Transferring Australian superannuation to the Summer KiwiSaver scheme

If you have worked in Australia at any time since 1992 and have moved back to New Zealand, you may have Australian superannuation. This is money saved from your earnings in Australia to provide for your retirement.

You may benefit from transferring your Australian superannuation into your KiwiSaver scheme. Bringing your Australian superannuation back to New Zealand can make it easier to manage. It can help you track the progress of your investments and make informed decisions. You might also save money on fees.

Below we answer common questions about your Australian superannuation, and how to transfer it into the Summer KiwiSaver scheme. It includes which funds can be transferred, the process involved and what happens when your Australian funds arrive in New Zealand.

 

Alternatively you can view our handy guide to Australian superannuation transfers (PDF, 478KB)

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Find out if you have any Australian superannuation money

You are likely to have Australian superannuation money if you worked in Australia after 1992 as an employee (not self-employed).

Your employer would have paid this money directly to your Australian superannuation provider. The percentage of income for this has been steadily rising, from 3% of income back in 1992, with a goal of being as high as 12% by 2026. You may have saved a significant sum!

Maybe, like many people who have lived in Australia and then moved, you’ve lost touch with your superannuation money. You may need to find out which Australian superannuation provider you are with, which fund or funds you invested in, or what fees you are paying.

Find out if you have ‘lost super’

First, contact the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). You can phone them at +61 2 6216 1111 or visit their site.

By post with the Searching for lost and unclaimed super form

By phone, +61 2 6216 1111, ask the ATO to send you a Searching for lost and unclaimed super form.

Online, you can download this form here.

If you are a member of the Summer KiwiSaver scheme, bring this form to your nearest Forsyth Barr office. We can help you complete the form and post it to the ATO for you.

The ATO will respond with a list of any active superannuation accounts you have. They will also identify any superannuation money belonging to you that is currently held by the ATO.

Online using the ATO web site and MyGov

Online, go to: https://www.ato.gov.au/forms/searching-for-lost-super/

Follow their instructions to create a MyGov profile. With your MyGov profile, you can check your superannuation status and providers online.

If you have two or more superannuation accounts, you can combine them into one account using your MyGov profile. You can find more information here.

You can also consolidate your funds using one of your superannuation providers.

 

Learn if your Australian superannuation can be transferred to KiwiSaver

You may be able to transfer your Australian superannuation money to your Summer account. To do this, make sure your money is invested with an Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) certified provider. You can check if your fund is APRA certified by checking the super fund look-up website.

Some funds cannot have money transferred to KiwiSaver

Money invested in the following funds cannot be moved to a KiwiSaver account. This is because these funds are not covered by the Trans-Tasman portability arrangement:

  • Self-managed super funds (SMSF)
  • Transition to retirement
  • Pension phase
  • Defined-benefit

To move SMSF money to New Zealand, you must transfer the SMSF into an accumulation account. This can include MySuper or a general retail, industry or an eligible rollover fund.

Summer can help you find out if your funds are transferrable

If you are unsure whether your Australian provider can transfer your money to KiwiSaver, please let us know. We are happy to contact them on your behalf to find out. We can also help you with the paperwork.

Transfers are for the whole amount of the money held in superannuation

Any transfer of Australian superannuation must be for the whole amount of the money invested with your Australian provider(s). This will result in your account being closed. Partial transfers are not an option.

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Reasons to consider transferring your Australian superannuation to New Zealand

Superannuation can be complex. It is important to make an informed decision.

Here are five reasons to consider consolidating your retirement savings in New Zealand.

  • Easier tracking – With all your retirement savings together, it is easier to track your progress towards your goal and make informed decisions around your investment.
  • New Zealand focus – You may prefer the investment mix and focus of a New Zealand investment manager.
  • Currency management – With your retirement savings in New Zealand, your investment manager monitors currency changes between the New Zealand dollar and foreign currencies.
  • Reducing fees – If your Australian superannuation is spread across multiple providers, you may be paying multiple sets of fees. You may reduce your overall fees by by moving your funds into one account.
  • Remove unneeded insurance premiums – Australian superannuation schemes may come with attached insurance. You could be paying unnecessary insurance premiums. For example, you might have similar cover in New Zealand. Or you might be unable to access the benefits of the insurance because you are now living in New Zealand.

If you decide to transfer your money, we can help you with the transfer.

What else should I be thinking about?

Consider your Australian superannuation fund’s fees

What fees are charged?

Before you decide to transfer your funds to New Zealand, we recommend reviewing the fees and benefits of your Australian superannuation fund.
How much are they and what are they for? Review the following fees:

  • Management fees
  • Performance fees
  • Account fees
  • Entry and exit fees

Check if any other fees are charged. See how much they are, and what they are for.

Are there insurance benefits?

Here are some questions to consider about insurance benefits.

  • Does your account have insurance policies or other benefits attached?
  • Do these benefits apply if you are not contributing to your fund?
  • Are you covered while living in New Zealand?
  • If you do have these benefits, how much do they cost you?

Are you already paying for similar insurance through policies you hold in New Zealand? Examples include insurance for life, income protection or permanent disablement.

Consider your personal situation and goals

Consider your own personal situation and what is best for you. These factors may affect your decision to transfer.

  • Tax regime differences – New Zealand and Australian taxes are different. Summer recommends seeking specialist tax advice to discuss the impact for you of bringing your investment to New Zealand.
  • First home purchase – Any funds you transfer from an Australian superannuation fund cannot be withdrawn later for a first home purchase.
  • Retirement age – The age when you can access superannuation if you decide to retire early (or are unable to work) in Australia is called your preservation age. It is determined by when you were born. If you would like to check what your preservation age is, go to the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) website and search for “preservation”.
  • Emigration plans – Are you planning to emigrate to another country after transferring Australian superannuation to a KiwiSaver account? If you do, you cannot then move the Australian sourced funds onto your next country of residence.

