There is no hard and fast retirement age in Australia. For most people, the point at which they consider retiring from the workforce generally comes down to a couple of factors:
- The age that they can access super
- Their qualifying age for the Age Pension
There are also a few other factors to consider.
In most cases, you must reach your ‘preservation age’ to access your super. The following table outlines your preservation age based on your date of birth.
|Date of Birth||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|
|From 1 July 1964||60|
Once you reach preservation age and have retired, you can access your super.
Jacqui is 56 and was born on 13 January 1958. She has just retired from the workforce and doesn’t intend to work again. She can withdraw from her superannuation, subject to any tax considerations.
If you have reached ‘preservation age’ and are still working, then you may only have limited access to your funds. This means you may be able to access your super in the form of an income stream, rather than a lump sum payment. The technical name for this is a ‘Transition to Retirement‘ pension where you can receive regular payments from your super while you continue working, subject to a maximum of 10 per cent of your super account balance each financial year.
Jack has reached ‘preservation age’ and has a super balance of $300,000 at 1 July. He can start a Transition to Retirement pension and receive up to $30,000 in pension payments for that financial year.
Once you reach 65, you generally have the green light to access your super without any restrictions. You can take it as a lump sum if you want to pay off something large like your mortgage or you can take it as a regular payment or pension.
Men and women currently aged 65 are eligible to apply for the Age Pension. However the qualifying age is changing in future years.
The lift in pension age will occur in a staggered approach rather than in one swift increase, as outlined in the table below:
|Date of birth between||Eligible at age|
|1 July 1952 to 31 Dec 1953||65.5|
|1 Jan 1954 to 30 June 1955||66|
|1 July 1955 to 31 Dec 1956||66.5|
|From 1 January 1957 onwards||67|
For those wishing to retire early, it will mean potentially relying on super and other savings between retiring from the workforce and reaching Age Pension age.
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