If you have superannuation in Australia, even if you’ve only worked in Australia as a temporary resident, you’re likely to have a Superannuation account. If you’re going back to your own country or if you’re a permanent resident, or an Australian citizen leaving australia permanently, or moving overseas indefinitely, you need to know what happens to your Superannuation. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) advises that the laws surrounding what you can and cannot do with your Superannuation will depend on your status as a resident or citizen. Your particular situation could be different from others so you should seek the advice of a Superannuation specialist such as PK Simpson.

Our Superannuation lawyers at PK Simpson will inform you of everything you need to know about what happens to your superannuation when you move overseas based on your individual circumstances. This will depend on factors such as whether you’re an Australian citizen, permanent resident, temporary resident,  and more.

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I’m An Australian Citizen Leaving Australia Permanently

If you’re an Australian citizen or permanent resident who is moving overseas permanently or for an indefinite period, your Super will be subject to the same rules as if you were living here. This means your Superannuation has to stay untouched in your fund account until you reach preservation age and you’re eligible to withdraw it. As long as you’re an Australian citizen, what happens to your super when you leave Australia will remain the same as living in Australia as well.

Therefore, according to the ATO, you cannot gain access to the funds just because you are moving overseas to live. In other words, the regulations governing your Superannuation are the same whether you live in Australia or have moved overseas. Should you retire when you reach preservation age, or if you’re eligible under other reasons that allow a release of your funds, you may be able to gain access to them. You should refer to your superannuation withdrawal rules and seek the advice of a professional Superannuation lawyer to decide on the best course of action. You may be able to access your funda under the following conditions, but always talk to your Superannuation specialist for advice if you need a part or all of your funds because:

  • Your home is going to be repossessed
  • You are suffering severe financial hardship
  • You are temporarily incapacitated
  • You are permanently incapacitated
  • You need palliative care
  • Your home or car need to be modified
  • You need to pay funeral expenses

At PK Simpson, 67 per cent of our new clients come to us via word of mouth –
33 per cent come to us because they’ve seen our ads.
Our clients range from miners in far north Western Australia to abalone divers in Tasmania, truck drivers in Sydney and waitresses in Brisbane.

Can I Access My Super Early to Leave and Go Overseas?

No, you can’t. However, even if you’re overseas, your Superannuation nest egg will still be there growing all the while for when you retire or need to access it under the provision stated above. The rules of withdrawing Superannuation when leaving Australia still remains the same as long as you’re an Australian citizen or permanent resident. You are not allowed to take out super when leaving Australia until you have reached preservation age, which is when you’re eligible to access your Superannuation funds.

Should you be relocating overseas to work for an Australian employer, your boss may still be required to make Superannuation contributions on your behalf. In the situation where there is a double up of superannuation coverage according to different legislations in separate countries, Australia has bilateral social security agreements with several countries around the world to resolve these issues.

There is one exception you need to understand which that could possibly let you access your Australian super fund – specifically in the case of moving Superannuation from Australia to New Zealand. That is, if you are an Australian citizen claiming payments in New Zealand or intend to move to New Zealand, you can opt for the Trans-Tasman Portability Scheme which allows you to transfer your Superannuation into a KiwiSaver account. The same rules about accessing the fund when you retire etc. will still apply. There could be extra fees and rules surrounding this, however, and are only allowed to transfer from an Australian Prudential Regulation Authority regulated fund and no others, including self-managed funds.

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Can I Contribute While I’m Overseas?

Possibly, but restrictions apply on contributions to self-managed Superannuation funds. If you have a self-managed super fund, we advise getting further information about your contributions by the Superannuation lawyer specialists at PK Simpson. Our legal team will be able to inform you of your self-managed super fund rules and your eligibility to contribute whilst overseas.

Those with other types of Australian Superannuation funds may still make personal contributions while they’re overseas to make sure their account grows and fees and insurance deductions are covered.

Temporary Residents

If you are a resident of another country and you’re working temporarily in Australia, you could be eligible to have your Superannuation money paid to you when you go back home. This is done through a ‘Departing Australia Superannuation Payment’. For more information on how to get your Superannuation back when leaving Australia as a temporary resident, or to apply, go to the ATO website(2).

No matter what your status, if you’re planning on departing from Australia to go overseas for an extended period it’s a good idea to do shop around for a fund that can offer you a choice of investments without charging excessive fees. Even if you are not contributing to your fund while you’re away, the best Superannuation funds invest in safe and rewarding options to help your balance grow.

At PK Simpson, our Superannuation lawyers will be able to assist you with moving funds if necessary as well ways on how to claim superannuation when leaving Australia as a temporary resident, and much more. Our experienced lawyers at PK Simpson ensure you’re getting the most out of your Superannuation funds in line with the relevant legislation and rules.

PK Simpson prides itself on being a firm that takes on any case relating to compensation, big or small. Call our law firm today on 1300 757 467, send an email to enquiries@pksimpson.com.au or enquire online now so we can help you.