Retirement and conditions of release

Before you are allowed to access any of your super you must have met a condition of release under the super laws.

When you turn 65, the rules are simple – you can access your super at any time either as a lump sum or as an income stream, without any restrictions.

Retirement is a condition of release but under super laws – there is a bit more to it. Depending on your age, you must have stopped working, intend not to work again and have reached your preservation age.

Meet Kelly – she is 40 and has just inherited a lot of money! She decides that she no longer needs to work. Even though she has retired from work, she has not met a condition of release because she has not reached her preservation age.Members who are under 65 and have reached their preservation age can receive a transition to retirement income stream even if they are still working. The amount paid each year is limited under the law.

Upon the death of a member, their super will be released to their beneficiaries.

Less common conditions of release can apply in particular circumstances such as incapacity, hardship, terminal medical conditions or on compassionate grounds. Specific rules apply to the payment of these benefits. If you think you meet one of these conditions of release, you should contact the ATO. They can help you work out if you can access your super.

Once a condition of release has been met, you need to check that any super paid is allowed under your fund’s trust deed.

If your fund pays benefits and a condition of release has not been met, penalties will apply.

It might be a good idea to get  advice before your SMSF pays any benefits.

For more SMSF information, take a look at other ATO videos – or contact us here