In Australia, Superannuation applies to the arrangements made by people to accumulate sufficient funds to provide them with money during retirement. This money comes from the contributions made into your super fund by your employer along with your own money. Your employer is bound to pay 9.5% of your salary as your super, this is known as Super Guarantee. Sometimes the government will add to it through co-contributions and the low income super contribution. The Super Guarantee is said to gradually increase to 12% in upcoming years. For a backpacker, when you have earned over $450 per month it is a requirement for your employer to pay 9.5% of your wage into a super fund for you.
Superannuation funds available for Backpackers
There are distinct types of superannuation funds available for you as a backpacker. but choosing the right one among them is very important:
- Personal Superannuation Funds – These are superannuation funds that people join individually, and allow employees to keep all their superannuation in one superannuation account. Personal Superannuation Funds are a preferable option for backpackers and people on working holidays in Australia as they allow for all the superannuation to be held in the one account.
- Industry Superannuation Funds – As the name suggests, Industry Superannuation Funds were originally implemented for people working within specific industries such as construction, agriculture and health care;
- Employer Superannuation Funds – Employer Superannuation Funds are established by employers so that their employees have access to a convenient superannuation fund. Some employer superannuation funds are compulsory for some employees such as local government and state government employees;
Eligibility for claiming your Super Refund when departing Australia
Superannuation is highly regarded by the Australian Government to ensure that everyone has sufficient funds for their retirement. As a backpacker, you need to meet certain criteria to claim your super, which are:
- Must show youhave an Australian Temporary Resident Visa;
- Must show that the Australian Temporary Resident Visa has either expired or been cancelled;
- Must have left Australia;
- Must not be an Australian citizen, a New Zealand citizen or a permanent Australian resident;
Please note that, you only have six months from the date that your visa expires or was cancelled to claim your superannuation. Normally you can expect to receive your superannuation entitlements within 12 weeks after you have submitted your refund application.
Some suggestions for claiming your super
- Make sure to choose the right type of super fund;
- Ask help from tax agents to claim your super refund;
- Check that you have provided proper details for filing your super;
- Ensure that you are claiming your super on time.