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Martinbjulieb

Residency when drawing your Super

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We have been back in the U.K. for just over two years now and were in Australia for 10. When we first moved we transferred a personal pension and my civil service works pension into 2 Australian super funds. My question is, when we reach 60  (our preservation ages) how long do you have to be resident in Australia for to withdraw your funds? For example could you take an extended holiday for a few months? Is so we would then transfer the money back to the U.K. using Moneycorp or the like and invest it here. Then we would just declare to HMRC the interest gained each year? Like you do on U.K. bank accounts/investments.  Is that the way to do it? Otherwise we would just transfer amounts each year that would keep us under or just over  the tax free threshold. Any advice greatly received! Thanks. 

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4 minutes ago, Martinbjulieb said:

We have been back in the U.K. for just over two years now and were in Australia for 10. When we first moved we transferred a personal pension and my civil service works pension into 2 Australian super funds. My question is, when we reach 60  (our preservation ages) how long do you have to be resident in Australia for to withdraw your funds? For example could you take an extended holiday for a few months? Is so we would then transfer the money back to the U.K. using Moneycorp or the like and invest it here. Then we would just declare to HMRC the interest gained each year? Like you do on U.K. bank accounts/investments.  Is that the way to do it? Otherwise we would just transfer amounts each year that would keep us under or just over  the tax free threshold. Any advice greatly received! Thanks. 

I’m absolutely no expert here but I didn’t think you had to be in Australia for drawing your super, just the Aussie aged pension has a residency requirement.

I’ll follow this with interest as others with more knowledge answer! 

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21 minutes ago, Amber Snowball said:

I’m absolutely no expert here but I didn’t think you had to be in Australia for drawing your super, just the Aussie aged pension has a residency requirement.

I’ll follow this with interest as others with more knowledge answer! 

I don’t think you do, but to get it tax free I think you do! Then technically it is just “money” and not an income.  Not really sure though😌 Hopefully an expert will along soon😉

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1 hour ago, Martinbjulieb said:

We have been back in the U.K. for just over two years now and were in Australia for 10. When we first moved we transferred a personal pension and my civil service works pension into 2 Australian super funds. My question is, when we reach 60  (our preservation ages) how long do you have to be resident in Australia for to withdraw your funds? For example could you take an extended holiday for a few months? Is so we would then transfer the money back to the U.K. using Moneycorp or the like and invest it here. Then we would just declare to HMRC the interest gained each year? Like you do on U.K. bank accounts/investments.  Is that the way to do it? Otherwise we would just transfer amounts each year that would keep us under or just over  the tax free threshold. Any advice greatly received! Thanks. 

You do not have to bee in Australia to access it. everything can be done electronicaly.

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4 hours ago, Martinbjulieb said:

I don’t think you do, but to get it tax free I think you do! Then technically it is just “money” and not an income.  Not really sure though😌 Hopefully an expert will along soon😉

You are partly right.

Your superannuation lump sum won't be taxed by Australia no matter where you are when you withdraw it.  However, if you're a resident of the UK, it will be taxed by HMRC and at a high rate, too. 

Unfortunately, popping over for a holiday won't work.  You don't stop being a resident of the UK just because you go on holiday. You'd have to stay out of the UK for more than six months of a tax year (and you'd be wise to get the advice of a tax expert to make sure you've met all the requirements).  

Any time you take a lump sum, you will be taxed on it. So taking over a chunk each year won't work either.  As far as I know, the only sensible option is to convert your super into a pension (your existing super funds can organise this or you can choose a new provider), then choose to have the pension paid monthly.  It should be possible to have it paid into a UK bank account but check with your fund. 

Then you just declare the pension as income to HMRC.  The good news is that pensions are taxed at a lower rate than normal income.

Edited by Marisawright
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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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Sums received from an Australian super fund as a tax resident of the UK will have a tax consequence.

Maybe start by reading here: https://www.litrg.org.uk/tax-guides/migrants/what-uk-tax-do-i-pay-my-overseas-pension#toc-is-my-overseas-pension-taxable-in-the-uk-under-uk-domestic-law-

Then consider taking professional advice.

Best regards.


Managing Director, Go Matilda Visas - www.gomatilda.com

Registered Migration Agent Number 0102534; Registered Tax Agent (Australia)

Chartered Accountant (UK, and Australia)

T - 023 81 66 11 55 (UK) or 03 9935 2929 (Australia)

E - alan.collett@gomatilda.com

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6 hours ago, Marisawright said:

You are partly right.

Your superannuation lump sum won't be taxed by Australia no matter where you are when you withdraw it.  However, if you're a resident of the UK, it will be taxed by HMRC and at a high rate, too. 

Unfortunately, popping over for a holiday won't work.  You don't stop being a resident of the UK just because you go on holiday. You'd have to stay out of the UK for more than six months of a tax year (and you'd be wise to get the advice of a tax expert to make sure you've met all the requirements).  

Any time you take a lump sum, you will be taxed on it. So taking over a chunk each year won't work either.  As far as I know, the only sensible option is to convert your super into a pension (your existing super funds can organise this or you can choose a new provider), then choose to have the pension paid monthly.  It should be possible to have it paid into a UK bank account but check with your fund. 

Then you just declare the pension as income to HMRC.  The good news is that pensions are taxed at a lower rate than normal income.

Hi Marisa, am I correct in that superannuation can be inherited? If they convert to a pension, wouldn't their offspring lose that inheritance should they both die? Could they not just bleed small amounts to keep under UK tax thresholds?

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6 hours ago, Marisawright said:

You are partly right.

<snip>

The good news is that pensions are taxed at a lower rate than normal income. 

Are you sure about that?

Best regards.

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Managing Director, Go Matilda Visas - www.gomatilda.com

Registered Migration Agent Number 0102534; Registered Tax Agent (Australia)

Chartered Accountant (UK, and Australia)

T - 023 81 66 11 55 (UK) or 03 9935 2929 (Australia)

E - alan.collett@gomatilda.com

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1 hour ago, Alan Collett said:

Are you sure about that?

It's what I was told when I looked into it. I can't recall if there was a portion that was tax-free and the rest was taxed, or if it was a lower rate, but it worked out slightly less than normal income.  However maybe I was misinformed and I defer to your superior knowledge.


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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1 hour ago, newjez said:

Hi Marisa, am I correct in that superannuation can be inherited? If they convert to a pension, wouldn't their offspring lose that inheritance should they both die? Could they not just bleed small amounts to keep under UK tax thresholds?

There are different kinds of pensions.   If you convert your super to an "annuity", which guarantees you a fixed regular payment until you die, then your heirs get nothing.  However, most Australians just convert their super into an "income stream" pension.   If you do that, then you choose how much pension you get paid and you can change it any time.  When you die, the balance goes to your estate.


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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9 hours ago, newjez said:

“Could they not just bleed small amounts to keep under UK tax thresholds?”

That is what I was thinking we could do. The U.K.  threshold is around 12,500 per person. So you would get £12,500 tax free per year and pay tax on anything else. We wouldn’t get state pension for another 5 years after we retire at 60 anyway so don’t need to take that into account straight away. 

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8 hours ago, Martinbjulieb said:

That is what I was thinking we could do. The U.K.  threshold is around 12,500 per person. So you would get £12,500 tax free per year and pay tax on anything else. We wouldn’t get state pension for another 5 years after we retire at 60 anyway so don’t need to take that into account straight away. 

12500 is still a reportable lump sum so I would check it doesn’t raise any issues. Anyway while you leave your super in accumulation mode, it’s being taxed within the fund at 15%, so you’ll be better off moving it to an income stream when you can, because then there’s no tax.

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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