AUSTRALIAN SUPERANNUATION TRANSFERS FAQS
Craigs offer a complimentary Australian Superannuation Transfer service to help when transferring your Australian Superannuation into your KiwiSaver account. By consolidating your retirement savings into one scheme, you could benefit from lower fees and reduced stress of managing multiple investments and multiple managers in different countries.
You can consolidate your retirement savings into one scheme in your country of residence, this removes the difficulty of managing multiple investments in different currencies in different countries. This will mean simplified reporting of your total investment holdings, and potentially reduce the fees associated with having multiple schemes.
Australian retirement savings - Australian retirement savings that are transferred to a New Zealand KiwiSaver scheme can be accessed at the age of 60, if you meet the Australian definition of "retired". You may also access these funds if approval for a Significant Financial Hardship or Serious Illness withdrawal is granted by the scheme Supervisor. Your transferred Australian funds cannot be withdrawn to purchase your first home and you are not entitled to Government Contributions on the transferred amount. Please note that these funds cannot be subsequently transferred to a third country.
KiwiSaver retirement savings - KiwiSaver retirement savings that are transferred to an Australian scheme regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority can be accessed when the member reaches the age of retirement as defined in the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001 (currently 65). Funds cannot be transferred to or held in self-managed superannuation funds; and cannot be subsequently transferred to a third country.
Funds cannot be transferred direct from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) to your KiwiSaver account. Funds must first be transferred to an open Australian Super Fund account in your name from where they can then be transferred to New Zealand. If you do not have an open account you will be able to open one from New Zealand – all you will need is your Australian Tax File Number (TFN).
Once your Australian Super Fund account is open, download the Payment of Unclaimed Superannuation Money form and return to the ATO.
If you have worked in Australia at any time since 1992 then you may have funds in one or more Australian superannuation schemes. If you are not sure whether you have a balance, use the complimentary tracking service 'SuperSeeker' provided by the Australian Taxation Office, for locating any lost super accounts. To use this service:
- Visit the Australian Tax Office’s website
- Call +61 132 865 (Fast key 1 then 2)
When using this service, you will be asked to provide:
- Your full name
- Your Australian tax file number (TFN)
- Your date of birth
If you have forgotten your TFN, call the Australian Tax Office on +61 132 861 during weekdays. Alternatively, you can download the Searching for Lost Super form. You'll need to send the completed form to the Australian Taxation Office: PO Box 3578, Albury, NSW 2640, Australia.
What is KiwiSaver?
KiwiSaver is a Government initiative that provides incentives for eligible New Zealanders, including Government contributions (previously called Member Tax Credits) and employer contributions, aimed at helping you save for retirement.
You can join KiwiSaver if you are:
- a New Zealand citizen, or entitled to live in New Zealand indefinitely, and
- living or normally living in New Zealand (with some exceptions).
You are unable to join the Scheme if you are:
- holding a temporary, visitor, work or student permit,
- living overseas, unless you're a government employee:
- serving outside New Zealand, and
- employed on New Zealand terms and conditions, and
- serving in a jurisdiction where offers of KiwiSaver scheme membership are lawful.
If you are employed you can contribute a regular amount of 3%, 4%, 6%, 8% or 10% of your before tax salary or wages. Your contribution is deducted
from your after-tax pay and paid to the Scheme via Inland Revenue. If you do
not choose a rate, the default contribution rate is 3%.
You can change the rate at which
you contribute to the Scheme or apply for a ‘savings suspension’.
You may also pay additional regular or lump sum amounts into the Scheme at any time.
If you are over 18 and contributing into KiwiSaver, you may also be entitled to employer contributions. Your employer contributions will be a minimum of 3% of your before-tax pay and are subject to tax.
If you are self-employed (and do not deduct PAYE), aged over 65 or not working, you can make lump sum payments or regular contributions to the Scheme. You can decide the timing and amount of your contributions.
In most cases your employer will be required to contribute as well (minimum 3% of your gross salary or wages).
If you are Employed
If you are 18 or over and under age 65, you will automatically be enrolled in KiwiSaver when you start a new job. Your employer will deduct contributions from your pay, unless you decide to opt out. You can do this within a certain timeframe and your contributions will be refunded.
