What do Australian expats do about their super?
October 30, 2012 8:11 AM   Subscribe

I'm an Australian living in the EU (I'm a resident for tax purposes). How on earth do I contribute to my super back in Australia? Google is no help

I specifically live in The Netherlands, but I'll be retiring in Australia (I think). Is there any way for me to easily continue contributing to my super? Or do I just sign on to receive a pension here and hope I'll e able to access it when I need it?
posted by nerdfish to Work & Money (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm assuming you are talking about personal contributions from yourself, not from your employer.

Do you still operate any Australian bank accounts? If so, transfer funds to the account and make electronic payments to your fund (most will provide bpay or direct credit details for online banking). Failing that you'd have to get an AUD cheque to them (one drawn on an Aust located bank) which is a bit more painful.
posted by Trivia Newton John at 8:46 AM on October 30, 2012

Call up your Super fund to check it's OK, but I do pretty much what TNJ suggested, transfer funds to an Aussie account I still have open (I use Paypal for this from my husbands US account to my Australian paypal account as the fees are way less than a wire transfer) and then direct deposit it to the Superfund. I am with HostPlus and they have no problem with this.

If you want to do one off payments you'll need a cheque in AUD and can just mail it to them with a deposit slip, if you contact the super fund they should send you a book of slips or will tell you what info you need to include with the cheque.

I found my fund very helpful when I rang and they had all the answers on hand when I rang so I obviously wasn't the first person to ask.
posted by wwax at 9:02 AM on October 30, 2012

Generally Aussie expats do not contribute to their super back home ... it's kinda silly - super is a rort, the return sucks, the money is locked away and, most importantly, they don't get the tax benefits if they aren't subject to AU taxes.

So ... if you want to plan for your retirement, just stick the cash into an index fund.

But, if you so desire, your super manager will be happy to take your cash ... just drop them an email asking how ... generally they will accept bank transfer.

But, seriously, don't! Stick it in an index fund.
posted by jannw at 10:28 AM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I suppose the bigger question would be whether I should go for the Dutch pension scheme or not. I have the waiver form sitting on my desk. Eugh, retirement is so confusing!
posted by nerdfish at 2:12 AM on October 31, 2012


one thing that you need to consider is the short term and long term implications of Australian super.

In the short term, all contributions, earnings and gains will be taxed at a rate of 15% regardless of whether you are a resident or non-resident Australian. I'm not sure what the tax status of the Dutch pension scheme is whilst you are in accumulation mode.

In the long term and taking into account your comments about intending to move back to Australia, the Australian superannuation scheme is very enticing once you are in pension (retirement mode) with 0% tax on income and capital gains (until the government changes this of course) whereas if you move back to Australia and then live off your Dutch pension this would be treated differently and not as tax effectively as a Australian super fund.

Hope this helps.
posted by brettaevans at 5:54 PM on January 14, 2013

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