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How to access your Australian superannuation savings
If you move to Australia with a temporary resident visa that allows you to work, you will probably earn superannuation (also known as super).
Super is compulsory for most employed Australians, and it helps you save money for retirement.
Your superannuation money gets invested in your super account until you are ready to retire - but you can usually access it early if you were a temporary resident who has left Australia.
Find out more about how superannuation works.
Working visa types that allow you to work in Australia as a temporary resident and earn superannuation include:
If you had a temporary resident visa and you earned superannuation while working in Australia, you can claim your super as long as:
This payment is not available if you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen, or a permanent resident of Australia. But if you leave Australia to permanently live in New Zealand, you may be able to transfer your super to a KiwiSaver account. For more information, read our Transfer your super to New Zealand factsheet (pdf).
There are two ways to claim your super after you leave Australia - with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and with QSuper. It's a good idea to find any other super you might have and check with your employer that they have paid all your super before you make a claim.
If you’ve left Australia permanently, your super is taxed at the following rates:
However, 65% tax applies to both the taxed and untaxed parts if you were on a 417 working holiday visa, 462 work and holiday visa, or a working holiday bridging visa.
We charge your tax and send it to the ATO before we send your super to you.
When you receive your super from us, you don’t need to include it in your tax return, because you have already paid tax on it.
We’ll pay your super electronically to your bank account in Australia. We can't pay your super to an overseas bank account.
When you send us your claim form and other documents, we do our best to pay your super within 7 working days.
If you've left Australia recently, we have to wait until your employer sends us your final super contribution. Once we have the final contribution, we can pay your super.
If you don't claim your super within 6 months after leaving Australia, we have to transfer your super to the ATO. They will hold your super for you until you contact them to claim it.