Recent reports that the Australian Superannuation scheme is holding about $5.4 billion of unclaimed superannuation money in about 6.1 million accounts, makes me wonder how much of this Superannuation is owed to working holiday visa holders, and holders of other temporary Visa’s.
The above figures average out at $885 in unclaimed super, per account holder. That is equal to the amount of super that would have been paid by the employer on just $9,840 in wages.
That figure may not be that far away from the earnings that some temporary visa holders would have made, in a few months part time work, while holidaying in Australia.
Claiming your superannuation benefits for Temporary Visa Holders
If you have worked in Australia as a temporary resident you may be eligible to claim your superannuation benefits through the Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP) scheme. You may be able to do this if all of the following apply:
- you held a temporary visa while you worked in Australia
- that temporary visa can no longer be used (that is, it has expired or has been cancelled by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship)
- you have departed Australia.
Explains what superannuation is and how eligible temporary residents can claim their departing Australia superannuation payment.
Temporary residents can request a refund of their superannuation money held in Australia by submitting an application online.
Find your Lost Super
The Australian Tax Office (ATO) provides a facility for everyone to see if they have any lost or forgotten superannuation contributions, and this can be found at: www.ato.gov.au/individuals/content/33301.htm
To complete a search you must provide your:
- Tax file number (TFN)
- Family and given names
- Date of birth.
If you have your Tax File number, I suggest you do it NOW…
Can temporary residents who leave Australia access their super?
If you worked in Australia as a temporary resident, you may be eligible to claim your super money after leaving Australia if:
- you visited on a temporary visa listed under the Migration Act 1958, (excluding subclasses 405 and 410) which is no longer in effect, and
- you left Australia after starting to be the holder of a visa.
The payment will be subject to withholding tax, even if you have retired from the workforce or have reached preservation age.
This payment is not available for Australian and New Zealand citizens, permanent residents of Australia or holders of retirement visas; they generally cannot claim their super in this way, because they have the option of retiring in Australia.
However Australian and New Zealand citizens, and permanent Australian residents, are able to claim super money they earned while previously in Australia on a temporary visa if this money is now held by the ATO.
Superannuation holding accounts (SHA) special account
The SHA special account is administered by the ATO. It was established to receive small super amounts from employers who could not find a super fund to accept their contributions. A small superannuation account is an individual account balance in a superannuation fund or retirement savings account (RSA) which is less than $1,000
Your SHA special account balances will not be reduced by fees and charges.
You can use SuperSeeker to check if you have an account balance in the SHA special account.
If there is no activity on your SHA special account for 10 years, your balance will be transferred to consolidated revenue.