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Ian Horner

Claiming Super living in UK but not a dual citizen

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I have been looking for an answer to my query everywhere without success so here goes. I moved to Australia on a permanent residency visa subclass126 from the UK in 1996. I lived and worked in Sydney until 2004 when I returned to live in the UK after loosing most of my savings in a mortgage scam. I was fully employed and my employers paid into my Australiansuper account with whom I have remained in contact with and have received a six monthly statement from them since leaving Australia. I recently turned 65 so I assumed I was eligible to withdraw money from my fund. I filled in their forms and provided all the verified proofs of identity but was then asked for proof of my citizenship or valid permanent residency. I didn't aquire dual citizenship and my visa has obviously expired so I only have an old expired visa to present to them. I have enquired as to my residency status and have been informed that once you are granted  permanent residency then as the visa states it is permanent, only the right to return is removed if the visa is not renewed after five years. So the question is, do I have an entitlement to my fund and if not what happens to it? Of course no further payments have been made into my fund since I left Australia but the fund has grown over the years and is a major contributor to my retirement plans. All the information online tends to lean towards regaining entry to Australia after a visa has expired. Any advice at all would be much appreciated as my super fund just responds with a stock reply requesting a valid permanent visa when I explain the situation. Thanking anyone in advance.....Ian

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Posted (edited)

You are right, you are entitled to the money from the fund.  The important thing is that you were a member AT THE TIME you made the contributions.  So that is not a problem - if the super fund says it is, they are wrong, so argue with them.  If they persist, you may need some help:

https://www.afca.org.au/make-a-complaint/superannuation

The problem is the British taxman.  If you take a lump sum now, they could take over a third of the money!   

The safest solution is to ask the super fund to convert it to an "income stream", which is like a pension.  You can choose how much the pension payment is, and you can change it any time you like. So if you are still working, you might keep the amount low at first, then increase it later.

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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18 hours ago, Ian Horner said:

I have been looking for an answer to my query everywhere without success so here goes. I moved to Australia on a permanent residency visa subclass126 from the UK in 1996. I lived and worked in Sydney until 2004 when I returned to live in the UK after loosing most of my savings in a mortgage scam. I was fully employed and my employers paid into my Australiansuper account with whom I have remained in contact with and have received a six monthly statement from them since leaving Australia. I recently turned 65 so I assumed I was eligible to withdraw money from my fund. I filled in their forms and provided all the verified proofs of identity but was then asked for proof of my citizenship or valid permanent residency. I didn't aquire dual citizenship and my visa has obviously expired so I only have an old expired visa to present to them. I have enquired as to my residency status and have been informed that once you are granted  permanent residency then as the visa states it is permanent, only the right to return is removed if the visa is not renewed after five years. So the question is, do I have an entitlement to my fund and if not what happens to it? Of course no further payments have been made into my fund since I left Australia but the fund has grown over the years and is a major contributor to my retirement plans. All the information online tends to lean towards regaining entry to Australia after a visa has expired. Any advice at all would be much appreciated as my super fund just responds with a stock reply requesting a valid permanent visa when I explain the situation. Thanking anyone in advance.....Ian

If you can't get anywhere with the normal contact methods lodge it as a complaint (there's a lodge a complaint section on the AustralianSuper website) and if that still doesn't yield a result follow up with a complaint to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (www.afca.org.au). The latter do expect you to have lodged a complaint with the service provider first. I suggest you state when making the complaint to AustralianSuper that you'll be escalating the complaint to the Authority if you don't get a satisfactory response within x working days.


Chartered Accountant (England & Wales); Registered Tax Agent & Fellow of The Tax Institute (Australia)

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Thanks for the advice guys. I was beginning to believe that I was mistaken in thinking that the money was actually mine. Today I have found after much searching the replacement passport I had issued in Sydney containing another permanent resident visa so it is off to the solicitors again tomorrow to have a copy verified.  Taking the fund as a lump sum won't be a problem tax wise as we timed our UK and Australian pensions to be paid out in different tax years but thank you for the advice anyway. So fingers crossed I don't have to take any further action to release my fund. Stay safe....Ian

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