superannuation

More Travel For Your Dollar – Why 2014 Is The Year To Go Down Under

For many of us, there’s a stage in our lives when we feel like we’re stuck in a bit of a rut. Whether it be in a current job, at school or university, or even if you’re in that inbetweeny stage – sometimes you just need a change.

It’s not a secret that Australia’s a popular destination for young travellers – last year over 432,000 Working Holiday Visas were issued in the UK alone – but why is 2014 the year to go?

Well, aside from it being an incredible country to travel, financially it could be one of the best moves of your life.

Firstly there’s the current exchange rate. At the beginning of January this year, the Australian Dollar (AUD) to Great British Pound (GBP) exchange rate was at its lowest since 2009 at AU$0.53 to £1. So what does that mean to you? Well, it means that when you’re converting your money into dollars you’ll be nearly doubling your cash. Not great for those Aussies coming over to the UK, but great news for you! Think of it as free money (that you worked your ass off for).

Next? Well, you’ve got to love their wages. Ok, so this isn’t a point that’s restricted to this year, but it’s always worth a mention that Australian wages are a great deal higher than the pittance we’re used to in the UK. For example, if you work at a bar, wages tend to start at around $20 p/h. Raise that to $25 on a Saturday, $30 on a Sunday and $45 on a public holiday, and you start to see that you could be making some serious money. Not bad for casual employment!

That not enough money for you? Have some more then! If you’ve been researching working in Australia at all (or you fancy finding out all your need to know in my all-encompassing guide *cough* plug *cough*), you might have heard of Superannuation. Your Superannuation is basically a pension fund that your employer pays into on top of your wages. “But what has this got to do with travelling Down Under in 2014??” you may (or may not) cry. Well, the previous rate of payment was 9% of what you earned, but in July this year it went up to 9.5%. Now that may not sound like a lot, but with the previous rate on a $32,000 wage (very possible in full-time employment) you would receive $2880, but with the 0.5% rise that would take it to $3040. And the best bit? This percentage will be increasing every year until 2022 when it will cap at 12%.

If you haven’t currently got dollar signs in your eyes after reading that I strongly recommend you get your sight tested.

So, three great reasons why 2014 is the year to move Down Under. Need I say any more??

 

I hope you have found this post helpful, and if you have any burning questions or posts you would like me to do, please email me at workanywhereoz@gmail.com

And, as always, there’s the book. So without further ado…

 For loads of information on working and travelling in Australia, get Work Anywhere: Australia the guide today!

 

How To Claim Back Your Superannuation

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: 

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Once your visa has been cancelled you can apply for a Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP) online. You can access this here.
  3. You will be asked to fill in your personal details including your Tax File Number (TFN).
  4. 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.
  5. After you have filled in these details you can send your application off.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!

For loads of information on working and travelling in Australia, get Work Anywhere: Australia the guide today!