I had a question posed to me earlier this week regarding when a member would meet a condition of release if they have never worked. It’s an interesting one because superannuation law prior to age 65 focuses on termination of gainful employment to be able to access superannuation benefits, whether as a lump sum or account based pension.
Where a member has never worked, superannuation law is clear that you cannot satisfy the condition of release being ‘retirement’. This means that a member who has never worked would need to wait until age 65 to meet a condition of release with a nil cashing restriction (i.e. having access to capital).
A member reaching preservation age is defined as meeting a condition of release, however a cashing restriction still applies. This means that the member’s benefits can only be accessed as a Transition to Retirement Income Stream (TRIS).
Any type of gainful employment in any capacity at any time may qualify a member to show a retirement condition of release being met, so it is important to understand how and when a member may start to access their super.