Q. I’m a Kiwi and have been working in Australia for 10 years and living here for two. Love it! We plan to move back to New Zealand in three years and retire with family. Can I leave my superannuation in Australia and just draw on it? Is any tax involved? Or should I take it all back to New Zealand?
A. I would like to be able to give you a definitive answer to this question but it is more complicated than it looks. This involves issues of tax residency and I suggest you visit the Australian Taxation Office website and search for ‘temporary residents and super’.
Generally speaking, where you plan to permanently return to New Zealand you will be a non-resident of Australia and therefore the rules in relation to temporary residence in superannuation may apply. When you leave Australia, you may be eligible to claim your super back as a departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP). There are requirements you will need to meet to claim your DASP.
It is technically possible to retain your superannuation in Australia, however, some superannuation funds require that members are residents, therefore you may need to rollover your super into a fund that accepts non-residents – ideally this should be done before you leave the country. Notwithstanding this, given issues such as currency and investment risks and different tax systems it would be important to get advice as to which country is the best place to hold these assets.
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