What is Superannuation?
Superannuation, also known as ‘super’, is a system put in place for employees in Australia to subsidise their pension. If you’re over 18 and you earn more than $450 per month before tax, your employer is obliged to pay 9.5% of the value of your ordinary time earnings into a superannuation fund on your behalf.
If you don’t plan on retiring in Australia and you intend to leave at some point, you can claim some of your super back after you’ve left the country. Our partner Taxback.com’s average super refund is AU$1908! Yep, that’s a lot of money! Taxback.com is a tax refund service, their team of tax experts will make sure you get the most from your refund!
We’re going to answer some of the most common super questions…
How do I know if I’m paying superannuation?
It’s simple! Check your payslip, it will include details of the amount of super you’re paying and the date that it’s paid into your fund. If you’re earning over the $450 per month mark, your employer will automatically deduct your super contribution, so you can ask them for details of the account if you’re unsure.
It’s a good idea to retain any documentation you receive in relation to your super – this makes applying for a super refund a hell of a lot easier. If you lose this documentation, don’t worry – Taxback.com offer a document retrieval service and can get it for you!
Who isn’t eligible for super repayments?
- Anyone earning less than $450pm
- Anyone under 18 years of age and working 30hrs p/w or less
- A non-resident paid for work performed outside Australia
- A resident paid by a non-resident employer for work carried out outside of Australia
- Anyone employed for domestic or private work for 30hrs p/w or less
How to set up a super fund?
Most of the time, your employer in Australia will choose a fund on your behalf, but if not, you can always set one up when you open your bank account via any of the main banks in Australia. You can also use a service like workingholidaysuper.com to keep everything in one easy to access place. This is especially handy if you work several jobs while in Australia because this means you may end up with several super fund accounts.
When is your superannuation paid out?
Superannuation is a pension system paid out to Australians when they retire. If you don’t plan on returning to Oz, you can always claim some of it back when you leave.
Can I claim it back?
Yep, you can claim it back so long as you were on a temporary visa in Australia (excluding subclasses 405 and 410) and you don’t want to retire there.
The superannuation refund you will receive is called a ‘Departing Australia Superannuation Payment’ or a DASP and you can only claim it if your visa has expired and you’ve left Australia.
It’s important to note that if you’re a working holidaymaker on either a 417 or 462 visa, if you’re DASP is processed on or after 1 July 2017, your superannuation refund will be taxed at a rate of 65%. If your superannuation refund is processed before 1 July 2017, then it will be taxed at a rate of 38%.
If you’re on any other visa, these changes don’t affect you and your super refund will still be taxed at the usual rate of 38%.
We know that paying tax on your refund is a pain but you will still get a substantial amount, maybe even enough to fund your next adventure!
Even if you left Australia years ago, you can still claim your super back!
If you haven’t claimed your superannuation for 6 months after you departed Australia, it will be automatically transferred from your super fund to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) who will hold it for you until you make a claim. So long as you have left the country and your visa is no longer in effect, you can apply to claim it back.
Oh and in case you’re wondering, yes, you can still return to Australia, even after you’ve claimed your super.
I’m self-employed – Do I have to Pay Superannuation?
If you’re self-employed or considered a sole trader or a partner in a partnership, you don’t have to make any super contributions to a super fund.
You can only contribute money to your fund if it has your tax file number of TFN.
If you’re self-employed there’s a good chance you will be eligible for the following;
- Claiming a tax deduction for your superannuation contributions
- Low income super contribution
- For the super co-contribution on contributions that you do not claim a deduction for
- Benefiting from the additional concessions available for certain invalidity payments
How do I claim my superannuation back?
Once you’ve left Australia and your visa has expired, you can apply to ATO for your super refund.
Taxback.com will help you get your super back and they can even help you cancel your visa if it has not yet expired.
Taxback.com will handle your entire super refund process which means no boring paperwork for you! They will communicate with ATO to maximise your refund, help you retrieve any missing documents and keep you updating about the entire process from start to finish.
You can’t claim it back if you’re…
- An Australian citizen
- A New Zealand citizen
- A permanent Australian resident
- A retirement visa holder
- An investor retirement visa holders
Please note: New Zealand citizen who is permanently leaving Australia, you may be able to transfer your super fund to New Zealand.
So that’s everything you need to know about superannuation. If you’d like help claiming your super refund, head on over to Taxback.com to get started!
Ask your questions to our team, we will be happy to help you.
These articles could also interest you:
- Working in Oz on both ABN and TFN
- 5 Mistakes to avoid when building your start-up in Australia
- 5 Reasons for International Talents to come to Australia
Special thanks to our partner Taxback.com for their great content. Visit their website for more informations.