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Transfer Australian Super to KiwiSaver

Have you worked in Australia after 1992 and contributed to an Australian complying superannuation scheme?

You can now bring your Aussie super savings back to New Zealand – provided you have permanently emigrated to New Zealand and the funds are transferred to a participating KiwiSaver scheme.

Ready to transfer your Aussie super?

You can start the process right away by filling out an authority to transfer form.

Need more information?

Read on for more details about the process and rules:

What is the process for transferring my Aussie super savings to the Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme?  

Just follow these steps. The option to transfer from Aussie super schemes is new so unfortunately we can’t tell you how long the process will take. But we’ll do our bit as fast as we can and keep you updated along the way.

  • Complete an authority to transfer form, giving us details about the Aussie super scheme you wish to transfer from. If you are not already a member, you will also need to join the Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme. Depending on your circumstances you may be required to make regular contributions to KiwiSaver after you join, so it is important you read the investment statement for the Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme and understand the rules before joining.
     
  • We will contact your Aussie super provider to request the documentation required to complete the transfer. It is likely they will require proof of your permanent emigration to New Zealand, a completed transfer form, a statutory declaration and ID documents.
     
  • You may want to seek independent financial and tax advice about whether to proceed with the transfer.
     
  • Once you have returned the completed transfer documentation to us we will complete our part, if applicable, and send it back to your Aussie super provider.
     
  • Your savings will be paid by your Aussie super provider as a lump sum in Australian dollars directly to our scheme. We will convert this to NZ dollars when payment confirmation is received. This means that your savings will be subject to currency fluctuations. Alternatively, payment can be made by your Aussie provider in NZ dollars directly to the scheme bank account if they agree to do this.  

You can start the process now by filling out an authority to transfer form.

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What are the benefits of transferring?

  • If you already have a KiwiSaver account in NZ and your super in Australia then you will be paying two sets of fees. If you have worked in several jobs in Australia you may have multiple schemes each with their own set of fees.  You can potentially reduce the total amount of fees you are paying by bring your super back to NZ.
     
  • Having your savings in a NZ scheme may make it easier to keep track of your savings and you’ll know what your total retirement savings are in your home currency.
     
  • By bringing your Aussie super savings to NZ you may be able to access information about your savings and make changes to your account easier by dealing with a NZ based customer service team.

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Are there any downsides?  

There are some differences between Aussie super schemes and KiwiSaver schemes which may affect the amount you can get when you can withdraw your savings, particularly if you have a large sum of money in Aussie super savings. You should consider the following factors when deciding whether to transfer your Aussie super savings to NZ. You may also want to seek independent financial and tax advice before proceeding with the transfer.

  • There is a difference in the rate of tax for investments between Australia and NZ. Depending on your situation you might pay less tax on your investment if you leave it in Australia.  
     
  • Your Aussie super savings will need to be converted to NZ dollars when the transfer is completed. Because the time it takes to process a transfer can vary and because exchange rates fluctuate, there is a risk that the exchange rate that applies to your transfer might adversely affect your retirement savings.  
     
  • You may have benefits such as guaranteed retirement payments or insurance associated with your Aussie super savings that you may have to give up if you transfer your savings to NZ. It is worthwhile checking with your Aussie super provider if any of these benefits apply to your super savings before you proceed with a transfer.

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What is the cost to transfer?  

We won’t charge you anything to transfer your Aussie super.

Your Aussie super savings will be converted to NZ dollars, deposited to your Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme account and invested according to your chosen investment direction.  

Although we won't charge you a fee to transfer, we can't guarantee that your Aussie super provider won't. Bank charges may also apply to the transfer.

Once your money is invested in the Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme you will be charged an annual member fee to cover the regular ongoing costs and expenses of the management and administration of your money. As well as our fee, there are other costs and expenses associated with investing in our scheme. You can find more information about our fees and the other costs and expenses on our website or in the investment statement for the Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme.

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Are there any rules I need to know about?  

Generally once your Aussie super savings have been transferred, the normal KiwiSaver rules will apply to these savings. However, there are some exceptions:  

  • You cannot make a withdrawal before your retirement age of the money transferred from Australia for the purchase of a first home.  
     
  • Transferred Aussie super scheme savings cannot be transferred to a third country, but if you permanently emigrate back to Australia you can transfer your KiwiSaver account, including the Aussie super savings, to an Aussie super scheme.
     
  • You may also be able to access the transferred Aussie super savings from your KiwiSaver account from age 60, provided you satisfy the Australian definition of retirement at that age.
     
  • Amounts transferred from Aussie super schemes will not count towards your eligibility for member tax credits.

KiwiSaver providers are not required to accept transfers from Australian super schemes. This means that if you decide to change KiwiSaver providers in the future you will need to check that your new provider will accept amounts from an Australian super scheme before you can transfer to their scheme.

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What if I don’t know who my Aussie super provider is?  

If you worked in Australia, and your superannuation provider hasn’t been able to contact you since you moved back to New Zealand, there is a good chance your savings have been added to the ‘lost’ accounts of their system. The Australian Tax Office estimated that it had about AUD$18 billion in these lost accounts. Also, if you had more than one job in Australia, you may have several superannuation accounts – potentially getting whittled away by fees if their balances are low.

You can check for your lost accounts for free on the Australian Tax Office website. You will need your Australian Tax File Number to search (if you can’t locate this, download the Searching For Lost Super form).

If you have more than one superannuation account in Australia you may be able to ‘rollover’ your accounts into one consolidated account now to minimise fees or to prepare for transferring these funds to your KiwiSaver account.

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Can I transfer my KiwiSaver savings to an Australian super scheme?  

KiwiSaver members who permanently emigrate to Australia may transfer their entire KiwiSaver account balance to an Australian complying superannuation scheme that agrees to accept the transfer. You can find a list of Australian complying superannuation schemes on this website.

You cannot transfer your KiwiSaver savings to an Australian self-managed fund.

Generally, your KiwiSaver savings will be subject to Aussie super rules with the following exceptions:  

  • You will not be able to access the portion of your Aussie super savings that has been transferred from KiwiSaver until you reach the age of entitlement to NZ Superannuation. Currently this is age 65.
     
  • You will not be able to transfer the portion of your Aussie super savings that has been transferred from KiwiSaver to a third country, although you can bring them back to a KiwiSaver scheme if you return to live in NZ.
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  • You can't withdraw your KiwiSaver savings before your retirement age to purchase a first home in Australia.

If you would like to apply to transfer your Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme account balance to an Australian complying superannuation scheme you will need to complete a transfer application form and post this to us.

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