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 birth||Preservation age||Preservation age will be reached in the income year|
|Before 1 July 1960||55 years old||2015 or earlier|
|1 July 1960 to 30 June 1961||56 years old||2017|
|1 July 1961 to 30 June 1962||57 years old||2019|
|1 July 1962 to 30 June 1963||58 years old||2021|
|1 July 1963 to 30 June 1964||59 years old||2023|
|After 1 July 1964||60 years old||2025 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.