I have been told that I may be able to access my ‘restricted non-preserved benefit’ when I cease employment with my employer?

A : A restricted benefit is a unique category of super benefit that one who was a member of a Superannuation fund before 1 July 1999 may hold.

The term ‘restricted benefit’ is a term to describe certain benefits that can be accessed when an individual ceases an employment arrangement.  There are two categories of superannuation benefits, ‘preserved’ and ‘non-preserved’. The ‘non-preserved benefits’ are then split into, ‘restricted non-preserved’, and ‘unrestricted non-preserved’. Unless you were a member of a super fund before July 1999, your super benefits will be preserved, and cannot be accessed until you satisfy a condition of release.

If you were a member of a super fund before July 1999, then, whether you have non-preserved benefits within your super fund, depends on some a few different rules. Generally, any Superannuation Guarantee contributions made since July 1992 are preserved, although some made before July 1994 may not be preserved. If you have made any salary sacrificed contributions before July 1999, then some may be non-preserved depending on the arrangement(s) that was in place.

The best way to check whether you have non-preserved benefits is to look at your latest member statement from your super fund. The statement should state whether you have any non-preserved benefits. – which could be accessed based on the above.