I’ve had a few people asking me recently about claiming your Superannuation funds back when you leave Australia, so I thought I’d just give a quick rundown of what you need to do to sort it all out when you’re back home.
For those that don’t know, your Superannuation, or ‘Super’ as it’s more commonly known, is basically just a pension fund that every person working in Oz gets set up with when they begin employment. When you’re working, whatever you earn your employer will pay an additional 9% (will be raised to 12.5% by 2015) of your wages into a separate account that you cannot access until you permanently cease employment. The 2 most common ways to prove that you have ceased employment so you can claim this money back is either to retire in Australia, or when you leave the country permanently (when your visa expires).
So, for example, if you work full time and earn around AU$30,000 (on average) during your year in Oz, you can expect to have around AU$2700 in your Super account to claim back when your return home – not bad!
So let’s get down to it.
How To Claim Back Your Super
A Few Tips To Make Your Rebate a Bit Simpler:
- If you haven’t yet left Australia and you have more than one Super fund, it’s a good idea to contact your main fund and work out consolidating your other funds into that one account. That way you will only need to process one refund.
- Make sure you contact your Super fund and get all of your fund details (e.g. member number) from them before you leave the country. It costs a lot less to call them from Oz than it does from home!
- If you leave the country before your visa expires and you want to claim back your Super, make sure you cancel your visa first. Until Australian Immigration can verify your visa has been expired you will not be able to make any claims.
Details You Will Need To Claim:
- Your name, date of birth and other personal details.
- Your e-mail address.
- Your passport country.
- Your passport number.
- Your Australian Tax File Number (optional).
- Your superannuation account details – including your superannuation provider’s Australian Business Number (ABN). You may use the system to conduct a search for the ABN based on the fund’s name.
Details of Your Super Account Required:
- Product Name (name of the actual account e.g. BT Saver For Life)
- Superannuation fund number (SFN)
- Member/account number
- Date joined fund
- Super product identification number (SPIN)
- Client ID
- Employer name
- Employer Address
- Employment dates (from/too)
If you have all of these details to hand, claiming back your Super will be a breeze, so make sure you contact your account providers before you leave Australia!
If your Super account has more than AU$5000 in it (unlikely for a backpacker) you will need to personally contact your account provider to organise a rebate. If it is less than AU$5000 you need to claim through the Australian Immigration website.
Steps To Claim Back Your Super:
- Cancel your visa if it has not yet expired. To do this you will need to fill out Form 1194 from the Australian Immigration website for ‘Certification of Immigration Status and/or request to cancel a Temporary Resident Visa‘. You can find the form here.
- Once your visa has been cancelled you can apply for a Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP) online. You can access this here.
- You will be asked to fill in your personal details including your Tax File Number (TFN).
- Using your TFN, the site will automatically do a search for any Super accounts you have had during your time in Australia. It will then list them all for you and for each one you will be asked if you wan to claim back from that account and then you will need to fill in your Super account details for each one.
- After you have filled in these details you can send your application off.
- You may be contacted by your Super provider after this asking for basic personal details just to verify it is you claiming back the payment.
- After all your details have been verified you will be notified and you should receive your cheque/payment within 28 working days!
So that’s how easy it is to claim back your Superannuation without going through a taxback company who can end up taking a large chunk of your Super repayment for themselves for sorting it out for you!
Also as I only recently discovered, your repayment will be taxed (as everything is), so don’t expect to receive the whole amount to be refunded to you, but you will still be getting the majority of it back.
Hope this info helps and enjoy spending that money!