Transferring your savings to New Zealand
If you have retirement savings in an Australian complying superannuation scheme and have permanently moved to New Zealand, you can transfer these savings into a KiwiSaver scheme that accepts Australian transfers.
Before you transfer
Here’s some important information you need to know before bringing your savings to New Zealand.
- You can only transfer savings from an Australian complying superannuation scheme that is regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).
- If you have lost super (unclaimed super money) that’s being held by the Australian Tax Office (ATO), you’ll need to move the money to an Australian complying superannuation scheme first, before it can be transferred into your KiwiSaver account. This is because ATO is not a complying super fund.
- Your Australian savings have to be transferred into a KiwiSaver account held in your name.
- Your Australian savings will be ‘ring-fenced’ in your KiwiSaver account. This means that the Australian portion of your KiwiSaver savings will be identified separately from any subsequent contributions you may make. The Australian portion of your KiwiSaver savings will be invested and managed in the same way as any other subsequent savings made to your account, but some ‘home country’ rules will apply to your Australian savings. For example, you won’t be able to use the Australian-sourced funds of your KiwiSaver savings for a first home purchase withdrawal (including as a second-chance buyer), but any investment returns earned on your Australian-sourced funds may be used.
- You’re unable to transfer your Australian savings to another country (other than back to Australia) or cash it in as part of a permanent emigration withdrawal.
- The transfer of your Australian savings to New Zealand is exempt of New Zealand tax.
- The Government contribution of up to $521.43 per year will not be payable on Australian-sourced retirement savings contributions to your KiwiSaver account.
Your Australian complying superannuation scheme provider may charge a fee to transfer your savings to your KiwiSaver account. You should also consider any effects of currency conversion (including exchange rate fees) and any differences in the product terms, fees and tax treatment of the two schemes if you are considering transferring your superannuation savings from an Australian complying superannuation scheme.
We recommend that you seek personalised tax and investment advice before transferring your Australian savings, including advice as to the risks, benefits, and the options available to you.
How to transfer
- You’ll need to be a member of the BNZ KiwiSaver Scheme before you can request the transfer of your Australian superannuation savings. If your existing scheme provider doesn’t accept transfers, it’s easy to join or transfer to the BNZ KiwiSaver Scheme.
- If you’re not sure where your Australian superannuation is or how much you’ve got, the Australian Taxation Office will help you locate it. You’ll need your Australian Tax File Number, your name and date of birth to get started.
- Once you’ve located your superannuation money, you’ll need to check that your money is in an Australian complying superannuation scheme, which you can do by looking on superfundlookup.gov.au.
- If it is, you’ll then need to apply to your Australian scheme provider(s) to transfer it to New Zealand. You’ll need to provide them with the number of your BNZ KiwiSaver Scheme account (call us on 0800 269 5494 if you need help finding this).
How long it will take to bring your money across will be dependent on your Australian superannuation provider(s).
From the UK
If you’ve lived and worked in the UK, you may have retirement savings tucked away in pension schemes there.
If you’ve transferred UK pension money into another KiwiSaver scheme, you won’t be able to transfer it to the BNZ KiwiSaver Scheme.