What is the retirement age in Australia?

With no definitive retirement age in Australia, the date you exit the workforce will probably come down to personal circumstances and whether you can afford it.

The age you retire in Australia isn’t set in stone. You can really retire whenever you want to, but health, financial commitments and your ability to fund the lifestyle you want will play a big part.

For this reason, you may want to consider the age you’ll be able to access your superannuation and potentially the government’s Age Pension, which typically won’t be at the same time.

When can I access my super?

Generally you can access your super when1:

  • You reach preservation age and you retire
  • You reach preservation age and implement a transition to retirement strategy
  • You turn 65, whether you remain in the workforce or not.

What is my preservation age?

Your preservation age is the age at which you can start to access your super. It will be between 55 and 60 depending on when you were born. Check out the table below to see what your preservation age2 is.

Date of birth Preservation age
Before 1 July 1960 
1 July 1960 – 30 June 1961  56
1 July 1961 – 30 June 1962 57
1 July 1962 – 30 June 1963  58
1 July 1963 – 30 June 1964 59
From 1 July 1964  60

When you reach preservation age, you have a few options.

If you decide to retire, you can either take your super as a lump sum or use your super to set up an allocated pension (also known as an account-based pension). An allocated pension provides you with a regular income stream in retirement and you’re not limited to how much you can withdraw.

Alternatively, when you reach your preservation age, you can access a portion of your super under a transition to retirement strategy. This will allow you to access up to 10% of your super through periodic payments while continuing to work full time, part-time or casually.

What about the Age Pension?

Currently, to be eligible for the Age Pension you must be 65 or older3.

However, with changes currently afoot, the qualifying age will increase to 65 and 6 months from 1 July 2017. It will then increase by 6 months every two years until 1 July 2023 when it will then be age 67. You can check out your Age Pension eligibility age below.4

Date of birth Age Pension eligibility age
Before 1 July 1952 65
1 July 1952 - 31 December 1953  65 years and 6 months
1 January 1954 - 30 June 1955 66 years
1 July 1955 - 31 December 1956  66 years and 6 months
From 1 January 1957 67 years

One of the reasons for the increase in the Age Pension age is Australia’s ageing population. The government’s 2015 Intergenerational Report projects that in 2054-55 there will be more than double the number of people aged 65 or over in comparison to today, which will create much greater fiscal pressure.5

It’s important to remember that what you do, and at what time you do it, could have tax implications and may impact social security entitlements. For that reason it’s good to do your research and explore your alternatives with a professional. We can help you find an adviser if you don’t already have one.

2 https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Super/Accessing-your-super/
3 https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/age-pension
4 https://www.humanservices.gov.au/corporate/budget/budget-2014-15/budget-measures/older-australians/increase-age-pension-qualifying-age-70-years
5 http://www.treasury.gov.au/PublicationsAndMedia/Publications/2015/2015-Intergenerational-Report


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© AMP Life Limited. This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, AMP does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any investment decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, AMP does not accept any liability (whether under contract, tort or otherwise) for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.