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Claiming Your Superannuation Back When Leaving Australia – Updated 2018

Claiming Your Superannuation Back When Leaving Australia – Updated 2018 February 26, 2018

I moved to Australia in 2013 and created this blog to help Irish people living in Australia. 10 million visitors later it now has evolved into a job board, flight company and offers support with many services Irish people need when they move to Australia. Pop over to my resources page(irisharoundoz.com/resources) to find every service and product I recommend. Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you here again.

Claiming Your Superannuation Back When Leaving Australia including changes that happened in 2017

So you are leaving Australia, and you plan on claiming your superannuation back? 

After one to two years on a working holiday visa in Australia, many Irish people living in Australia return home.

If you have ever worked full or part-time in Australia, then you are entitled to claim your Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP). 

A lot has changed since I first published my guide to claiming your superannuation all the way back in 2013.

One of the biggest is your average refund which has now reduced from around AU$3800 to AU$1908 according to Taxback.com. 

You can read my 2018 working holiday visa tax back guide here.

This is mainly because the Australian government has increased the “tax” on working holiday visa’s superannuation from 35% to 65%!

Tax laws change in Australia all the time and while I have done my best to keep everything up to date. Some things could change so remember to double check everything.

Some things you need to know about claiming your superannuation back and the recent changes:

Claiming Your Superannuation Back When Leaving Australia including changes that happened in 2017
What you need to know about superannuation:
  •  You’re only eligible to claim your super back once your visa’s expired and you’ve left Australia.
  • If you were a foreign resident working in Australia as far back as 1994, you are still eligible to collect any super allowance lodged in your name.
  • If you were born an Australian citizen and you’ve permanently relocated you’ll still be able to access that money if you don’t, but not until you’re at least 55.
  • It is much easier to start your superannuation claim before you leave Australia.
  • If your Departing Australia Superannuation Payment(DASP) is processed on or after 1 July 2017, your superannuation refund will be taxed at a rate of 65%. (Sadface)
  • If your superannuation refund is processed before 1 July 1, 2017, then your superannuation refund will be taxed at a rate of 38%.
  • These changes ONLY affect those on a working holiday visa, e.g. 417 or 462.
  • If you’re on any other visa, this will not affect your payment, and your super refund will be taxed at 38%.
  • It’s a legal obligation for the employer of anyone earning more than 450 dollars a month to pay the equivalent of 9.5% of their salary into a super fund every month. 
  • The average superannuation refund amount is $1908
  • It’s FREE to get a superannuation refund estimation – get yours here.
    Bonus tips – If you are claiming your super back and you need to transfer it from your Australian bank to your Irish/UK/Europe bank account, you will save a fortune by using any of the following money transfer companies: CurrencyFair, HiFx, OFX or Transferwise.
  • Check out my 2018 money transfer guide for more info.
  • Still, need to claim your Australian tax back? Read my latest guide here.

What if I am on a subclass 405 or a subclass 410 visa?

If the Temporary Resident visa that you held while you were in Australia was a subclass 405 (Investor Retirement) visa or a subclass 410 (Retirement) visa, you should contact the Australian Taxation Office to find out whether you can claim any superannuation benefits accrued during your time in Australia.

How do I know if I am eligible to claim my super back? What if I worked a lot of different jobs?

How do I know if I am eligible to claim my super back - claiming your superannuation back

Superannuation is a mandatory, government-implemented scheme regardless of the job you do or your residency status. If you’re paying tax, you’re eligible for superannuation.

If you have worked in multiple jobs as many do on a working holiday visa, then you might be dealing with a few different companies if you do decide to claim any superannuation.

Yes, it can be an absolute nightmare to try and chase all of these down! I recommend using someone like Taxback.com as they can do everything for you!

So if you are unsure or just want some advice contact them here. Sometimes it is just not worth the hassle.

Can I just claim my superannuation(DASP) back myself without using an agency? 

Great question. There are three main ways of claiming your superannuation back. With each way you will be able to claim your super back they are all as effective just depends on how much time or effort you have to do it.

Applications for Departing Australian Superannuation payment claims can either be lodged:

  1. On-line with the Australian Taxation Office <- Direct link to online application as it can be hard to find it.
  2. Paper applications submitted to your superannuation fund(not recommended).
  3. Through an agency such as TaxBack(I recommend them). Sure there are other options out there, but they were the experts back in 2013 when I first published this super guide and are even more experienced four years on.

How long does it take when claiming your superannuation back to get the money?

If you are claiming your superannuation back soon then likely you don’t care much about the finer details you just want to get your money in your bank account as fast as possible.

