Supporting your Australian Super transfer
If you are thinking of transferring your Australian super fund to a KiwiSaver scheme there are some important considerations:
- You must belong to a KiwiSaver scheme that will accept your Australian transfer
- You can’t use your Australian super funds to purchase your first home or use them to count towards eligibility for the KiwiSaver HomeStart Grant
- Your one-off transfer won’t count as a KiwiSaver contribution towards your annual Government contribution
- You can withdraw your Australian super funds when you turn 60 if you meet the Australian definition of retired
- If you permanently migrate to a country other than New Zealand or Australia you can’t take your Australian super funds with you
- You can’t transfer any UK pension funds that might be in your Australian super fund to the Craigs KiwiSaver Scheme.
Australian Super Transfer FAQs & Documents
You need to understand the fees and expenses charged within your Australian scheme and compare these, along with investment performance, with the charges and performance of your New Zealand KiwiSaver account. We can help you with this and liaise with your Australian super provider.
Australian superannuation is available to access when you reach the age of 60 and you meet the Australian definition of “retired”. This is earlier than the current KiwiSaver entitlement age of 65. This means you could access the Australian transferred portion of your KiwiSaver savings if you decide to retire early.
It is important to note that you will not be able to withdraw your Australian superannuation funds for the purpose of buying your first home.
If I transfer my savings from Australia, can I withdraw these for reasons of significant financial hardship or serious illness?
Yes, Australian savings transferred to New Zealand will be subject to KiwiSaver rules regarding significant financial hardship and serious illness access. Likewise, New Zealand savings transferred to Australia will be subject to Australian rules regarding financial hardship and serious illness access.
What happens to unclaimed Australian superannuation funds?
Accounts of ‘lost’ members or accounts that have been inactive for five years and have a balance of A$2,000 or less are paid to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) and accrue interest at the Australian CPI Rate.
Balances of over A$2,000 remain with the existing Australian superannuation fund.
Other helpful links
- Financial Market Authority – Transferring AU Superannuation funds to KiwiSaver
- Australian Tax Office
- IRD KiwiSaver Information
- NZ-Australia retirement savings portability agreement
Arrangement between the Government of New Zealand and the Government of Australia on Trans-Tasman Retirement Savings Portability. July 2009.
Questions and answers on the NZ-Australia retirement savings portability agreement. July 2009.
Fees and expenses are an important consideration. It is often better to have one larger balance, as opposed to many smaller balances in different schemes, especially where schemes charge fixed fees or have minimum charges.
You need to understand the fees and expenses charged within your Australian scheme and compare these, along with investment performance, with the charges and performance of your New Zealand KiwiSaver account.
Unclaimed Australian superannuation funds can be transferred direct from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) to your KiwiSaver scheme if:
- you have an active KiwiSaver account
- you are a New Zealand resident
You will need to complete the Application for transfer of ATO-held USM to New Zealand form and send it to the ATO at the address on the form. The ATO process applications twice a year (currently this is February and August) – for more information visit the Australian Tax Office (ATO) website.
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