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Living in Australia as an international student could be the best adventure of your life. Besides, travelling to one of the most beautiful countries in the world and getting to study in some of the top-rated universities worldwide, will let you gain work experience, and even save some money.
Working in Australia may sound like a dream come true. But wait, there is more!
A great benefit you will have is called Superannuation. With Superannuation, you will be able to save money monthly and ask for that money the moment you go back to your home country working as an extra saving.
Moreover, if you become an Australian permanent resident you can use that money when you become old.
What is superannuation?
Superannuation was introduced by the Australian Government as a compulsory way to save money for retirement. It is also known as “Super”.
Normally if you earn a minimum of $450 monthly before taxes, your employer will have to contribute with a percentage of your salary to your fund.
The amount they will be taking is 9,5% of your total earnings which is mandatory.
Am I eligible to claim for superannuation?
If you are in Australia…(include COVID-19 ease as students have been able to take out the super during these circumstances)
If you are still living in Australia, you are not able to claim your super. However, special COVID-19 conditions have arisen due to international students’ necessities, which can let you claim your superannuation during these circumstances.
Now, if you are leaving the country as you have finished your plans and you are now going back to your home country, there is a thing called “Departing Australia Superannuation”.
Through this option, you can request your superannuation if you are leaving Australia under certain conditions. The conditions are the following.
- You are not an Australian or New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident in Australia.
- You accumulated Superannuation while working in Australia on a temporary visa.
- If you already left Australia and you do not have any other active Australian visa.
- Your visa has already expired or has been cancelled.
Is it possible for international students to apply?
For Australian citizens and permanent residents, it is not possible to request superannuation before they turn 65 years old or when they get retired. However, for international students, it is possible to request it as mentioned before!
You have to take into consideration that you need to comply with the following requirements at the moment of claiming for Superannuation:
- You don’t have to be in Australia.
- Your previous visit to Australia has to be legal and under a temporary resident visa like the student visa.
- At the moment of requesting superannuation, your visa has to be already expired.
- You had an income in Australia of a minimum of $450 monthly.
Keep in mind that your visa has to expire for you to request Superannuation, but this doesn’t mean you can’t come back to the country.
You can make a visa request again the next time you want to come back to Australia without any problem.
How to choose a fund?
As mentioned before, this money will have to be deposited into a fund denominated super fund.
You, as a worker, can choose a super fund where you want your contribution to be deposited. If you change jobs, you will need to keep your super fund and inform your new employer which one it is.
If you don’t choose one, your employer will have to send the contribution to a default super fund.
These default super funds have to comply with certain criteria and standards set by the Australian government.
Usually, the fund will be chosen during the first 28 working days. You will have to fill out a form given by your employer, so in this way, your Tax File Number will get linked to the superfund so you can make a follow up of your money and modify anything that you may feel necessary.
What do I need to apply for Superannuation?
First of all, you can have all the information ready before departing from Australia, however, you need to be outside of the country at the moment of the application.
The information that you will need is the following:
- Superannuation Fund Number in Australia (SFN).
- The start and end date of your job, and from each job if you had many.
- Details of the company that you worked for.
- Name and date of birth.
- Email address.
- The country where your passport was issued.
- Passport number
- Tax File Number
If you miss any information what we recommend is you to call your employer and ask them directly.
What are the obligations of my employer regarding Superannuation?
Australian companies must pay the Superannuation’s contributions if you are working legally and if:
- You are under 18 years old; your salary is $450 or more and you work more than 30 hours a week.
- You are over 18 years old and your salary is $450 or more.
If you meet these criteria it doesn’t matter if you are a casual, part-time or full-time employee. Your company has to pay your superannuation that is at least 9,5% of your salary. After that, they will have to deposit it to a fund chosen by them or by you.
If your company is not paying the contribution of the Superannuation you should, first, talk to your boss or manager and ask them how often they are paying your retirement contribution.
If they are not doing it at all you should contact the Australian Taxation Office by calling 131020. We are sure they will be able to help you.
How long will the Superannuation process take?
From the moment you make the request, you will receive your money in 28 business days. However, it will take longer if they see that your application is incomplete.
If that happens you will need to complete your information before sending your application again.
Tips for requesting your superannuation
You can ask for this money with a third-party company or by yourself. If you decide to do this by yourself make sure you know all the procedures and comply with all the requirements.
Also keep in mind that from the money you have in your super fund, you will only receive a part of it, as the Australian Government will apply taxes.
Take into consideration that you can’t complete your request before leaving Australia, but you can have everything ready to do it.
Remember that if you don’t request your Superannuation in 6 months since you leave Australia, the Australian taxation office will hold your money until you decide to request it.