benefit within six months of departing Australia, it becomes 'unclaimed money' and Telstra Super must pay it to the ATO.
  • If your benefit is transferred to the ATO, you are able to apply to the ATO for your benefit. Under the relief provided by ASIC Class Order 09/437 no exit statement will be provided to you at the time of, or after, the transfer of your benefit. Please contact 1300 033 166 if you require further information.

Eligible temporary Australian visa holders are entitled to claim their super upon permanent departure from Australia.

Eligible claims will be paid by cheque as a single lump sum in Australian currency. To find out whether your visa type qualifies you for a payment, please visit the ATO website at www.ato.gov.au/super.

To withdraw your super, please download and complete a Departing Residents Benefit Payment form (102kb). You can also use the online application form available on the ATO website at www.ato.gov.au/super.

The Trustee will also need to see proof of your identity under Commonwealth law. This is detailed within the claim forms.

To authorise a claim, fund trustees must receive the following evidence, according to the amount being claimed:

Evidence required

Claims less
than $5000

  • a certified copy of a visa, or evidence of a visa, showing you were the holder of an eligible temporary resident visa that has expired or has been cancelled; and
  • a certified copy of your passport showing that you have departed from Australia.
Claims $5000
or over
  • a written statement from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, confirming you previously held an eligible temporary resident visa that has expired or has been cancelled; and
  • have permanently departed from Australia.

Legislation also requires that if you have departed Australia permanently and at least six months have passed and you have not clamied your super, your benefit will become payable to the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Please contact us on 1300 033 166 for further information.

Tax treatment
Tax-free component Nil
Untaxed element 45%
Taxable component 35%


Payment of your super if you die

The super payable to your dependants is made up of your account balance (your super savings) plus any insurance (if applicable).

Who receives your death benefit?

Generally the Trustee has discretion in deciding who receives your benefits in the event of your death. However, you have the option of nominating a preferred beneficiary, and the Trustee takes this nomination into account before making its decision.

How to make a claim?

On the unfortunate event of a member's death, their family can contact Telstra Super's Insured Benefits Group on 1300 033 166. Our Insured Benefits Group will take care of all forms that will need to be completed.

For more information on what happens to your super when you die and the importance of nominating beneficiaries, please visit our pages on Estate planning.

Facing financial hardship?

In accordance with Government regulations, you may be eligible to claim up to $10,000 of your preserved benefit on the grounds of financial hardship if you:

  • are in receipt of a qualifying Commonwealth Income Support payment; and
  • have been receiving a Commonwealth Income Support payment for a continuous period of 26 weeks; and
  • are unable to meet reasonable and immediate family living expenses.

If you are experiencing financial hardship complete a Release of preserved benefits due to financial hardship form (286 kb). Download and complete the form and send it in to Telstra Super.

If you are not eligible to claim your preserved benefit on the grounds of severe financial hardship, you may be able to apply for early release on compassionate grounds.

The Trustee has no authority to release preserved benefits under compassionate grounds. Applications must be made directly to the Department of Human Services. For further information and to obtain an application form, contact DHS on 1300 13 10 60 or visit its website www.humanservices.gov.au.