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  • Transferring amounts to an Australian super fund

    Certain conditions must be met before your complying Australian super fund can accept a transfer from your foreign super fund.

    You have to pay income tax on the applicable fund earnings component of a foreign fund transfer. You may also have to pay excess contributions tax.

    Find out about:

    Conditions that must be met

    A transfer can only occur between a foreign super fund and a complying Australian super fund if the conditions in the following table are met.

    A transfer from your foreign super fund is a member contribution.

    Age limits

    If you are aged 65 years or more at the time of the transfer, your Australian super fund can only accept the contribution if you meet the work test.

    The 'work test' requires a person to have worked at least 40 hours within 30 consecutive days in a financial year. People who are aged between 65 and 74 years must meet the work test to be allowed to make personal superannuation contributions.

    If you are under 65 at the time of the transfer, your Australian super fund can accept the contribution even if you are not working.

    Your Australian super fund cannot accept a member contribution for you if you are aged 75 or more.

    Tax file number (TFN)

    Your Australian super fund cannot accept a transfer from your foreign fund unless:

    • you have given your Australian super fund your TFN, or
    • you give your Australian super fund your TFN within 30 days of making the foreign transfer.

    If your Australian super fund does not have your TFN they must return the whole amount to your foreign fund.

    Fund-capped contribution limit

    If your Australian super fund receives a transfer from your foreign fund which is more than your fund-capped contribution limit, it must return to the foreign fund the amount that is over your fund-capped contribution limit within 30 days.

    This rule is designed to prevent you from inadvertently exceeding your non-concessional contributions cap.

    You cannot claim a personal superannuation deduction for any part of the transfer from the foreign fund.

    Your fund-capped contribution limit for a financial year depends on your age on 1 July of the financial year.

    If, on 1 July of the financial year, you are:

    • 65 years of age or older, your fund-capped contribution limit is the non-concessional contributions cap for that financial year
    • 64 years of age or less, your fund-capped contribution limit is three times the non-concessional contributions cap for that financial year.

    See also:

    Key superannuation rates and thresholds

    Example 1

    Santiago is 68 years old and transfers his super interest of A$198,000 from Argentina to Australia in 2008–09. Santiago was unaware that the contribution would count towards his non-concessional contributions cap. He meets the work test and has given his fund his TFN. However, as he is older than 65, his fund-capped contribution limit is only $150,000.

    Santiago's Australian super fund must return the excess A$48,000 to his super fund in Argentina. He waits until the next financial year to transfer the excess $48,000 to his Australian super fund so that he doesn’t exceed his non-concessional contributions cap.

    End of example
      Last modified: 01 Sep 2016QC 21943