accessing your super

Super is your savings for your future, so there are some rules around when you can access it. Generally you need to wait until retirement, but you can access it sooner in limited circumstances.



accessing super at retirement 

You can access your superannuation at retirement by opening a HESTA Income Stream account or through a lump-sum withdrawal. It's quick and easy to open an Income Stream account or request a lump-sum withdrawal through your online account

You first need to meet at least one of these conditions:

  • you are age 65 or over
  • you ceased an employment arrangement on or after age 60. 


You can visit our Retirement Hub for help with super and retirement planning relating to your HESTA account, so you’ll feel ready for your next chapter. 

We can help you with:

  • understanding what you need to get started
  • super and the Age Pension
  • access to personal advice.

Visit the Retirement Hub or make an appointment to chat with someone in our team at a time that suits you. 





A group of mature women rowing a boat together

accessing super at preservation age 

Transition to retirement accounts allow limited access to your super before full retirement and can help you maintain your income, whilst reducing your hours at work.

To be eligible, you must have met your preservation age based on your date of birth. 

Your preservation age is the age at which you can generally start accessing your super. The age varies according to your date of birth.


Date of birth Preservation age
Before 01/07/60 55
01/07/60 - 30/06/61 56
01/07/61 - 30/06/62 57
01/07/62 - 30/06/63 58
01/07/63 - 30/06/64 59
After 30/06/64 60



If you would like to discuss opening a HESTA Transition to Retirement (TTR) account with us, you can make an appointment with someone in our team at time that suits you.







 financial hardship


You might be eligible to claim some of your super.

Who can apply for financial hardship?

You can apply for one payment of up to $10,000 gross (which is before tax) in a 12-month period if:

  • you’ve received eligible Commonwealth Government income support payments for at least 26 continuous weeks, and
  • are currently receiving these payments, and
  • you are unable to meet reasonable and immediate living expenses.

You can apply for any amount if:

  • you’ve reached your preservation age plus 39 weeks, and
  • you’ve received eligible Commonwealth Government income support payments for at least 39 cumulative weeks since reaching your preservation age, and
  • you are currently either unemployed, or you are employed for less than 10 hours a week.


Tax on financial hardship payments

The amount is paid and taxed as a lump sum. If you’re aged under 60 the amount will be taxed between 17% and 22%. If you’re aged over 60, the amount will be tax-free.


How to apply for financial hardship

Read and complete the Financial hardship fact sheet and form (pdf) to apply. 

Return your completed form and other supporting documentation to us via email: or mail to: HESTA, Locked Bag 5136, Parramatta NSW 2124.





 compassionate grounds


There are 'compassionate grounds' on which super can be released early. They relate to medical treatment, funeral assistance, and palliative care.

Who can apply to access super on compassionate grounds?

To access your super for medical reasons you’ll need to prove you’re unable to meet the expenses for one or more of the following:

  • medical treatment and medical transport for you or a dependant
  • palliative care for you or a dependant
  • making a payment on a loan or council rates so you don't lose your home
  • modifying your home or vehicle, or buying disability aids for you or a dependant because of a severe disability
  • expenses associated with a death, funeral or burial for a dependant.


Tax on compassionate grounds payments

The amount is paid and taxed as a lump sum. If you’re aged under 60 the amount will be taxed between 17% and 22%. If you’re aged over 60, the amount will be tax-free.


How to apply

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) deals with the early release of super on compassionate grounds. The ATO determines the amount to be released from your super fund.

To apply, access the ATO application form, or visit linked services in myGov. Alternatively call the ATO on 13 10 20.




find support services outside of super
with Ask Izzy 


We’ve partnered with Infoxchange, the not-for-profit social enterprise behind Ask Izzy: a free service that helps Australians find and access local support services.

If you need some help outside of super, the Ask Izzy website can connect you with nearby support services across Australia. You can search for over 430,000 services close to you, including financial assistance, meals, mental health counselling, shelter, family violence support, and much more.


Find support services










first home super saver scheme

The First Home Super Saver (FHSS) scheme lets you save a first home deposit by making voluntary before or after-tax contributions to your super.

You can’t use contributions made to your super by anyone else — employers, government co-contributions, or a spouse — instead, you use the FHSS scheme to save your own contributions.

If you’re eligible for the FHSS scheme, you can use your super account to save up to $15,000 each financial year, up to $50,000 in total across multiple years.

Find out more about the FHSS scheme.




temporary residents


If you're a temporary Australian resident, you can claim your super when you permanently leave the country.
Temporary Australian residents can also access super before they leave, but only under certain conditions.
Go to the ATO's Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP) online application system for more information.


more information on accessing your super


Visit the ATO website for all the ways you may be able to access your super. 

We suggest you seek financial advice before accessing your super. That way, you can get the information you need to make the right financial decisions.