Superannuation Contributions and Withdrawals

Key Points

There are rules that determine if you are eligible to make contributions to or withdraw money from your Superannuation Fund. Failing to comply with these rules can have significant consequences so it’s worth making sure you know how they work.

Making Contributions – Employer Contributions

 Compulsory ContributionsVoluntary Contributions
Superannuation guarantee contributions
Contributions under an award
Salary sacrifice contributions
Employer contributions in excess of SG
First Home Super Saver contributions
Under 65YesYes
65 to 69YesMust satisfy the Work Test
70 to 74YesMust satisfy the Work Test
75 and olderYesNo

Making Contributions – Member’s contributions 

 Made by the memberMade for the member
Personal non-concessional contributions
Personal deductible contributions
CGT exempt amounts
First Home Super Saver contributions
Spouse contributions
Child contributions
Under 65YesYes
65 to 69Must satisfy the Work TestMust satisfy the Work Test
70 to 74Must satisfy the Work TestNo
75 and olderNoNo

Additional information about making superannuation contributions will be available from your fund and the Australian Taxation Office.

Making Withdrawals

There are a complex set of rules that govern when you can withdraw money from your superannuation. The first thing you need to be clear about is what type of money makes up your superannuation balance. Broadly there are 3 types:

  • Preserved
  • Restricted non-preserved
  • Unrestricted non-preserved

Most people’s superannuation balance will be Preserved money. You cannot withdraw this money or restricted non-preserved money without satisfying specific rules called conditions of release. Unrestricted non-preserved money can be withdrawn at any time.

The most common conditions of release are:

  • the member has reached their preservation age and retires
  • the member has reached their preservation age and begins a transition to retirement income stream
  • the member reaches 65 years of age
  • the member dies

A persons Preservation Age depends on the year they were born. If you were born before 1 July 1960 it is 55, between 1 July 1906 and 30 June 1961 it is 56, between 1 July 1961 and 30 June 1962 it is 57, between 1 July 1962 and 30 June 1963 it is 58, between 1 July 1963 and 30 June 1964 it is 59 and after 1 July 1964 it is 60.  

There are also special circumstances where some of the money a person has in superannuation may be released before the member reaches their preservation age. These special circumstances are:

  • terminating gainful employment (in these circumstances the money can only be withdrawn as a lifetime pension or annuity and cannot be turned into a lump sum unless it is less than $200) 
  • permanent incapacity
  • temporary incapacity
  • severe financial hardship
  • compassionate grounds
  • terminal medical condition
  • First Home Super Saver scheme
Money withdrawn from superannuation because of the financial impact of COVID-19 will generally be on compassionate grounds.
Additional information on withdrawing money from superannuation will be available from your fund and from the Australian Taxation Office.

This summary has been prepared by MoneyBrilliant Pty Ltd (AFSL 492711, ACL 493068). The information in this summary is of a factual nature only. We are not suggesting or recommending that you take any particular course of action in relation to any financial product or service. It does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. If you need financial advice or taxation advice you should seek advice from a licensed financial adviser or tax agent. You may also be able to access additional information from the websites of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and the relevant product providers.

This page was last updated on 1 May 2020.