Processing times vary from person to person and the way you apply for you super back. Generally via an agency will be a bit faster than doing it yourself.

Generally, you will receive payment within 28 days, but this can easily vary up to 50+ days if there are issues with tracking down different PAYG payment summary’s

You also might get contacted by your Australian bank with an option to get credited directly into your Australian bank instead of getting a check and taking additional processing times.

If the bank does give you the option, I recommend taking it as you can just transfer the funds with CurrencyFair back to your Irish bank account and save yourself a lot of time and hassle.

how long does it take to get your superannuation back from Australia
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What if I am a permanent resident and want to claim my super back early?

For anyone with a Permanent visa and wanting to claim super back read this on the government website. Explains every option for “early release”. But I have heard that it is certainly not an easy task!

If you are an Irish person heading home, I recommend joining my Facebook group for Irish expats returning to Ireland and hitting the search button as there have been many discussions regarding it.

If you do become permanent or fit the criteria below then, unfortunately, as you have the right to retire in Australia, so you cannot claim a DASP(departing Australia superannuation payment)

However, if you are a New Zealand citizen leaving Australia permanently, you may be able to transfer your super to New Zealand.

Who cannot claim a DASP?

  • Australian citizens
  • New Zealand citizens
  • Permanent Australian residents
  • Retirement visa holders
  • Investor retirement visa holders
  • More information can be found on the Australian government website here

Tips for claiming back your superannuation from multiple employers:

If you were on a working holiday visa, you probably rocked up at a new job and just ticked the box saying deposit into their super fund or use the “default fund” each time.

After all, you don’t really care you just want to start working and earning some $$$’s.

The downside is when you go to claim your super back in a year or two you will have multiple superannuation fund and multiple companies.

So if you are reading this and are only arriving in Australia, then I recommend you get your own super fund and always keep things in that fund.

  • The way to resolve the issue of multiple superannuation funds is by basically, getting one of your funds to consolidate them all for you.
  • The one thing linked to all of these funds will be your tax file number.
  • If you register online for one of your super funds, they will usually have an option to consolidate all funds under your tax file number.
  • It’s as simple as clicking a button.  If some funds in your name don’t include your TFN, obtain your account number from your previous employer and give these details to the super fund you want to consolidate into.
  • Once all your super funds are consolidated, you’re good to go, and you only have to complete the claim back application once.

What if you arrive in Australia on a working holiday visa work for one year and move to a 457 visa for four years will my entire superannuation get taxed at 65%!?

This question just got sent in by one of our readers Tom and it will affect a few of you reading this.

I reached out to Taxback.com about what options there are. As technically you should only be taxed at 65% on the working holiday visa portion as opposed the entire five years. This is what their expert said:

If the account was opened under a working holiday visa, then the Departing Australia Superannuation (DASP) refund will be taxed at working holiday visa rates, which means 65% will be withheld.

In this case it looks like the entire super refund will be taxed at 65% as the fund was opened on working holiday visa. This is a final withholding tax and can’t be refunded.

It doesn’t matter that they moved to another visa because if you ever held a working holiday subclass 417 or work and holiday subclass 462 or associated bridging visa and the DASP includes amounts attributable to super contributions made while you held this visa, then the DASP working holiday makers tax rate will apply.

Unfortunately we  haven’t found any solutions to this and doubt the ATO will change the rules on this.

If anything changes regarding this top on claiming your superannuation back from a 417 to a 457 visa we will update this section asap.

Final points on claiming your superannuation back when leaving Australia:

final points on claiming your superannuation back from Australia 2018

While it can take 28 days to claim your super back, some refunds take longer because you may have multiple superannuation accounts, meaning it’s a little more work to locate all your funds.

Taxback.com expect to get most refunds back, minus tax and our fee within 30 days.

It is entirely up to you if you decide to claim your superannuation back yourself or via a company. The main benefits of using a company are their previous experiences, and of course, it means there is less work for you.

The average superannuation refund with taxback.com is $1908 so claim it back today.

If you are leaving Australia forever, I suggest reading this guide I created based on my own experience.

Additionally, you can visit my new job board, Facebook groups and resources page for more tips.

Thanks for reading and good luck claiming your superannuation back, be sure to comment if you found this guide useful! Any tips or suggestions you would add? Comment below.

Stephen Palmer

I moved to Australia in 2013 and created this blog to help Irish people living in Australia. 10 million visitors later it now has evolved into a job board, flight company and offers support with many services Irish people need when they move to Australia. Pop over to my resources page(irisharoundoz.com/resources) to find every service and product I recommend. Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you here again.