Accessing your super

Super is designed to help you save for your retirement. With this is mind the Government places restrictions on when you can withdraw your super and there can be tax implications also.  Before making any changes to your super it’s a good idea to speak with a financial adviser. 

TelstraSuper Financial Planning has Advisers who can develop strategies for accessing your super to help you meet your retirement goals.  

When you can access your super

You can access your super when you reach what's called ‘preservation’ age.  This is based on when you were born, as shown below.

 When you were born Preservation age
 Before 1 July 1960 55 
 1 July 1960 – 30 June 1961 56
 1 July 1961 – 30 June 1962 57
 1 July 1962 – 30 June 1963 58
 1 July 1963 – 30 June 1964 59
 After 30 June 1964 60

You can access your super when you've reached preservation age. If you're not ready to retire at your preservation age, you may prefer to semi-retire with a transition to retirement income stream. At ages 65 and over, you can access your super any time.

Withdrawing your super early

There are some instances when you can access your super earlier, including:

  • as a temporary resident permanently leaving Australia
  • on your death
  • on financial hardship or compassionate grounds.

Moving overseas permanently

If you’re a temporary resident who's permanently left Australia, you may be entitled to a super payment. You have up to six months to claim your super from us once you’ve departed Australia. If you don’t withdraw your super within this time, we’ll transfer your benefit to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and you’ll need to contact the ATO to claim your benefit.

To withdraw your super, please download and complete a Departing Residents Benefit Payment form. 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. See the form for more details.  

Payment when you die

When you die your super will be paid to one or more of your dependants or your legal personal representative. They'll receive your super balance and any death benefit insurance cover you may have.

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 beneficiary.

There are binding and non-binding beneficiary nominations available.  Find out more about the differences between binding and non-binding beneficiaries.

How to make a claim?

When you die, your family or legal representative should contact TelstraSuper's Insured Benefits Group who will take care of all forms that will need to be completed. Call them on 1300 033 166.

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?

Under Government rules, you may be eligible to withdraw up to $10,000 (a minimum amount of $1,000 can be withdrawn) 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’re experiencing financial hardship complete a Release of preserved benefits due to financial hardship form (286 kb). Complete the form and send it back to TelstraSuper.

Early release on compassionate grounds 

If you’re 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.

Need help with accessing your super?

At TelstraSuper we’re here to help you build a secure financial future. TelstraSuper Financial Planning has a team of phone based Advisers who can provide you with simple advice, so if you’d like to discuss the tax implications of withdrawing your super or if you have any other financial advice queries contact us on 1300 033 166 or fill in our online contact form. There's no additional cost for our phone based advice as this is included in your TelstraSuper membership.

Online contact form