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Transferring your overseas fund

If you’re an Australian resident and have ever worked overseas, there’s a chance you may have retirement savings you can transfer to Sunsuper. Combining your accounts means you may pay less in fees, you’ll be able to see your total balance grow over time and you’ll have to deal with less paperwork. However, before making a decision, it’s important to consider the taxation and other implications, both overseas and in Australia.

We recommend you seek advice from a tax professional before deciding to transfer your overseas fund.

How do I arrange a Transfer?

1. Contact the overseas fund

Tell the overseas fund you’d like to transfer to an Australian fund. Make sure you ask them about tax, exit fees and any other implications of transferring your money. They may send you forms to complete. You'll need to know what your pension balance was at the date you became an Australian resident.

2. Obtain a Sunsuper overseas pack

Contact us and request your overseas pack. This pack will provide information on transferring your overseas fund, Sunsuper’s requirements to accept the payment and an Australian Taxation Office (ATO) tax form. Make sure you include Sunsuper’s fund ABN: 98 503 137 921.

3. Complete and send the overseas fund paperwork

Complete the overseas fund paperwork, attach Sunsuper's details and payment requirements, and send to the overseas fund. Information required for the transfer will differ from fund to fund but can generally be found in the Sunsuper overseas fund pack.

4. Sunsuper will receive the transfer of funds

We can only accept a transfer from your overseas fund if you’ve provided us your Australian tax file number (TFN). You can provide this to us by visiting Member Online. The overseas fund will pay either by cheque or electronic funds transfer (EFT).

Please note

Transfers made by EFT/SWIFT can be received up to 5 weeks faster than those made by cheque.

Your final credited amount may be slightly less than the original amount advised by your exiting fund. This is due to bank fees deducted prior to the funds being credited to us. If required, upon receipt of the funds by Sunsuper, we can provide with you with confirmation of the final figure.

5. Funds will be applied to your Sunsuper account

You will receive a letter from Sunsuper confirming the payment and total amount converted to Australian dollars (AUD).

Are you over the age of 65?

For us to be able to accept your overseas fund transfer, you’ll need to provide a work test declaration, which confirms you have been gainfully employed for at least 40 hours within 30 consecutive days during the financial year in which the transfer was made.

6. Complete ATO form for tax options

This form is available in the overseas fund pack or on the ATO website. Any Australian tax payable will be deducted at the date your request is received and another confirmation letter sent. Refer to “How will the 15 per cent be paid” below. You may wish to seek financial advice before requesting tax be deducted.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my transfer amount be taxed in Australia?

If you transfer your overseas funds within 6 months of becoming a resident of Australia or terminating your foreign employment, generally no Australian tax is payable.

If you transfer your overseas funds after 6 months, your transfer might include “applicable fund earnings” as explained below. This amount is subject to income tax in Australia. The non-applicable fund earnings amount is not subject to income tax in Australia.

What are applicable fund earnings?

Generally, the applicable fund earnings are the earnings on your foreign super balance which have accrued since you became a resident of Australia. To calculate your applicable fund earnings, please seek financial advice or contact the ATO on 13 10 20.

What are my options if my transfer includes applicable fund earnings?

When you’re transferring your overseas fund, you have two options for paying the tax on the applicable fund earnings:

  1. You can choose to pay tax at your personal marginal income tax rate, with the tax owing calculated as part of your income tax assessment for that financial year, or
  2. You can ask us to pay the tax on your behalf at the super fund concessional rate of 15 per cent and the amount will be included in the fund’s assessable income.

How would the 15 per cent be paid?

We will pay the 15 per cent tax by debiting this from your transfer amount after it has been allocated to your account. Before any tax can be deducted you must provide us with a completed “Choice to have your Australian fund pay tax on a foreign super transfer” form (NAT 11724) from the ATO. This form can only be submitted to us once. You will need to nominate the amount you wish to pay tax on. We must receive this form by 30 September of the financial year after the transfer has been received. We are unable to accept this form after this date or if a benefit payment has been made from your account.

Will the contribution limits for Australian super funds affect me?

Generally, all or most of the transfer amount from an overseas fund will count towards your non-concessional contribution cap. However, in cases where your transfer includes an amount that wasn’t vested to you at the time of the transfer, the unvested portion of the transferred amount would count towards your concessional contribution cap.

If you’ve selected for Sunsuper to deduct the tax on part or all of any applicable fund earnings, the amount you elect doesn’t count toward either the concessional or non-concessional contribution cap.

Income Year Concessional contribution cap Non-concessional contribution cap
2017-18 $25,000 $100,000
2018-19 $25,000 $100,000

Amounts in excess of the concessional contributions cap will count against the non-concessional cap. If these caps are exceeded, you may become subject to more tax. Find out more information regarding concessional and non-concessional contributions caps.

Otherwise, visit the ATO website for more information about foreign transfers, vesting, taxation and contribution limits with examples.

What funds can’t be transferred to Sunsuper?

Unfortunately we currently cannot accept funds from New Zealand (known as KiwiSaver) or from a United Kingdom pension under the QROPS regime.

Where can I get help?

If you’d like more information about the options available to you before transferring your overseas fund, please email us at overseas@sunsuper.com.au or call us on 13 11 84 or (+61 7 3121 0700 when overseas) between 8:00am and 6.30pm AEST, Monday to Friday.