Temporary Residents - Superannuation Access and Transfers
We do not assist in the preparation or submission of Departing Australia Superannuation Payments (DASP) requests for temporary residents; they can be made very simply through the Australian Tax Office's DASP facility. The exception are those situations where temporary residents have amassed very significant amounts of superannuation - often dating back 10 or 20 years - and it is worthwhile investigating how to transfer this back as tax effectively as possible to their country of residency.
Under the Temporary Residents’ Superannuation Legislation Amendment Act 2008 a temporary resident (who is not an Australian citizen, New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident) whose temporary visa has ceased to have effect can claim their Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP) from their super fund within 6 months of their departure from Australia.
However, if a temporary resident whose temporary visa has ceased to have effect does not claim their DASP from their super fund within 6 months of departing Australia, their super benefit is treated as unclaimed money and the super fund must pay it to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The temporary resident will be able to reclaim their super benefit (less the DASP withholding tax) directly from the ATO at any time where certain conditions have been satisfied.
If the departed temporary resident later becomes an Australian citizen, New Zealand citizen or the holder of a permanent visa, they can direct the ATO to rollover their super benefit from the ATO into a super fund. We are not clear regarding what level of return funds held with the ATO will make, but we are presuming it will be at a (low) statutory minimum. Legislation has also increased the rate of withholding tax payable on a DASP paid from a taxed fund to 35%. Substantially higher tax rates apply to the DASP's where the individuals have been on working holiday (WHM) visas who later withdraw super.
Just a reminder. If you are or have been, a temporary visa holder who has not been covered by Medicare whilst in Australia - and either you or your employer has paid for private health insurance - then you are entitled to an exemption from the Medicare Levy/Surcharge and a refund of any Medicare levy or surcharge payments. These are usually deducted at source in Australia and temporary residents will often pay these taxes.