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Can I access my super at 60 and still work? | RateCity

Jodie Humphries avatar
Jodie Humphries
- 3 min read
Can I access my super at 60 and still work? | RateCity

When you turn 60, you may want to start enjoying the savings you have built up over the decades. 

There are two ways of accessing your super after 60. One way is to get limited access by starting a transition to retirement income stream (TRIS). The other is to get full access by fulfilling one of the conditions of retirement - an arrangement by which you are gainfully employed is coming to an end.

How does a transition to retirement income stream work?

If you’re 60 and still working, you can access a limited amount of your super balance by starting a transition to retirement income stream. A TRIS is an account-based income stream that can't be converted into a lump sum and allows you to access between 4 and 10 per cent of your super balance. This money may help you to reduce your working hours and transition into retirement gradually.

After setting up a TRIS, once you retire, you need to notify your super fund, and your account can be changed to a retirement phase account, giving you full access to your super savings. 

Investment earnings within a TRIS are taxed at 15 per cent, which is the same rate as for accumulation accounts.

Can I access my super at 60 and still work?

If you want full access to your super balance when you reach 60, you will need to fulfill one more condition; an employment arrangement coming to an end. You can then access the money as an account-based pension income stream, a lump sum withdrawal, or a combination of both. Your accumulation phase or transition to retirement income stream account will be converted to a retirement phase account. 

This does not mean that you can no longer work. After one employment arrangement comes to an end, you can take up another contract, and there is no minimum time that needs to lapse between these two jobs. If you do this, the contribution of your employer would be held in an accumulation account, and you would be able to access it only when you meet another condition of release, such as retiring, or turning 65. You can also choose to be self-employed after turning 60 when an employment contract comes to an end.

Investment earnings in account-based income streams are tax-free. You can withdraw your pension at any frequency you set up but must withdraw at least once a year. 

If you want a lump sum superannuation withdrawal at age 60, you will need to retire fully. You’ll also need to submit a declaration to your super fund that you are retiring permanently, with no intention of returning to gainful employment - either part-time or full-time. 

Your super balance and how you decide to withdraw it will affect your tax liability. So consider all your options carefully before setting up a retirement phase super account. 

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Product database updated 30 May, 2024

This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Mark Bristow before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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Product data updated on 30 May 2024