Conditions Of Release

To be able to withdraw benefits from an SMSF, a Member must meet a condition of release. Meeting these conditions (as explained below), means that benefits can be paid under the super laws. Note that the Deed of the SMSF may impose more stringent conditions for release. However, the Deed cannot impose less stringent conditions for release because an SMSF is governed under legislation.


The most common conditions of release for paying benefits are:

Reaching Your Preservation Age and Retiring
Transition to Retirement
Reaching Age 65


There are very limited circumstances where you may also be able to withdraw your benefits from your SMSF if you meet another conditions of release as stated by the ATO. The conditions are generally related to specific medical conditions or severe financial hardship. Please note the following conditions are more stringent and may require either confirmation from the ATO that you are

There are also some cases that allow Members early access to preserved benefits:

Compassionate Grounds
Severe Financial Hardship
Terminal Medical Condition
Temporary Incapacity
Permanently Incapacity
Temporary Residents Leaving Australia Permanently
Super Death Benefits (Inheriting Super)
Super Balance is Less than $200
First Home Super Saver Scheme

The ATO recently released a video explaining how a Member can access to their benefits in the SMSF under certain circumstances and what they should do if they meet a condition of release.

SMSF – Conditions of Release

For more info about when you can access your superannuation balance, please view the ATO guidance on Withdrawing your Super. For general guidance on the ATO rules on your SMSF, see our ATO Guidance information page.


  • Suz C

    Re: do I meet a condition of release?
    Is it sufficient to have left Australia and become a French resident to be able to cash in my super as a lump sum? I am 53 years old.
    Thanks. Sue

    • Hein Preller


      The most common condition of release is when you reach the age of 60 and no longer working. This means you can access your Super.

      Another condition is to leave Australia on a permanent basis. This is typically a backpacker that finished their stint here and go back home. For you to meet this condition, you have to give up your Australian citizenship. I guess the government’s plan with this is they don’t want people to go overseas, use their Super and then come back here and access the government pension.

      Trust this makes sense and gives you the guidance needed.

      • SJones


        Can i clarify this, if someone was born in Australia. Started a Corp SMSF, went overseas for holiday but decided to stay for residency in say an EU country. Firstly, an Aussie can’t give up AU citizenship until they have their EU passport, not just residency.

        But, when they do get their EU passport, if they gave up their AU citizenship – would they be entitled to take with them their entire Corp SMSF assets and capital?

        And they could only do this once they had given up their AU passport – not purely just by having an EU passport and being a non-AU resident?

        Is that correct? And what is the tax rate on the movement of funds/Assets out of AU

        • Superannuation Warehouse


          Our understanding is this part of the legislation is intended for backpacked leaving Australia and taking their super with them. If you were born in Australia you are not eligible to apply under this measure to withdraw your super.

          Even if you have departed Australia and are no longer a citizen you cannot apply for a Departing Australia Super payment under this measure.

          You can however withdraw your super if you have met a valid condition of release which is generally reaching the age of 60.

  • amanda

    Can I purchase a share of a multiple occupancy property using a SMSF (this includes a residence I could rent out)? Could I also loan some funds toward this? Thanks

    • Superannuation Warehouse


      When an SMSF invests in a hotel room or similar, make sure the Fund receive legal ownership as a property certificate of title may not be issued.

      Alternatively the SMSF can invest in a share property under a tenants in common arrangement. Any rental income or expenses incurred will be apportioned in accordance with the percentage ownership. For more info about tenants in common, please see the page below:

      As this is a single acquirable asset, an SMSF can take out a loan to finance the investment. A Bare Trust structure is required to facilitate the loan. You can find more guidance about this topic on the page below:

      Trust this helps,

  • Manoj


    I wanted to know if it is possiple to increase the SMSF release age from 65 to 70 or more in the SMSF trust deed.

    • Superannuation Warehouse


      The Deed of an SMSF is regarded as the base rules of a Fund and can have more restrictive conditions as to what the legislation allows.

      If the Deed states that a Member can only access their Super benefit later than what legislation allows, this restriction must be adhered to. However, a more pragmatic way is just to leave the pension commencement to a later date. There’s no requirement to start the pension when a Member is eligible. We explain more on pensions here:

      Our preference is generally to leave the standard Deeds as issued from the legal providers as we are an accounting firm and not a lawyer.

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