Retirement Frequently Asked Questions

Looking to retire or starting to think about it? Take a look at our retirement frequently asked questions below.

When can I access my Super?

You can access your super when you have retired and reached your preservation age, which is anywhere between the age of 58 and 60, depending on your date of birth. Once you reach the age of 65 you receive unrestricted access to your super. In certain circumstances you can access your super benefits earlier than your preservation age, such as in cases of severe financial hardship or permanent disability.

Learn more about Australian retirement age

Are investment earnings in Super taxed differently when I retire?

In an accumulation and Transition to Retirement (TTR) account, investment earnings and capital gains are taxed at a maximum rate of 15%. Some capital gains may be taxed at the concessional rate of 10%. In a Retirement account, investment earnings are tax-free.

Read the BT Super for Life PDS for more information (PDF)

How will I be taxed when I withdraw money from a TTR or Retirement account?


Aged over 60

Aged under 60

TTR account (pension payments only)


Marginal tax rate (plus the Medicare levy), with a 15% offset

Retirement account



*Withdrawals from a retirement account are generally tax free, however tax may apply when you withdraw a total amount above the low rate cap (currently $215,000) from super, before you reach the age of 60. The low rate cap is indexed annually.

Read the BT Super for Life PDS for more information (PDF)

Is there a limit with how much I can withdraw with a TTR account?

A Transition to Retirement account allows you to continue to grow your super even after you reach preservation age and are still working. You can only access your super in the form of an income stream, drawing pension payments between 4% and 10% of the 1 July balance each financial year. However, for the 2019-20 to 2021- 22  financial years, the minimum pension payment has been reduced to 2% as part of the government’s response to COVID-19.

Read about Transition to Retirement pensions

Can I still contribute to my super when I retire?

If you’re between 65 and 74 and still working, the rules around employer-paid super contributions don’t change. Generally speaking, you’re eligible to receive super from your employer if you earn more than $450 in a month and are aged over 18. It doesn’t matter if your job is permanent, or casual.

To be eligible to receive or make voluntary contributions into your super after the age of 67, you need to meet the ‘work test’ or ‘work test exemption’. The work test means you need to have been gainfully employed or self-employed (for gain or reward) for at least 40 hours in a period of not more than 30 consecutive days in the financial year (ending 30 June) before you make the contribution.

Learn more about contributing to super after 65

Will my super automatically switch over to a retirement account when I retire?

Your superannuation doesn’t automatically convert to a pension when you reach retirement age. You generally need to instruct your superannuation provider on what you would like to happen, and you have a range of options for this. Some Australians may choose to take their superannuation savings as a lump cash sum for their bank account, while others transfer their money to retirement products like an account-based pension (also known as an allocated pension) to provide a regular income stream from the money saved in their superannuation.

Read about making the most of your retirement finances

How much of my super can I transfer to retirement phase?

The maximum amount you can hold in a retirement phase product like an account-based pension is $1.6 million (the $1.6m cap will be indexed to $1.7m on the 1st July 2021). For some, this may mean that you retain much of your savings within the accumulation environment instead.

Read about making the most of your retirement finances

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