Australian superannuation transfers

Have you worked in Australia at any time since 1992 and since moved back to New Zealand? Now might be a good time to think about bringing your Australian superannuation back into your KiwiSaver account.

Below we cover some common questions around Trans-Tasman including the transfer process and what happens when your Australian funds arrive.

 

Do I have any Australian superannuation?

If you were an employee, (not self employed) and have worked in Australia since 1992 then you are likely to have accumulated some superannuation funds.

These would have been paid direct to your superannuation fund by your employer. The contribution rate your employer had to pay has been rising, from 3% of your income back in 1992, with a goal of being as high as 12% by 2026 – this means you may have saved quite a bit!

But it’s possible that, like many people, you’ve lost touch with your money.

You may be unclear about which superannuation provider you are with, which fund you are invested in or what fees are being paid. Or you may have lost track of your contributions completely.

Summer can help you find your money. Make a start by contacting the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) using their searching for lost super form and post it over to them, or alternatively drop it into your nearest Forsyth Barr office and we can post it on your behalf.

You could also utilise the ATO’s online services and create a MyGov profile. This will allow you to check who you have your superannuation with online.

 

I have superannuation in Australia, can it be transferred to my Summer KiwiSaver scheme account?

If your funds are invested with an Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) certified provider, then you are likely to be able to bring your investment across to your Summer KiwiSaver scheme account. You can check whether your fund is APRA certified by going to the super fund look-up website.

Self managed super funds' (SMSF) are not covered by the trans-Tasman portability arrangements and can't be moved to KiwiSaver.

If you are unsure whether your Australian provider is willing to make a transfer, please let us know. We are happy to contact them on your behalf to confirm, and can organise to get the transfer paperwork for you.

 

Understanding your Australian superannuation product

Though some of the Australian superannuation funds on offer may look similar to KiwiSaver, and exist for the same purpose, it is important to understand the structure, fees and other benefits that exist within the fund(s) you are currently invested in.

Some things to think about are:

1) What fees are charged? – How much are they and what are they for? Every investment is different and may include management fees, performance fees, account fees, entry and exit fees.

2) Are there additional benefits? – Do these apply if you are not contributing to your fund? If they do, how much do these benefits cost you and are you covered while living in New Zealand? Perhaps you are already paying for insurance through policies you hold here be they life, income protection or permanent disablement for example.

It is important to make an informed decision. Superannuation can be complex and we recommend seeking confirmation from your Australian superannuation provider about the fees and benefits that are associated with your Australian superannuation account. Once you have made a decision, we can help you with the transfer.

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Why consider a transfer?

There are a number or reasons to consider consolidating your superannuation investment in New Zealand.

  • With all your retirement savings together, it is significantly easier to track your progress towards your goal and make informed decisions around your investment.
  • Having it in New Zealand removes exposure to currency fluctuations between the New Zealand and Australian dollar.
  • You may prefer the investment mix and focus of a New Zealand investment manager.
  • There may be multiple sets of fees. This is a consideration if your Australian superannuation is spread across multiple providers. 
  • Australian superannuation schemes often come with attached insurance. This means that you could be paying unnecessary insurance premiums – you might have cover in New Zealand, or you might be unable to access the benefits of the insurance because you are now living in New Zealand.

Because the New Zealand and Australian tax regimes are different, we recommend that you obtain specialist tax advice to discuss what effect bringing your investment to New Zealand may have.

 

Transferring your Australian superannuation to the Summer KiwiSaver scheme

Step 1.

Make an informed decision.

Please read the information contained on these pages, as it will assist you in making a decision about whether or not you can bring your Australian superannuation funds across to New Zealand.
If you wish to speak with one of our KiwiSaver Specialists or an Authorised Financial Adviser regarding your situation, please contact us - we are happy to help.

Step 2.

If you have “lost” your superannuation, make a start by contacting the ATO using their searching for lost super form.

If you know your Australian provider, fill in the Transfer of Australian superannuation savings to Summer KiwiSaver scheme form and get it back to us. We’ll get the process underway.

Please note that any transfer of Australian superannuation must be for the whole amount of the funds invested with your Australian provider(s). You are not able to undergo a partial withdrawal.

Step 3.

We’ll get in touch with the Australian provider and work with you to get everything together that the Australian fund needs to action your request.

Step 4.

Send everything back to Summer, we’ll make sure everything is ok and provide our details before sending your request off to the Australian provider.

Step 5.

You may need to give it a little time, but we’ll be in touch with any information we get regarding your transfer, please be aware that the Australian fund may also get in touch with you directly.

Should you need any assistance in dealing with the Australian provider please contact us and we’ll be in touch.

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Once your Australian funds arrive

Your Australian funds, once received and exchanged into New Zealand dollars will be deposited into your Summer account. The funds will then be invested per your current asset allocation, which is displayed on your Dashboard. If you would like to discuss your current asset allocation we provide you with access to a network of Authorised Financial Advisers who can help with any guidance you may need. Alternatively, you can contact the Summer team and we can connect you with an Authorised Financial Adviser in your region.

 

Retirement

If you transfer your Australian superannuation funds to a KiwiSaver scheme, you may be able to get the amount you transferred out at age 60 if you meet the Australian definition of retired. This is currently:

  • Having ceased all employment after you reach the age of 60
  • Never again intend on entering paid employment for more than 10 hours per week

If you already fall into this category, you can just withdraw the money from your Australian superannuation fund. Please complete the Withdrawal of Australian sourced funds form.

 

First home

Unfortunately, money transferred from Australian superannuation sourced funds is not able to be used for first home withdrawals.

  

What do I need to do to transfer my KiwiSaver to Australia

Trans-Tasman portability works both ways. If you have a KiwiSaver account and have permanently emigrated to Australia, you are able to take your entire KiwiSaver balance back to Australia with you.

What do I need to do?

Make sure you have an account open with an Australian superannuation provider.

Firstly, check whether the Australian provider is APRA at Super fund look-up.

Then you need to check with your Australian superannuation provider that they are willing to accept transfers in of KiwiSaver funds. This is voluntary and fund providers are not required to accept transfers.

Lastly, complete the Transfer to an Australian superannuation fund form.

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