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Returning to Australia

Find your way back home

There comes a time when Australia’s warm sandy beaches and the desire to be closer to friends and family lures us home. Once you have decided to return to Australia there are many considerations to take into account while planning for that flight home.

As an Australian living overseas you have accumulated assets and investments around the world that you will continue to benefit from following your return so structuring your estate to do so efficiently should be a principal consideration.

For over 29 years Northland Group have been assisting expats returning to Australia like you to identify and take the right next step for them on their journey home.

Northland Group has been assisting clients like you structure for their return to Australia for three decades.

As an Australian you will be familiar with the domestic superannuation fund regime that has assisted millions to provide from their retirements. Having lived and worked overseas you have likely been based in countries that structure their superannuation, or pensions, in different ways to Australia’s domestic system which has created challenges for returning Australians to efficiently benefit from the fruits of their overseas labours.

Recognising the issues inherent with treating and taxing foreign countries versions of superannuation as a foreign trust the foreign superannuation fund concept was introduced. Under this a qualifying foreign superannuation will be treated distinctly from and more favourably than a foreign trust. 

Foreign Superannuation Fund Structure

The treatment of the foreign superannuation fund when you drawdown on it in Australia is split into three sections:

In Australia, when drawing down neither the contributions nor the foreign income and gains are subject to personal income tax whereas applicable fund earnings are. Upon moving to Australia we assist our clients to segregate their funds so that their contributions and foreign income and gains are accounted for separately to their applicable fund earnings so that only once the former is fully drawn down do they move on to drawing down their AFE and being subject to personal income tax. Additionally assets can be segregated into separate sub-funds with different investment strategies allowing for further planning opportunities which you should discuss with your advisors.  

Elements of a Foreign Superannuation Fund

A foreign superannuation fund is an open architecture solution that can hold:

Investment Accounts or Portfolios

Insurance Policies

Private Equity

Operating Company Shares

Listed Equities

Commercial and Investment Residential Property


Other Assets

Note: Private use residential property in Australia and personal use assets cannot be held under your foreign superannuation fund.

For returning Australians the foreign superannuation fund is a flexible and efficient planning tool to meet long term needs. Northland Group representatives are happy to discuss with you and your advisors your circumstances to evaluate whether this might be the right next step for you and your family in your journey home. 

Download the Northland Group brochure for returning Australians below:

emigrating to australia for work

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