Your super has tax concessions that are designed to help you save for retirement, so there are rules for when you can access it.
The Commonwealth government has set a minimum age for when you can access super. This is known as the Commonwealth preservation age1, because your super is preserved until this time. For most people, access to super is determined by the current Commonwealth preservation age1.
The following are the conditions for when you can access super:
You reach your Commonwealth preservation age and permanently retire
You reach your Commonwealth preservation age and start a Transition to Retirement (TTR) strategy, whereby you continue to work and get restricted access to your super
You reach age 60 and resign from your current employment
You reach age 65
For Gold State Super members, super is accessible once you turn 552 and you retire from the WA public sector
You qualify under limited circumstances to access super before your Commonwealth preservation age, such as severe financial hardship or compassionate grounds (see below)
Your Commonwealth preservation age
Your Commonwealth preservation age depends on when you were born and is shown in the table below.
Date of birth
Commonwealth preservation age
Born before 1 July 1960
1 July 1960 - 30 June 1961
1 July 1961 - 30 June 1962
1 July 1962 - 30 June 1963
1 July 1963 - 30 June 1964
After 30 June 1964
Accessing super before Commonwealth preservation age
Your super may be accessed before you reach Commonwealth preservation age if:
You become totally and permanently disabled
Your super account holds less than $200 and you no longer work for the employer who contributed to the fund for you
You receive approval from GESB to release your super on financial hardship or compassionate grounds
You are diagnosed with a terminal illness by certified medical practitioners
In the event of your death (in which case your super is paid to your estate)
If you have questions about your eligibility to access super early, please contact your Member Services Centre on 13 43 72.
There are various rules in relation to tax and accessing your super, depending on your age, how your benefit is paid and whether you have a taxed (GESB Super) or untaxed (West State Super and Gold State Super) fund. For more information, refer to the Tax and super brochure.
1 Your Commonwealth preservation age is dependent on your date of birth. For more information on your Commonwealth preservation age, read the Accessing your super brochure.
2 If you access your benefit before you reach your Commonwealth preservation age you may be liable to pay a higher rate of tax. The Commonwealth preservation age is higher than the age at which you can access your Gold State Super benefit. Please contact your Member Services Centre and review our Tax and super brochure for more information.
How do you want to receive your super?
You have a choice over how you receive your benefit. Find out more about your options on the retirement products page.