What happens when you leave will depend on whether you’re an Australian citizen, permanent or temporary resident of Australia, or a New Zealand citizen.
I'm an Australian citizen, permanent resident of Australia, or New Zealand citizen
Your super will remain subject to the normal rules if you leave Australia – even if you’re departing permanently. Generally, this means you won’t be able to access your super until you reach your preservation age and retire, cease a paid work arrangement after reaching age 60, or reach age 65 (unless you meet a special condition of early release).
However, if you depart permanently, you’ll generally no longer receive super guarantee contributions from an Australian employer. Even if you work for the same employer when you’re overseas they won’t have to make contributions for you if you’re considered a non-resident for tax purposes.
If you're an Australian employee sent to work temporarily in another country, your employer must generally continue to pay super guarantee contributions in Australia for you.
If you’re an Australian citizen moving permanently to New Zealand, or a New Zealand citizen leaving Australia permanently, you may be able to transfer your super to the KiwiSaver scheme.
Once you’ve left Australia, you should check your super regularly to make sure your investment strategy and any insurance arrangements continue to suit your lifestyle.
I'm a temporary resident
If you're a current or former temporary resident (but not an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or a New Zealand citizen), you may be eligible to access your super when you leave Australia and cease to be a temporary resident. To do this, you need to claim a Departing Australia Superannuation Payment. Depending on your situation, up to 65% tax can apply to this type of payment.
If you leave Australia and cease to be a temporary resident, your super fund will generally be required to transfer your super balance to the ATO (you can then claim this payment from the ATO).