Super benefits are there to fund your retirement

Generally, you’re able to access your super when you've reached:

  • your preservation age and have permanently retired
  • your preservation age and are starting to transition to retirement (income stream)
  • 60 and have ceased working in an employment arrangement
  • 65 years old (it doesn't matter if you've retired)
  • meet a condition for early release.

Your super may also be accessed by your beneficiaries after you’ve died.

What’s my preservation age?

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
1 July 1964 or after 60

All super contributions and all investment earnings made after 1 July 1999 are preserved in super. Before you request to withdraw some or all of your super from Cbus, we recommend you seek professional financial advice.

Can I access my super early?

In certain situations you may be allowed to withdraw your super early. If you have unrestricted non-preserved money in your account, you can withdraw it any time. Otherwise, you may be able to withdraw your super early in the following circumstances.

For more information and other circumstances, see early access to your super on the ATO website. 

Severe financial hardship

Members in severe financial hardship can apply to Cbus for the early release of all or part of their super. You may be able to withdraw some of your superannuation if:

  Your age Conditions you must meet
A Under preservation age

1. You have been on an eligible Commonwealth Government income support payment* for a continuous period of 26 weeks, and

2. You are unable to meet reasonable and immediate family living expenses.

B Preservation age and 39 weeks or over

1. You have been on an eligible Commonwealth Government income support payment for a cumulative period of 39 weeks after you have reached your preservation age, and

2. You are not gainfully employed on a full or part-time basis on the date of the application for your benefit.

As part of your application, you’ll need to confirm you're receiving eligible Commonwealth Government income support* by providing Cbus authority in your application to verify this directly with Centrelink.

We may not be able to assess your application if we are unable to verify you are receiving a government income support at the time of your application.

The minimum amount you can be paid is $1,000, or the full balance if less than $1,000. The maximum amount is $10,000 less any applicable tax. 

Under severe financial hardship, only one withdrawal from your Cbus account can be made in any 12-month period.


*Eligible Commonwealth Government income support payment includes an income support supplement, service pension, social security benefit (excluding austudy or a youth allowance) or a social security pension (this is not an exhaustive list).
There is no maximum if the member is aged over preservation age and 39 weeks. 

Compassionate grounds

In limited circumstances, you may be able to access your super on compassionate grounds.

Provided you’re a permanent resident of Australia, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) will assess, and may approve, the early release of your superannuation.

This will cover the following costs for you or your dependants:

  • Medical treatment and transport - For a life threatening illness or injury, including acute or chronic pain, or mental illness.
  • Mortgage payments - Assistance with home loan payments or council rates to avoid losing your home.
  • Home or vehicle modifications - To accommodate severe disability (includes purchasing a modified vehicle).
  • Palliative care or funeral expenses- Expenses associated with a terminal illness, death, funeral or burial.
  • Purchasing disability aids - to cater for severe disability.

Contact ATO on 13 10 20 to discuss your situation or visit the ATO website on how to apply for early release of super on compassionate grounds.


Temporary residents departing Australia

As a temporary resident working in Australia, your employer is required to make Super Guarantee contributions for you, if you’re eligible.

When you depart Australia permanently, you’re entitled to claim your superannuation.

This payment is called the Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP). It needs to be claimed within six months of your departure, and the expiry or cancellation of your temporary visa.

If you are making the claim within six months of your departure, and the expiry or cancellation of your temporary visa, you need to complete the ATO’s Application for a departing Australia superannuation payment form, and send this form to Cbus, not the ATO. 

If you don’t claim your super within six months of departing Australia, your super payments may be transferred to the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Find out more about claiming ATO-held super as a DASP.

You’re NOT eligible if you:

  • are an Australian or New Zealand citizen
  • hold a permanent or current temporary visa
  • are a temporary resident who has left Australia and receives an income stream
  • hold a retirement visa (subclasses 405 and 410).

How will my super be taxed?

Generally, these tax rates will apply:

  • 0% for the tax-free component
  • 35% for the taxed element of a taxable component
  • 45% for an untaxed element of a taxable component.
  • 65% for the taxable component (if payment includes contributions made whilst you held a 417 (working holiday) visa or a 462 (work and holiday) visa).

How do I claim my super?

If it’s less than six months since you left Australia and you’re eligible to access your super, contact Cbus Advice Services.

Further reading

You can read more about accessing your super by clicking on the links below.

Who gets my super when I die?

You can choose who gets your superannuation when you die by nominating a beneficiary.

You can make two types of nomination:

1. Binding

You choose the people who receive your super benefits*. This ensures the balance of your super account, plus any insurance benefit, is paid to the eligible person.

2. Non-Binding

You may nominate beneficiaries, however Cbus will follow a legal process to make the final decision on who gets your super benefits.


*Binding nominations must be renewed every three years.  

Super and divorce

Going through a separation or divorce can be a stressful time for you and your family. Our fact sheet will help you understand how super can be split when a relationship breaks down. It will also guide you on what you need to do.

Read our fact sheet


We’re here to help

Call Cbus Advice Services on 1300 361 784

8.30am to 6pm Monday to Friday (AEDT/AEST)


Or use our online form to request a call from Advice Services.

Read our Financial Services Guide (PDF)