What happens to my super when I move overseas?

You might be leaving the country for a variety of reasons – career prospects, love, adventure, new opportunities – or you may be returning home.

While you’ve probably got a checklist of things to cover off before you jet, spare a thought for any super you might’ve accumulated while you’ve been working in Australia.

What can I do with my super if I’m an Aussie citizen or permanent resident leaving the country?

Even if you’re leaving the country permanently, if you’re an Australian citizen or permanent resident, generally your super remains in Australia and subject to the usual rules.

What that means is that in most instances you generally won’t be able to access your super until you reach your preservation age, which will be between 55 and 60, depending on when you were born and retire.

Different rules may apply however, if you’re moving to New Zealand (more on that below).

Meanwhile, if you’re going to continue working for an Australian employer, they may still be required to contribute to your super, so check the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website for more information.

What can I do with my super if I’m a temporary resident leaving the country?

If you’ve been working and earning super while in Australia on a temporary visa, you can apply to have this super paid to you as a departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP) after you leave.

Generally, to be eligible for a DASP, all of the following must apply to you:

  • You’re not an Australian or New Zealand citizen, or permanent resident of Australia.
  • You accumulated super while working in Australia on a temporary visa (listed under the Migration Act 1958, excluding subclasses 405 and 410).
  • You’ve departed Australia and no long hold any active Australian visa.

If you choose to keep your super in Australia, be aware that your super may be transferred to the ATO as unclaimed money six months after you depart Australia, or your visa is expired or cancelled (whichever comes later).

If this happens, you can still claim your money through the ATO.

What can I do with my super if I’m bound for New Zealand?

If you’ve permanently emigrated to New Zealand, you may transfer your retirement savings from a participating Australian super fund to a New Zealand KiwiSaver scheme under the Trans-Tasman Retirement Savings Portability agreement.

To do this, there will be a few things, listed below, that you’ll need to check.

  • Your Australian super fund will need to be a participant in the Trans-Tasman retirement savings portability scheme.
  • Your retirement savings will need to be transferred from a complying super fund, regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), to a New Zealand KiwiSaver scheme.
  • You’ll also want to be aware of New Zealand’s retirement savings rules, as once your savings have been transferred, these rules will generally apply.

Should you require any further information, please contact your financial adviser.


Source: AMP


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