Super by age – super for you is not like super for another. Many rules are linked to your age. 

Your Super By Age

Super rules change as you age. What you can or can’t do with your super right now will be different to what you can or can’t do with your super some years into the future.

But not every birthday is important in super land. Some don’t matter at all. Some matter a lot. The ones that matter the most are turning 18 and then 25, reaching preservation age, turning 60, 65 and possibly 67 for the age pension – and then turning 75.

0 – 18

Your super is the last thing anybody will think about right now, but super rules do apply to you from the day you are born. Like anybody else – irrespective of your age – you

– can receive non-concessional contributions into your super;
– pay 15% on any income in accumulation;
– need to comply with all investment rules around super;
– qualify as your parents’ SIS dependant;
– and can’t access your super unless you meet a condition of release.

But different to most – while under 18 – you

– can only make personal concessional contributions if you run a business;
– can only act through a legal guardian due to your legal disability;
– qualify as your parent’s tax dependant – irrespective of anything else;
– can receive your parents’ super as a death benefit pension;
– are only entitled to SG if you work ≥ 30 h/week for ≥ $450/month.

18 – 25

Turning 18 is a big day in super land. A lot changes on that day. From now on you

– can make personal contributions without having to run a business.
– act in your own name and no longer need a legal guardian;
– are entitled to SG irrespective of hours worked;
– no longer qualify as a child tax dependant.
– qualify for a child death benefit pension if financially dependant and < 25;

25 – Preservation Age

Once you turn 25, you can no longer qualify for a death benefit pension from your parents.

Preservation Age – 60

If you were born on 1 July 1964, then preservation age doesn’t mean anything to you. Preservation age is only relevant to you if you were born before 1 July 1964.

Reaching preservation age means two things. It is easier to access your super. And you pay less tax than before when you do. Your preservation age depends on your date of birth and is

55 if born 30 June 1960 or earlier
56 if born 1 July 1960 to 30 June 1961
57 if born 1 July 1961 to 30 June 1962
58 if born 1 July 1962 to 30 June 1963
59 if born 1 July 1963 to 30 June 1964

There are two ways to access your super from now on. You either start a pension when you retire with no intention to work again – changing your mind later is ok.  Or you start a transition-to-retirement-income-stream (TRIS) without the need to retire.

Both a pension and TRIS require minimum pension payments that increase with age. In addition, a TRIS has a 10% limit that a pension doesn’t have. 

Since you access your super before you turn 60, you will pay some tax on the taxable component of any benefit payments.

60 – 65

You can now access your super as long as you cease an employment arrangement. You can start a pension or cash it all in and move to Timbuktu. Accessing your super after your 60th birthday is tax-free.  So waiting saved you a lot of tax. 


This is a big birthday in super land. And there are good news and bad news.

The good news is that you have free access to your super. You don’t need to retire. You don’t need to cease an employment arrangement. 

The bad news is that – apart from super guarantee payments from your employer – you can no longer make concessional or non-concessional contributions unless you meet the work test, meaning you must work at least 40 hours within 30 consecutive days in a financial year. 


Let’s step away from super land for a moment. The age pension lives by its own set of rules. One false move can forever stop you from qualifying.  The eligible age for the age pension is 67 years of age, unless you were born in 1956 or earlier.

There are several conditions to meet before you qualify for the age pension. Just turning 67 is not enough. Please listen to Tax Talks episode # 121 about the age pension.  


No more voluntary contributions. None at all. Whether you pass the work-test or not. So the only way to still get contributions into your super is through your employer’s superannuation guarantee payments.


And that’s it. That is your super by age in a nutshell. Please reach out to us if you have a question. There might be a simple answer to your query.



Preservation Age

Age Pension

Retirement Age


Disclaimer: numba does not provide specific financial or tax advice in this article. All information on this website is of a general nature only. It might no longer be up to date or correct. You should contact us directly or seek other accredited tax advice when considering whether the information is suitable to your circumstances.


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Last Updated on 14 March 2020