Temporary residents and unclaimed super

From 18 December 2008, changes apply to the unclaimed superannuation of temporary residents who have left Australia. The main change is that, after a temporary resident has left Australia for more than six months and their visa has expired, the Tax Office will notify their superannuation fund that it needs to transfer the temporary resident’s unclaimed superannuation to the Tax Office. The Tax Office will then pay the superannuation money, after withholding tax:

* directly to the temporary resident or, if the temporary resident has died, to their dependants; or
* to a superannuation fund if the temporary resident has returned to Australia and is no longer a temporary resident.

This change does not affect an employer’s obligations under the superannuation guarantee scheme. The employer must still pay contributions for eligible temporary residents either to their chosen superannuation fund or to the employer’s default fund. An employer does not have to make contributions for some temporary residents, for example senior foreign executives who hold 413 or 457 temporary visas.