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Superannuation

Bringing your super to Australia from overseas

When people relocate to Australia, superannuation is sometimes forgotten. Depending on when you bring back your super to Australia, and how much, it can have different tax outcomes.

In addition, your superannuation fund in Australia may have specific rules about accepting certain rollovers/contributions. Broadly speaking, Australian laws require you to be an Australian tax resident to transfer funds into an Australian super fund from overseas.

If you are under the age of 67 (previously 65, but from the 2020-21 financial year onward the age has been increased), your Australian super fund can accept the contribution regardless of whether you are working – however the standard work test for contribution applied once you turn 67. Once you are 75 years of age or over, overseas retirement cannot be brought into an Australian super account. However, there are alternative options.

The Australian superannuation has fund-capped contribution limits – which applies to contributions of your overseas superannuation funds.

The taxation of super lump sums transferred from overseas super funds into Australian super funds depend on:

  • when the transfer is received in Australia (before or after six months of becoming an Australian resident for tax purposes)
  • your choice about whether you or your super fund pays the tax on the ‘applicable fund earnings’
  • your non-concessional contributions cap
  • your age in the financial year the transfer occurs
  • whether special rules (such as the Trans Tasman retirement portability scheme) apply

The other option is transferring the overseas superannuation amounts to yourself. Where the funds are being transferred from the UK, there are special rules.

How can Waterhouse Lawyers help you?

The taxation of superannuation and effectively bringing the money to Australia can be difficult to navigate. Waterhouse Lawyers is experienced in providing advice to clients on transferring their overseas superannuation. Please contact us on 02 9252 8746, tax@waterhouselawyers.com.au or via our inquiry form.

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