One of the most common questions that we get asked is can I take my super if I leave Australia permanently? The answer is unfortunately no.
If you are a Australian citizen or permanent resident and joining the ranks of your fellow Australian expats overseas the rules that govern superannuation do not change, even if you are leaving Australia permanently.
At the moment the only way that you can access you superannuation as an Australian expat is by reaching the preservation age or by satisfying an early condition of release. And before you think you’ll take the second route and make an application, the rules surrounding a early release are arduous and not easily met by the average Australian expat.
Eligibility Rules For Early Release of Super
In order for your superannuation to be released early you are required to meet one of the following eligibility requirements:
- Be in severe financial hardship
- Have a terminal illness
- Be a temporary resident
- Have less than $200 in your super fund
- Meet compassionate grounds
What Can I Do With My Super After I Leave Australia Permanently?
If you don’t qualify as a temporary resident, nor any of the other early conditions of release, you do have a number of options – just transferring the funds overseas isn’t one of them.
When it comes to super you need to remember that even though all it feels like is numbers on a page in actual fact we are talking about real money, your money.
The following are our steps on what you can do to make the most of your nest egg until you meet the preservation age:
Step 1 – Work Out What Super You Have
With the average person having worked multiple jobs in their Australian working career more than likely they will have accumulated a number of superannuation accounts. Its always best to conduct this research on your super before you leave Australia permanently otherwise it could involve late night calls to call centres back in Australia.
Step 2 – Review
There is a myriad of superannuation providers in Australia so whats to say that the one you’re with is the right one for you? Do you know the fees and charges you are paying (and we mean ALL of the them). From MER’s to ICR’s, admin fees to insurance its important that you know how much you are paying and determine whether you are receiving good value.
Step 3 – Consolidate, Consolidate, Consolidate
If your one of the majority of Australians who have multiple funds make sure you consolidate your super before your leave Australia permanently otherwise you will be paying multiple fees and receive very little extra for it.
Step 4 – Monitor
Once you have decided which fund you are going to retain your balance in make sure you monitor it and ensure that it stays the right fund for you. The market is full of funds who were the pick of the bunch previously who are now languishing towards the bottom. And remember that you should never pick a fund purely on its investment performance. You also need to take into account what service and financial advice you are receiving too. Remember YOU are the client.
Atlas Wealth Management has been providing Australian expat financial advice to clients in over 28 countries who didn’t know what to do with their super when they left Australian permanently. One of our specialties is reviewing the superannuation accounts held by Australian expats and determining what to keep, what the throw and any new ones they need to consider.
If we can be of assistance we would be delighted to schedule a complimentary first meeting to discuss your options. All you need to do is get in touch.
If you’re still researching your options then by all means download our Australian expat super guide below where we talk about the ins and outs of managing your superannuation account as a Australian expat.