If you’re working while visiting Australia as an international traveller or are a university student from overseas and earning superannuation, it’s important to remember that you are actually allowed and able to access that money (and before you hit your retirement).
People who have visited Australia under a temporary visa, and been employed in a position that earned them super may be able to access it as a specific payment when they leave.
This is known as a departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP) and is one of the few conditions of release that doesn’t involve waiting for the preservation age.
It can only be applied for after you have left the country and has strict eligibility requirements under which it can be claimed.
- That you accumulated superannuation while working in Australia on a temporary resident visa issued under the Migration Act 1958 (excluding Subclasses 405 and 410)
- That your visa has ceased to be in effect (for example, it has expired or been cancelled)
- That you have left Australia and you do not hold any other active Australian visa
- That you are not an Australian or New Zealand citizen, or a permanent resident of Australia.
If you are a New Zealand citizen who has been living in Australia and are now leaving permanently, you may be able to transfer your super instead to New Zealand under the Trans-Tasman retirement savings portability scheme for individuals.
If it has been six months (or more) since you left Australia, your visa will have ceased to be in effect. If you have not claimed DASP, your super fund will instead transfer your super money to the Australian Taxation Office as unclaimed super money (known as ‘lost super’).
You may be required to provide certified documents for your DASP application. It’s much easier to have documents certified in Australia, so it’s recommended that you do this before you leave. Check with your super fund to confirm what documentation is required.
If it is required, you can also nominate someone else to apply for your DASP. This person will be able to act on your behalf and update your information, so consider carefully who you allow to represent you.
They will require written authority that they are able to act on your behalf and be able to satisfy the super fund’s requirement of proof of authority to make the claim for you. Checking with the super fund to find out what specific documentation they require from them to avoid the hassle.
You may nominate either:
- a tax agent with full registration or conditional tax agent registration with the Tax Practitioner Board for the purpose of claiming DASP
- a representative if you use a DASP paper form.