You may be able to access your superannuation under the Government's Transition to Retirement (TTR) provisions. These measures encourage middle-aged and older workers to remain in the workforce, even if on a reduced working hours basis, and recognise that they may want to top up their reduced pay from their shorter working hours with money from their accumulated super. However, there is no requirement to reduce working hours to access TTR.
Under TTR, you are able to draw down an income stream from your super (but not a lump sum) and at the same time continue to contribute to super from your wage or salary, via salary sacrifice, to build up wealth for retirement or to scale down your working hours without reducing your living standards.
There may be tax advantages to you in opting to salary sacrifice.
How TTR works is that if you are eligible, i.e. reaching preservation age, you will be able to roll over (transfer) your superannuation savings into what is called a “Super Income Stream” while salary sacrificing your income into super. However, as you are still working, the Super Income Stream will be non-commutable, i.e. you can't make lump sum withdrawal.
The amount of drawdown each year is restricted, but is also variable and depends on your age. Your fund may be able to advise you on how much you can withdraw if you are 55 compared to when you are, say, 60.
Access to lump sums from your super remains conditional on you retiring from the workforce other than for any unrestricted non-preserved benefits in your super account. You may however be subject to tax and there may be an adverse impact on certain tax offsets and governments benefits (e.g. Family Tax Benefits and Government co-contribution) if under age 60.