You can find more information below about first home withdrawal, accessing money at retirement and emigration.

 

You cannot use Australian superannuation for a first home withdrawal

Unfortunately, you cannot withdraw money transferred from Australian Superannuation for a first home purchase.
Investment returns on your New Zealand funds for money transferred from Australia are treated differently. You can withdraw these returns for a first home purchase. However, if the market performs poorly, this may result in losses which can impact the amount you can withdraw.

 

How Australia’s retirement definition affects withdrawing money

If you transfer your Australian superannuation to a KiwiSaver account, your retirement status affects when you can withdraw money. From age 60, you may be able to withdraw the amount you transferred if you meet the Australian definition of retired. This definition is currently:

  • having ceased all employment after you reach the age of 60,
  • never intending on entering full time or part time employment again.

If your Australian superannuation is already in New Zealand and you have an account with the Summer KiwiSaver scheme, you can withdraw some money. To do this, complete the Withdrawal of Australian Sourced Funds form.

If your Australian superannuation is still in Australia, and you want to withdraw money, please contact your Australian superannuation provider. If you would like to reinvest your Australian superannuation money after you take your money out, contact us. We can connect you with a Financial Adviser to help you choose your best investment options.

 

You can transfer money back to Australia if you return there

If you move back to Australia after transferring superannuation to the Summer KiwiSaver scheme, you can transfer your total balance back to Australia. To do this, complete the Transfer to an Australian Superannuation Fund form.

We recommend that you speak with your preferred Australian provider before you do any paperwork. Under the Trans-Tasman Portability arrangement, Australian superannuation providers can choose if they will receive New Zealand-sourced transfers. You need to confirm if the Australian provider you choose is willing to accept a New Zealand-sourced transfer and provide a letter of confirmation from them with your application.

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You can withdraw your KiwiSaver account balance if you move to other countries

If you emigrate permanently from New Zealand to any country but Australia, you can withdraw your KiwiSaver account balance as a cash payment.
You can do this after you have been away from New Zealand for more than 12 months. You cannot transfer:

  • any Government contributions (formerly known as Member Tax Credits) from the New Zealand government;
  • money transferred from Australian superannuation.

 

Summary table: accessing money from transferred Australian superannuation

Review this table to see when and why you can access money you’ve transferred from Australia to New Zealand.

Can I access
funds for…

Australian superannuation transferred to New Zealand Investment returns* on Australian superannuation transferred to New Zealand
Retirement If you meet the legal definition of retirement in Australia, you can access the money you transferred to New Zealand from age 60. You can generally access investment returns on the balance you transferred to New Zealand when you reach age 65.
First Home Purchase You cannot access the Australian money you transferred for the purchase of a first home. You may access investment returns on the balance you transferred from Australia for the purchase of a first home.
Significant financial hardship You can withdraw Australian sourced money if you are eligible to withdraw due to significant financial hardship. You can withdraw investment returns on the money you transferred from Australia if you are eligible to withdraw due to significant financial hardship.
Permanent emigration from New Zealand to a country other than Australia Australian sourced money cannot be transferred to a third country, and can only be moved between New Zealand and Australia. Investment returns on the money you transferred from Australia can be moved to a third country.

*However, if the market performs poorly, this may result in losses which can impact the amount you can withdraw

Please contact us or your Financial Adviser if you want to learn more.

 

We can help transfer your Australian superannuation to the Summer KiwiSaver scheme

If you want to transfer your Australian superannuation to your Summer account, contact us. We make it easy for you to follow the process and transfer your money.

When Summer receives your money from your Australian superannuation provider we will exchange it into New Zealand dollars. It will then be deposited into your Summer account and invested into the fund or funds that you choose:

  • Summer Conservative Selection
  • Summer Balanced Selection
  • Summer Growth Selection
  • My Plan – The Summer KiwiSaver scheme allows you to create your own portfolio of investments by choosing any combination of our funds.

Once this is complete, you can log into your Summer account and view your total KiwiSaver balance on your Dashboard.

To discuss where your money is invested, contact the Summer team. We can connect you with a Financial Adviser to provide you with guidance about your investment.

 

Steps to transfer Australian superannuation to the Summer KiwiSaver scheme

We can help you transfer your Australian superannuation to a Summer KiwiSaver scheme. Here’s how we can work together to do this for you.

1

Make an informed decision.

First, read this webpage. It can help you decide if bringing your Australian superannuation across to New Zealand is right for you. You can also contact one of our KiwiSaver Specialists or a Financial Adviser for more information. We also recommend you seek specialist tax advice.

2

If you know your Australian superannuation provider, contact us and we’ll get your transfer started.

We’ll work with you and your Australian provider to get the documents your Australian provider needs to complete your request.

3

If you have ‘lost’ your superannuation, contact the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and complete their Searching for Lost Super form. 

When you have completed the Searching for Lost Super form, send it to us at Summer. We will send this form to the ATO for you. Please tell us when the ATO responds to you with the details of your Australian provider(s).

4

Ask Summer to help with your superannuation transfer.

When you have completed your paperwork, send it to us at Summer. We’ll make sure everything is okay and provide our details before sending your transfer request to the Australian provider.

5

We’ll contact you with any information we get about your transfer. 

You may need to wait four to six weeks to get information about your transfer. The Australian provider may also contact you directly. If you need any help dealing with the Australian provider, please contact us and we will help work through their requirements with you.

 

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More questions? Ready to transfer?

Contact us or talk to your Financial Adviser if you would like to learn more.