26 September 2008

New Temporary Residents legislation

Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law, Senator Nick Sherry, announced yesterday legislation will be introduced that is designed to counterbalance the growing amount of lost or unclaimed superannuation.

The Temporary Residents' Superannuation Legislation Amendment Bill 2008 and the Superannuation (Departing Australia Superannuation Payments Tax) Amendment Bill 2008 were both introduced to Parliament yesterday.

The government is concerned that while temporary residents are entitled to claim their accrued superannuation when they depart permanently from Australia, known as departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP), a growing number of people are not claiming their entitlement.

The legislation allows the government to acquire the lost monies (or unclaimed superannuation) once a person ceases to hold a temporary Australian visa and has been offshore for longer than six months.  The legislation also ensures the government does not acquire money from Australian and New Zealand citizens’ superannuation funds, from current holders of retirement, permanent or temporary visas, or those applying for permanent residency. 

"It is important to note that temporary residents who fail to claim their superannuation when they depart and consequently have unclaimed superannuation paid to the Commonwealth, can later claim back their money at any time," Minister Sherry said.

"This outcome provides a consistent or better treatment to temporary residents compared to that in many other countries where temporary residents may be unable or limited in accessing their compulsory social security contributions."

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people apply for an Australia visa.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

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