If you are already in a job, you can also join. Choose a KiwiSaver Scheme of your preference or let your employer know you want to opt in. You have three months to select your preferred KiwiSaver scheme, then you are enrolled in one of the default providers’ schemes.
If 12 months or more have passed since Inland Revenue or a KiwiSaver scheme received your first contribution, you can take a break from making KiwiSaver contributions (known as a Savings Suspension). Your Savings Suspension can last between 3 months and 1 year. There is no limit to the number of times you can take a Savings Suspension.
If you are Self-employed
As someone who is self-employed you can make payments directly to your KiwiSaver provider.
You can contribute when and how much you want to contribute. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you may want to contribute at least $1,042.86 each year (1 July to 30 June), to ensure you receive the maximum Government Contribution. This is currently up to $521.43 per year. To read more about the Government Contribution please read the Other Material Information.
You can join KiwiSaver even if you are not employed. To ensure you receive the maximum government contribution you will need to contribute at least $1042.86 each year. The Government will then give you a tax credit of 50 cents for every dollar you contribute (up to $521.43) per year if you meet the eligibility criteria.
Enrol your children into KiwiSaver. This is a great way to start saving for their future. Minors are not eligible for Government Contributions.
As a minor and non-working, there are no requirements around an initial contribution or minimum annual contribution. A working minor must make KiwiSaver employee contributions (until eligible for a Savings Suspension). Employers are not required to make compulsory employer contributions on behalf of a minor. You can make voluntary contributions to your children's KiwiSaver accounts at any time.
As legal guardian, you will be able to instruct across your child’s KiwiSaver until they turn 18 years of age.
Why choose Craigs KiwiSaver Scheme?
Craigs KiwiSaver Scheme provides you with the flexibility to build a portfolio of investments from our list of Investment Options and allows you to select and change investments that suit your risk profile and objectives.
A Craigs investment adviser is available to help you select your investments at no additional cost. By joining the scheme, you will also gain access to Craigs’ market research which enables you to keep informed of investing opportunities in a timely manner
You can change the composition of your portfolio as your circumstances change by contacting your Craigs investment adviser or by completing an Investment Direction & Switch Form.
What are my investment options?
You should take this opportunity to review your current investment needs and goals to ensure your investments are suitable. The suitability of the investments offered by KiwiSaver providers is a key consideration.
Craigs KiwiSaver Scheme is one of the only providers in New Zealand that allows you to build a portfolio of investments from our Investment Options that suits your risk profile and investment objectives. Our Investment Options include a range of equity, fixed interest, investment trusts, NZ managed funds, index funds and listed property trust investments, available on local and international listed and unlisted markets, together with cash.
The Investment Options include securities denominated in foreign currencies including Australian Dollars (AUD) so you can maintain your investments in AUD and invest in other markets when you consider it is favourable to do so.
What are the costs?
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.
Funds will be subject to the tax rules of the country they are transferred to.
Earnings from Australian superannuation schemes are generally taxed at a rate of 15%. In contrast, KiwiSaver investment earnings are taxed at either your Prescribed Investor Rate (PIR) at 10.5%, 17.5% or 28% or at a flat rate of 28%.
The calculation of assessable income differs between Australia and New Zealand, so although schemes pay a different rate of tax, they do not pay tax on the same income. The actual tax outcome will depend on the assets and structure of the schemes and a direct comparison is difficult. We suggest you seek professional tax advice to discuss the tax implications of transferring your superannuation savings.
Australian superannuation funds may provide life cover, total and permanent disability insurance and income protection insurance. The premiums are paid from the scheme. Insurance is not offered within KiwiSaver schemes. If your Australian superannuation includes these benefits, you need to be aware:
- if you transfer to KiwiSaver any cover you have may lapse;
- if circumstances of your health have changed since your original insurance commenced there may be implications on new insurance; and
- if you require replacement insurance this should be in place before you transfer to ensure continuity of your cover
To find out if you have any cover with your Australian superannuation contact your provider as this cover may be lost if you transfer your retirement savings.
When will I be able to access my funds?
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.
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.
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
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.
NZ-Australia retirement savings portability agreement - questions and answers
Questions and answers on the NZ-Australia retirement savings portability agreement. July 2009.
Payment of Unclaimed Superannuation Money form