One of the key important concepts in superannuation law is preservation age. This is the age at which fund’s members can access their superannuation benefits.

Reaching preservation age will allow you to convert some or all of your accumulated superannuation benefits to a transition-to-retirement income stream, before retirement. However, if you reach your preservation age and decide to permanently retire you can gain full access to your superannuation funds.

Generally speaking, for anyone born before July 1960, the preservation age set out in Reg 6.01(2) is legislated at 55 years old. Anyone born on or after 1 July 1960, the preservation age is legislated to increase from 56 to 60, depending on your date of birth. The following table has outlined the preservation age changes over times:

Date of birthPreservation agePreservation age will be reached in the income year
Before 1 July 196055 years old2015 or earlier
1 July 1960 to 30 June 196156 years old2017
1 July 1961 to 30 June 196257 years old2019
1 July 1962 to 30 June 196358 years old2021
1 July 1963 to 30 June 196459 years old2023
After 1 July 196460 years old2025 onwards

What this means?

From 1 July 2015 the legislated rise in the preservation age comes into effect. If a member turned 55 before 1 July 2015, they qualified for a TRIS and the change in preservation age won’t affect them. However, this age is now based on the member’s date of birth.

A member who turns 55 between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2015 cannot start a TRIS during the 2015-16 financial year. If born between 1 July 1960 and 30 June 1961 the earliest you can elect to start a TRIS is during the 2016-17 financial year.