June 14 2024

How the departing Australia superannuation payment works

Are you a temporary resident that’s now leaving Australia? Don't forget your super. The departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP) lets you take your hard-earned funds with you if you are eligible. This article will help you understand how you may be able to withdraw your super when leaving Australia.

Are you someone who came to Australia temporarily and worked here? Maybe you're packing up to start a new adventure, or to reunite with loved ones. No matter why you’re leaving, there's one thing you need to know: if you’re eligible, you can take your hard-earned super with you. So, before you say goodbye to the land Down Under, make sure you're not leaving any money behind.

Key points:

  • The departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP) lets eligible temporary residents withdraw the super they saved in Australia.
  • You can only apply for DASP after you leave Australia and your visa is no longer in effect.
  • You can apply for DASP through your super fund or the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). If you don’t collect your DASP, your super fund will transfer your money to the ATO as unclaimed super. You will need to claim it from the ATO.
  • To make the process easier, it’s recommended that you start preparing the paperwork before you leave the country, especially if you need your documents certified.
  • Your DASP will be taxed before it’s paid out to you.
  • Australian and New Zealand citizens and Australian permanent residents who are departing Australia are not eligible for the DASP. However, New Zealand citizens moving back to New Zealand for good may be able to move their super to a KiwiSaver scheme.

What is the departing Australia superannuation payment?

If you visited Australia on a temporary visa and worked here, you may have earned money for your retirement called superannuation, or super. The departing Australia superannuation payment allows you to claim any super you accumulated while working in Australia, if you are eligible.

Can I withdraw my super if I leave Australia permanently?

Temporary residents:

If you’re a temporary resident leaving Australia, you may be able to withdraw your super savings through DASP.

To qualify, you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • you were paid super while working in Australia on an eligible temporary resident visa (excluding subclasses 405 and 410)
  • your visa has expired or has been cancelled
  • you have left Australia and you do not hold any other active Australian visa.
  • you are not an Australian or New Zealand citizen, or an Australian permanent resident.

New Zealand citizens

If you’re a New Zealand citizen leaving Australia permanently, you may be able to transfer your super to a KiwiSaver scheme under the Trans-Tasman Retirement Savings Portability Scheme. To do this, the ATO advises that:

  • your super must be with a complying fund regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)
  • you must have permanently moved to New Zealand. You will need to complete a statutory declaration to confirm this and provide evidence of your residence at a New Zealand address.
  • you need to have a KiwiSaver account that’s eligible to receive the transfer of your Australian super. Make sure to check with your chosen KiwiSaver provider if they accept Australian transfers before making the request to transfer your funds
  • you’ll need a New Zealand Inland Revenue Department (IRD) number.

Also, it’s a good idea to check if your Australian super fund and KiwiSaver scheme will charge any fees for the transfer.

As New Zealand’s laws are different from Australia’s, it's important for you to understand the retirement savings regulations in New Zealand before you transfer your super to a KiwiSaver scheme.

From 12 December 2021, if you have moved to New Zealand permanently, you may be able to move any unclaimed super money that the ATO is holding for you to a KiwiSaver scheme.

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Tip: If you’re a Rest member, you can apply to transfer your super to a KiwiSaver scheme by completing the ‘Trans-Tasman transfer request form’ and submitting it to us. While you may be able to transfer to a KiwiSaver, consider seeking expert advice before you decide to do so.

Australian citizens or permanent residents

If you're an Australian citizen or permanent resident leaving the country temporarily or for good, your super stays in Australia. This means you typically won't be able to access it until you meet a condition of release, for example you reach your preservation age and have retired.

Leaving your super in Australia means your fund will continue to invest the super savings in your account, as well as charge fees and premiums while you’re abroad, unless your account is considered an inactive low balance account.

If you're still working for an Australian employer at an overseas location, they may still have to contribute to your super. Make sure to speak with your employer about super arrangements or check the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website for more information.

How to withdraw super when leaving Australia using DASP?

Even though you can only submit your DASP application after you leave Australia, it may’ll be easier for you to prepare for your application before you leave.

Before you leave Australia

  1. Check that you’re eligible for DASP.
  2. Find out how much super you have. If your super balance is $5,000 or more, you’ll need to provide your fund with a certified copy of your proof of identification documents as part of your application.
  3. If required, get your ID documents certified. Remember to take photocopies and originals to the authorised person certifying your personal identification documents. You’ll need these for your application so keep them with you.

After you leave Australia

  1. Before you start the application, make sure you have your super account details (including your super fund’s Australian business number), Australian bank details, visa information and passport number.
    • You don't have to provide your Australian tax file number but, if you do, it might help your application get processed more quickly.
  2. If you couldn’t get your documents certified in Australia, you can get this done by consular staff at an Australian Embassy, High Commission, Consulate or notary public.
  3. Go to the ATO’s DASP online application and complete the form.
  4. The ATO will confirm your eligibility through the Department of Home Affairs. Once approved, the claim will be sent to your super fund to process.
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Tip: Applying for DASP and looking for Rest’s ABN? Rest’s ABN is: 62 653 671 394.

When should I apply for DASP?

You must apply after you’ve left Australia but it's usually better to start the application before leaving so you can complete some of the paperwork while still in Australia.

You can submit an application for DASP either through your super fund or the ATO. However, if you don’t claim your DASP, your super will be moved to the ATO as unclaimed super. You'll need to contact the ATO to get it back. Find out when your super fund is required to transfer your unclaimed super to the ATO.

How long does it take to receive the payment?

Your super fund will generally pay your DASP within 28 days of receiving the completed paperwork. However, your payment may be delayed if your fund doesn’t have the right information from you, so make sure to submit a completed application with any required supporting documents. If you don’t hear back from your fund within 28 days, follow up on your claim directly with your fund.

While you may be able to send a physical form to your super fund, it’s generally faster to apply for DASP online using the ATO’s application system. In addition, to help speed up the payment process, please make sure:

  • your temporary visa has expired or been cancelled
  • your super fund has your current personal email address
  • all your contact details are up to date
  • your Australian bank account remains open so the payment can be deposited if you selected electronic funds transfer to an Australian bank account.

If you’re a Rest member, you can check and update your personal details in the Rest App or in MemberAccess, your online account.

How much will I be taxed when I claim my superannuation in Australia?

According to the ATO, a final DASP tax will be withheld from your payment when it is made. The payment may be made up of two components – a tax-free component, and a taxable component (that may have a taxed element and/or an untaxed element).

How much tax you pay will depend on:

  • your visa type
  • the components that make up your payment (it may be a mix, see table below)

Below is a table summarising the tax rates for DASP, according to the ATO, that apply to payments made from 1 July 2017.

Payment component DASP ordinary tax rate (non-working holiday makers) DASP working holiday maker tax rate
Tax-free component 0% 0%
Taxable component – taxed element 35% 65%
Taxable component – untaxed element 45% 65%

You should receive a DASP payment summary within 14 days of the payment date from your super fund. This will break down how much you paid in DASP tax and how much you received.

As tax would already be taken from your DASP payment, this doesn’t need to be included in your Australian tax return.

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