The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

1.1.P.377 Preservation age


This definition applies to all payments.


'Preservation age' is the age at which an income support recipient may be able to gain access to preserved benefits held in superannuation or approved deposit funds, as defined in regulation 6.01 of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994.

Access to benefits on reaching preservation age

To access preserved benefits on reaching preservation age, an income support recipient MUST:

  • be retired from gainful employment, OR
  • have reached age 65, OR
  • be permanently incapacitated, OR
  • be in severe financial hardship, OR
  • obtain release on compassionate grounds, AND
  • meet the conditions of the particular fund's governing rules.

Changes to preservation age

From 2015 to 2025, the preservation age will increase from 56 to 60 years for income support recipients born after 1 July 1960. The preservation age for income support recipients born after 30 June 1964 will be 60 years.

Act reference: Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994 regulation 6.01-'preservation age'

Policy reference: SS Guide Overview of superannuation

Last reviewed: