Generally in order for a person to be able to access their superannuation benefits they must be over 55 years of age and retired. If a person leaves work (generally or from a specific employer) prior to age 55, there are limited circumstances when benefits can be accessed. These circumstances include: • Upon termination of employment at any age, with an employer who has at any stage contributed to the fund, an employee may access their restricted non- preserved benefits (ie generally being undeducted contributions made prior to 1 July 1999) as a "condition of release" has been met. For more information, please see see out tech tips area for Multiple employment, what effects can this have on restricted non-preserved benefits? • Preserved benefits can be withdrawn to purchase a complying lifetime pension that is non- commutable. The preservation age of 55 will increase from 55 to 60 for those born after 1 July 1960. For more information, please see At what age can preserved benefits be accessed? • Upon termination of employment with a standard employer sponsor an employee may be able to access their preserved benefits if the amount is under $200. Please note, not all superannuation funds allow for withdrawals in this circumstance. For more information, please see Can I withdraw a small (less than $200) superannuation benefit? and What is member protection? • If an employee is made redundant and receives a redundancy payment, these benefits which are an employer payment are classified as unrestricted non - preserved benefits and may be accessed at any time.
• If an employee has had to retire early due to permanent incapacity, preserved benefits may be accessed if two medical practitioners have certified that the employee is unlikely, because of physical or mental ill health, ever again to engage in gainful employment for which they are reasonably qualified by education, training or experience.
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