AUSTRALIA - Australian treasurer Peter Costello has announced that all future superannuation contributions and balances for temporary residents should be paid to the Australian Government.
The government would then hold the contributions on behalf of those who are entitled to them.
Costello said the measure would enable the government to establish a register of temporary residents’ superannuation, making it easier for them to locate and claim their superannuation.
It would also improve the problem of small balances becoming lost in the superannuation system and potentially being eroded by fees and charges, explained Costello.
However, employers would still be required to pay superannuation guarantee contributions for temporary residents but would have the choice of continuing to make payments to a superannuation fund or paying contributions directly to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
Temporary residents who permanently depart Australia would be able to claim back their superannuation by contacting the ATO within five years of permanent departure (subject to existing withholding tax arrangements).
The changes will become effective from 1 July 2008.
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