What happens to my super when I move overseas?

If you're leaving Australia, what you can do with your super savings will depend on whether you're a temporary or permanent resident.

You might be leaving the country for a variety of reasons—career prospects, love, adventure, new opportunities—or you may be returning home.

While you’ve probably got a checklist of things to cover off before you leave, spare a thought for any superannuation you might’ve accumulated while working. After all, it is your money so it’s probably a good idea to keep track of it.

What can I do with my super if…?

I’m an Australian citizen or permanent resident leaving the country

Even if you’re leaving the country permanently, if you’re an Australian citizen or permanent resident, your super will remain subject to the same rules. 

What that means is you generally won’t be able to access your super until you reach preservation age, which will be between 55 and 60, depending on when you were born.1 See the exceptions here.

Meanwhile, if you’re going to continue working for an Australian employer, they may still be required to contribute to your super, so check the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website for more information.

I’m a temporary resident leaving the country

If you’re a temporary resident, when you leave the country you may be able to claim what’s called a—departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP)—which means you can take super with you.2

To be eligible for a DASP3, all of the following must apply to you:

  • You are not an Australian or New Zealand citizen, or permanent resident of Australia
  • You entered the country on a temporary visa (listed under the Migration Act 1958, excluding subclasses 405 and 410)
  • You’ve since departed Australia
  • Your visa is no longer valid in Australia.

I’m bound for New Zealand

If you’re moving to New Zealand, different rules apply for Australian and New Zealand citizens, and permanent residents of Australia.

After you’ve migrated, you can choose to leave your super in Australia or you can transfer it to a New Zealand KiwiSaver account under the Trans-Tasman Retirement Savings Portability scheme.4

You will need to check5:

  • That your current and future fund are participants in the arrangement
  • That your existing and future fund are compliant with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and the New Zealand KiwiSaver scheme
  • That your existing fund is not a self-managed super fund
  • That you’re aware of New Zealand’s retirement savings rules, as once your savings have been transferred, these rules will generally apply.

I’ve already relocated overseas

  • It’s worth checking out what the super or retirement savings situation is in the country you’ve relocated to. Do your research on whether, and on what basis, you can recover or withdraw any contributions you make while you’re away
  • And, if you’re close to preservation age, find out if there are any tax implications for withdrawing your Australian super.

What else do I need to do before moving?

Update your details

Ensure your super fund has all your up-to-date details so they can stay in touch with you. This will also help to avoid any small lost or unclaimed super balances you might have being transferred to the ATO.

Find your lost super

In Australia, lost super money accounts for around $16 billion6. If you’ve lost track of your super, AMP can locate it for you, free of charge.

Consolidate your funds

Bringing your accounts together can help you keep track of your super more easily and you’ll pay fees on one, rather than multiple accounts. If you’re an AMP customer we can do the consolidation legwork for you but do consider the possibility of exit fees and that features like insurance may not be transferable.

Research fees and options

Research what fees your super fund charges and what super investment options are available. A fund with lower fees will have less impact on your balance while you’re gone.

Look into contributions

If you’re under 65, or between 65 and 75 and meet work test requirements, you can continue to make personal contributions to your super fund no matter where you live and work. Making contributions however might not be tax effective7, so look into the rules of the country you’re moving to.

Need help?

If you'd like help working out your super or retirement options, you can find an adviser in your local area or call us on 131 267.

How do I find my lost super?

When you change jobs or move, your super fund can lose contact with you. Wherever your super happens to be, we'll find it for you

Search now

Consolidating your super

If you already know your other super account details, you can start bringing that money together into your AMP account.

Start now

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© AMP Life Limited. This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, AMP does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any investment decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, AMP does not accept any liability (whether under contract, tort or otherwise) for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.