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.

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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 a significant sum.

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) and completing their searching for lost super form and posting it over to them, or alternatively dropping it into your nearest Forsyth Barr office so that 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 online who you have your superannuation with and if you have multiple Super account, you can even roll them over into one account using the ATO.

 

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 overall purpose, before making a decision to transfer 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? Have a look for management fees, performance fees, account fees, entry and exit fees, and see how much they are.

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? Are you already paying for similar insurance through policies you hold in New Zealand - be they life, income protection or permanent disablement (for example).

It is important to make an informed decision. Superannuation can be complex and before making a decision to transfer 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 of reasons to consider consolidating your superannuation investment in New Zealand.

  • With all your retirement savings together, it is easier to track your progress towards your goal and make informed decisions around your investment.
  • You may prefer the investment mix and focus of a New Zealand investment manager.
  • Having it in New Zealand means that your New Zealand investment manager will be monitoring exposure to currency fluctuations between the New Zealand dollar and foreign currencies.
  • If your Australian superannuation is spread across multiple providers, you may be paying multiple sets of fees. 
  • Australian superannuation schemes often come with attached insurance. This means that you could be paying unnecessary insurance premiums – 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.

What else you should think about.

While the above covers some potential benefits of transferring, you also need to consider your own personal situation and what is best for you.

For example, any funds you transfer from an Australian superannuation fund cannot subsequently be withdrawn for a first home purchase. There may also be an impact on when you can withdrawal funds upon reaching preservation or retirement age. Likewise, if you emigrate to another country after transferring your Australian superannuation investment to your KiwiSaver account, you cannot then move it onto your next country of residence.

Finally an important consideration is that 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 this page, 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 a Forsyth Barr 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 and completing their searching for lost super form.

If you know your Australian provider, please contact us and 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 transfer.

Step 3.

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

Step 4.

Send everything back to Summer, we’ll make sure everything is okay 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 provider 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

If you do transfer your Australian superannuation to Summer, your Australian funds, once received and exchanged into New Zealand dollars will be deposited into your Summer account. The funds will then be invested into the Summer Investment Selection or My Plan (according to your elected percentage) as previously selected by yourself. You will then be able to view your balance on your Summer Dashboard when you log in to your online account.

If you would like to discuss your current asset allocation we provide you with access to a network of Forsyth Barr Authorised Financial Advisers who can provide you with guidance. Alternatively, you can contact the Summer team and we can connect you with a Forsyth Barr 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 intend on entering full time or part time employment again

If your Australian savings are already in New Zealand you are able to make a withdrawal using the Withdrawal of Australian Sourced Funds form.

If your Superannuation funds are still located in Australia, please contact your Australian Superannuation provider to organise a withdrawal.

If you would like to reinvest your Australian Superannuation funds upon withdrawal, please let us know if you would like to speak with a Forsyth Barr Authorised Financial Adviser about investment options.

 

First home withdrawals

Unfortunately, money transferred from the Australian superannuation system is not able to be withdrawn for a first home purchase.

  

What happens if my plans change and I move back to Australia?

If you move back to Australia after transferring to the Summer KiwiSaver scheme, you are able to transfer your savings back to Australia.

Simply complete the Transfer to an Australian Superannuation Fund form.

As part of the transfer, Summer will provide a statement to your Australian provider showing which components of your savings were previously counted toward the non-concessional contributions cap. This will assist the Australian provider in making a determination on how to treat the funds when they arrive.

We recommend speaking with your preferred Australian provider prior to completing any paperwork. It is voluntary for Australian providers to receive New Zealand sourced balances under the Trans-Tasman portability arrangement.

 

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 certified 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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Moving overseas (to countries other than Australia)

If you are emigrating permanently to anywhere other than Australia, you can transfer your KiwiSaver account balance as a cash payment once you have been away for more than 12 months. This excludes any Government contribution and amount transferred from an Australian complying superannuation scheme.