When you can retire
Choosing when to retire is a personal decision. It might just feel like the right time, or perhaps you’re encouraged by your family and friends. It could be a health scare, being unhappy at work or perhaps your kids have left home.
Whatever your reason, you’ll need to be able to look after yourself financially when you decide to stop working. When you’re deciding on the right time to retire, consider these two dates:
- Your Commonwealth preservation age
- The age at which you can access the Age Pension
We’ll explore these dates in more detail 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
Your Commonwealth preservation age
Preservation means that your money is kept in super until your 'Commonwealth preservation age' which is a legal requirement. Until this age, you can’t access your super except in very specific circumstances.
Your preservation age will be between 55 and 60 depending on when you were born. Look at the table above to work out your preservation age.
There are some other conditions that apply before you can get your super money:
- You reach your Commonwealth preservation age and permanently retire
- You reach your Commonwealth preservation age and start a transition to retirement strategy, where you continue to work and access some of your super
- You reach age 60 and resign from your current employment
- You reach age 65
If you’re a Gold State Super member, you can access your super once you turn 551 and you retire from the WA public sector.
You can only access your super before your Commonwealth preservation age if you qualify for special circumstances, such as severe financial hardship or on compassionate grounds.
Commonwealth Age Pension
To be eligible for the Age Pension, you need to be 65 years or older, regardless of whether you're male or female. From 1 July 2017, the qualifying age will increase to 65 years and six months. This qualifying age will increase by six months every two years, to 67 years by 1 July 2023.
If you were born between
You qualify for Age Pension at age
1 July 1952 to 31 December 1953
65 years and six months
1 January 1954 to 30 June 1955
1 July 1955 to 31 December 1956
66 years and six months
From 1 January 1957
If you retire before you reach your Age Pension age, you would need to live off the income you get from your super.
Accessing your super before you reach Commonwealth preservation age
You might be able to get your super before you reach 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 us to release your super on financial hardship or compassionate grounds
- You are diagnosed with a terminal illness by registered medical practitioners or in the event of your death (in which case your super is paid to your estate)
If you would like to know if you’re eligible to access your super early, please call us on 13 43 72.
When you’re ready to take your super money out
Find out what your options are when you’re ready to take your super money, including how your benefit will be taxed.
1 If you access your benefit before you reach your Commonwealth preservation age you may need 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.
Thank you for printing this page. Remember to come back to gesb.wa.gov.au for the latest information as our content is updated regularly. This information is correct as at 12 December 2018.