Two generations of family

Accessing your benefit

Whether you're retiring from work or accessing your benefit for other reasons, we cover all the information you need to access your benefit.

How you withdraw your super will depend on your age and employment status. Compare the different payment conditions or tax implications to know the right option for your situation.

Fund rules differ

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  • CSS
  • DFRDB
  • MilitarySuper
  • PSS
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Options for claiming your CSS benefit

As a contributing member:

  • Age 55

    tick Lifetime pension

    tick Lump sum withdrawal
    Available, restricted to your SIS upper limit and subject to cashing restrictions.

    tick Preserve benefit
    Postpone option if not retiring.

  • Age 60

    tick Lifetime pension

    tick Lump sum withdrawal
    Available, restricted to your SIS upper limit and subject to cashing restrictions.

    tick Preserve benefit
    Postpone option if not retiring.

  • Age 60–64

    tick Lifetime pension

    tick Lump sum withdrawal

    tick Preserve benefit
    Postpone option if not retiring.

  • Age 65+

    tick Lifetime pension

    tick Lump sum withdrawal

    cross Preserve benefit

Options for claiming your CSS benefit

As a preserved member:

A preserved member has ceased eligible employment and left their super balance preserved in the fund for payment at a later date.

  • Age 55

    tick Lifetime pension

    tick Lump sum withdrawal
    Available, restricted to your SIS upper limit. 

  • Age 60

    tick Lifetime pension

    tick Lump sum withdrawal
    Available, restricted to your SIS upper limit and subject to cashing restrictions. 

  • Age 60–64

    tick Lifetime pension

    tick Lump sum withdrawal 

  • Age 65+

    tick Lifetime pension

    tick Lump sum withdrawal 

Lifetime CPI indexed pension plus a lump sum

You may receive a standard indexed pension, plus a lump sum of your member and productivity components at minimum retiring age—generally age 55.

Cashing restrictions may limit the amount of your lump sum benefit that can be accessed as cash, depending on your age. Your CSS pension is not capped, however your tax treatment may change if it exceeds the Transfer Balance Cap.

A non-indexed pension

You may receive a non-indexed pension at minimum retiring age—generally age 55, and choose how you wish to receive your member and productivity components:

  • in full as an additional non-indexed pension (member and productivity components); or
  • as both a non-indexed pension (paid from your member component only) and a lump sum amount (paid from your productivity component only).

The amount of non-indexed pension you can receive may be capped, depending on how you claim your benefit. Any excess amount will be paid to you as a lump sum.

Financial planning

You may also want to talk with a Financial Planner to learn more about the options available to you.

Get advice

The 54/11 Option (Deferred Benefit)

If you resign at least two calendar days before your 55th birthday and elect to defer your CSS retirement benefit until at least your 55th birthday—you may be eligible to claim your Deferred Benefit.

Generally, you must take the standard indexed pension that is calculated at 2.5 times the accumulated basic contributions. The pension amount is also subject to a percentage based on your age at claiming.

You have the option to take an additional non-indexed pension and choose either maximum non-indexed pension using all your member contributions and productivity, or just use member contributions and take productivity as a lump sum subject to cashing restrictions.

You can also choose to take both member and productivity as a lump sum, subject to cashing restrictions.

Your benefit is calculated differently than if you wait until after you turn 55 to retire.

This Deferred Benefit option is available to contributing members of CSS under the age of 55, eligible members who have already deferred their benefit, or CSS members aged 55 and over who leave work through redundancy. If you are claiming through redundancy, you may claim it the day after you preserve your benefit.

54/11 refers to ceasing employment at least two days before you reach age 55, electing to preserve your CSS benefit, and claiming a Deferred Benefit on or after age 55.

How the 54/11 option is applied

You can elect to preserve your CSS benefit within 21 days of ceasing work, then defer claiming it until after you turn 55. If you decide to re-join CSS, you must have a Preserved Benefit.

Your Deferred Benefit is used to determine your CSS entitlements. An indexed pension is calculated as 2.5 times your accumulated basic contributions multiplied by an age-based pension factor. We don’t use your final salary to calculate your pension when you’ve retired or resigned—as we would if you were taking a regular age retirement.

You can also take your member and productivity contributions as a lump sum, convert them to a non-indexed pension, or take a combination of both.

 


Example: Jo

 

Jo is planning for retirement. She is about to turn 55 and is considering her options.

  • Option 1: Jo could retire two days before her 55th birthday, preserve her benefit, and from the day she turns 55 claim her benefits using the deferred calculation.
  • Option 2: Jo can continue working until she turns 55, and any time on or after her 55th birthday she can retire and claim her benefits using the age retirement calculation.

 

If you leave work by taking a redundancy, you may also be eligible to choose the Deferred Benefit method regardless of your age. If you’re over 55 and take a redundancy, you must defer your benefit for at least one day before you’re eligible to claim.

The pension amount will be capped depending on your final salary and your age at claim.

If you retire after 55

If you choose to continue working and retire at or after age 55, your indexed pension is calculated using a percentage of your final salary. This percentage is based on your age and years of contributory service.

You can take your accumulated member and productivity contributions as:

  • a lump sum (productivity);
  • a standard non-indexed pension (member); or
  • both a lump sum and pension.

The pension amount will be capped depending on your final salary and your age at claim.

Postpone all or some of your CSS benefit

If you have not permanently retired from the workforce and are over your minimum retiring age (usually age 55), you can elect to postpone your whole benefit for payment later. You can also choose to take your member component as a lump sum or as a non-indexed pension, with your remaining benefit postponed for payment later.

For more information read Postponed Benefit (still in development).

Lump sum only

You may receive your whole CSS benefit as a lump sum amount. To elect this option, you must be an ex-Provident Account member and retire at or after age 60.

To estimate your potential Retirement Benefit and understand the options available to you, request a Benefit Estimate.

For more information read our CSS Product Disclosure Statement.

Other considerations

You might consider paying supplementary contributions prior to resigning or retiring. For more information read Contributing to CSS.

There are different tax components to your CSS benefit. For more information read Tax and your CSS.

How to claim

Age retirement (working through until claiming)

If you are within 12 months of the date you wish to claim your benefit, contact us for a Benefit Estimate to see what your options are. A Benefit Estimate outlines the benefit options available to you, as well as other important information regarding the processing of your benefit.

To claim your CSS benefit, complete the Age retirement benefit application. This form contains eligibility requirements and instructions.

Claiming 54/11 (Deferred Benefit)

Your individual circumstances will determine whether the 54/11 (deferred) option is right for you. Since the benefit calculations are different if you choose to defer, request Benefit Estimates for both scenarios well in advance of your 55th birthday and within 12 months of claiming.

Contact us


Payment information

  • Payment can only be made to a bank account in Australia.
  • The nominated account must be in your name (it may be a joint account).
  • Fortnightly pension paydays are Thursdays.
  • Pension deductions are limited to tax, Medicare and child support.
  • Your pension will be indexed in January and July each in line with upward CPI movements.
  • Your first pension increase is pro-rata for the number of months you have received your pension.

Coming soon

This page has been published for CSS. Content for DFRDB, MilitarySuper and PSS is being finalised and will be available soon.