Member Hotline 1800 808 614

Australian Food Super

In order to process any contributions to your super account for 30 June financial year end,
please note that the BPAY cut off date is 26 June 2024.


When can you access your super?


When can you access your super?

Generally, you can only access your super once you’ve retired and you are 65 or older. If you are under 65, there are rules about when you can have access to your super. The age at which you can do this is different to the age you can apply for the Government Age Pension, which is 67.

The Government makes the rules about accessing super. You can withdraw your super if:

  • You are 65 or over, whether you are still working or not.
  • You are 60 or over and you change jobs or stop working temporarily.
  • You are under 60, have reached your preservation age and have stopped work permanently.

Your preservation age is the age the Government will allow you access to your super. This date changes depending on when you were born.

The following table shows the earliest age at which you may withdraw your super (subject to having permanently retired from the workforce):

If you were born…The minimum age for early release of Preserved benefits is…

Prior to 1 July 1960 55 years
Between 1 July 1960 and 30 June 1961 56 years
Between 1 July 1961 and 30 June 1962 57 years
Between 1 July 1962 and 30 June 1963 58 years
Between 1 July 1963 and 30 June 1964 59 years
After 1 July 1964 60 years

The preservation age rules are set by the Government. Because people are living longer these days the Government has decided to gradually increase the preservation age from 55 to 60 to allow people more time to save for retirement.

Ways to withdraw your super

Once you reach preservation age and have stopped working, you may apply for a lump sum payment of all or part of your entitlements with Australian Food Super. If you are 65 or over, you can do this even if you are still working.

To access your super you will need to complete a Benefit Payment Form and send it to us.

As an alternative to taking your benefits as a lump sum when you retire, you have the option of transferring your account balance across to our Pension product. This allows you to continue to invest your money and use the balance to provide you with a regular income. If you are aged 60 or over, there is no tax on the regular payments you receive from your Pension account. Additionally, where a pension member has met a condition of release of preserved benefits the income earned within the pension is not taxed.

Our Pension is also available to members who are still working, but have reached the preservation age, (refer to the table above). Known as a “Transition to Retirement” Pension, this option allows you to transfer any of your Preserved account balance with Australian Food Super to our Pension product and receive a regular income while you are still working. Annual minimum and maximum payment amounts may apply to a pension. For more information regarding Transition to Retirement Pensions, please read our fact sheet.

Special grounds for super access

In special cases of financial hardship or on compassionate grounds, you may be able to access your super earlier than your preservation age.

Severe financial hardship

Where you are suffering from Severe Financial Hardship you may apply to have some of your account balance released in order to alleviate the hardship.

Under Government rules the following conditions must be met before a financial hardship application can be considered. You must:

  • be in receipt of eligible Commonwealth Government income support payments;
    • if you are aged up to your preservation age plus 39 weeks, for a period of 26 consecutive weeks
    • if you have met your preservation age plus 39 weeks or older, for a cumulative period of 39 weeks AND
  • be unable to meet reasonable and immediate daily living expenses.

The Trustee is required to assess your application and determine the extent to which you are unable to meet immediate and reasonable living expenses.

You should be aware that the Trustee is only permitted to release Preserved benefits where they are satisfied that severe financial hardship exists. You therefore must provide evidence to the Trustee that you are unable to meet reasonable and immediate living expenses, and have no assets besides your superannuation that it is reasonable to expect you to sell in order to meet your liabilities.

Compassionate grounds

If you do not meet the criteria for Financial Hardship, you may be able to claim some of your benefits on Compassionate Grounds. In this case, you will need to make the application to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). If your application is successful, the ATO will direct Australian Food Super to release a specific amount to you.

The Compassionate Grounds that may be considered are:

  • Medical treatment for a member or their dependant where the treatment is for a life-threatening illness or injury, or to alleviate acute or chronic pain or acute or chronic mental disturbance, and where such treatment is not readily available through the public health system;
  • Medical transport for a member or their dependant to access treatment necessary for a life-threatening illness or injury, or to alleviate acute or chronic pain or acute or chronic mental disturbance;
  • Modifications to the family home and/or vehicle to meet the special needs of a disabled member or their disabled dependant; or
  • Palliative care or death, funeral or burial expenses for a member or their dependant.

In addition, it is possible to have an amount released on Compassionate Grounds to prevent foreclosure of a mortgage, or exercise of a power of sale over the member’s principal place of residence. In this case, the ATO will issue a letter to Australian Food Super authorising the Trustee to pay the released amount straight to the mortgage provider.

Applications for Financial Hardship or Compassionate access to super should be made to the Australian Taxation Office. Find out more about How to apply for release on compassionate grounds.

Departing Australia Superannuation Payments

You are also able to access your super if you are not a citizen of Australian or New Zealand or a permanent resident of Australia, and you decide to leave Australia permanently. You need to complete an online application form for Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP).