Can I transfer my Australian pension back to Ireland?

Ask the Experts: Is it possible to continue to make payments into my Superannuation?

If you are coming (or returning) to Ireland, you can get tax relief for pension contributions made to pre-existing plans with a pension provider in another EU member state only.

If you are coming (or returning) to Ireland, you can get tax relief for pension contributions made to pre-existing plans with a pension provider in another EU member state only.

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Question

I’ve lived in Australia for seven years. I’m now an Australian citizen. I plan to move back to Ireland in the near future. I have an Australian Superannuation (state pension) account. Is there precedent for transferring your pension from Australia to Ireland? If i decide to keep them separate and continue to make contributions to both, can my Australian superannuation contributions be used for tax reduction purposes?

Answer: Eileen Devereux, commercial director, Taxback. com

Australia

Workers who are departing Australia permanently and are not Australian citizens or permanent residents are entitled to claim back their Superannuation payments under the Departing Australia Superannuation Payments (DASP) online system.

Even if you’re leaving the country permanently, if you’re an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you are not eligible. .

You won’t be able to access your super until you reach your “preservation age”, which will be between 55 and 60, depending on when you were born.

However, if you’re going to continue working for an Australian employer (if you were transferred to Ireland, for example), they may still be required to contribute to your super, so check the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website for more information.

You can further information regarding fees incurred for transferring your pension from Australia to Ireland at worldpensiontransfers.com.au.

Ireland

If you are coming (or returning) to Ireland, you can get tax relief for pension contributions made to pre-existing plans with a pension provider in another EU member state only.

Where the relief applies, the contributions to the overseas plan are treated as if they were made to an occupational pension scheme, PRSA or RAC, as appropriate.

Based on this, Superannuation contributions would not qualify for a tax relief in Ireland.

With regards to transferring of accumulated Superannuation funds from Australia to Ireland and based on the Double Taxation Agreement between both countries, all pensions and annuities paid to an Irish resident shall be taxable in Ireland.

There is a doubt whether a Superannuation fund could be considered as a pension and/or annuity (if not paid periodically), but even if it is not considered as such, it would be considered as once-off withdrawal and again, it would be taxable in Ireland.

And since this income will be taxed in Australia as well, you might be entitled to a foreign tax credit in Ireland for any tax paid in Australia.

Have a query for our panel of experts about emigrating, life abroad or moving home? Click here to submit yours. This column is a reader service and is not intended to replace professional advice. Unfortunately we cannot provide personal responses to every query and only those selected for publication will be answered.

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