• Trans-Tasman retirement savings portability scheme for individuals

    Overview

    From 1 July 2013, individuals may transfer retirement savings between Australia and New Zealand after their emigration from one country to the other.

    The transfer of retirement savings is voluntary for members. It is also voluntary for Australian super funds as to whether they will accept transferred retirement savings. Check with your Australian super fund to confirm whether they are participating in the scheme.

    You may only transfer retirement savings between a complying super fund regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and a New Zealand KiwiSaver scheme.

    Further information

    For more information on transferring retirement savings between the two countries, see Transfers to Australia or Transfers to New Zealand

    For more information on New Zealand KiwiSaver schemes, see kiwisaver.govt.nz/newExternal Link

    End of further information

    Transfers to Australia

    If you are planning on moving permanently or indefinitely to Australia, you may transfer your retirement savings from a KiwiSaver scheme to a participating Australian super fund.

    Rules for transfers to Australia

    Once the savings in your KiwiSaver scheme have been transferred to your Australian super fund, it is generally subject to Australia's superannuation rules.

    However, there are some rules that apply only to money transferred from a KiwiSaver scheme and held in an Australian super fund – for example:

    • it can only be transferred to, and held in, a complying super fund regulated by APRA
    • it cannot be transferred to a self-managed super fund
    • it can be accessed when the member reaches New Zealand's retirement age (currently 65).

    Income tax

    Transfers from a New Zealand KiwiSaver scheme are not taxed when you transfer them to a participating Australian super fund. They are also taxfree when you withdraw them from your super account once you are legally allowed to access them.

    Excess contributions tax

    New Zealand-sourced retirement savings transferred to Australia are treated as non-concessional (or personal) contributions.

    There is a cap on the amount of non-concessional contributions that you can make to your super each financial year. If you contribute more than this cap, you may have to pay excess contributions tax.

    Further information

    For more information about excess contributions tax (including information about concessional and non-concessional contributions), see Super contributions too much super can mean extra tax.

    For more information on transfers to Australia, see our frequently asked questions.

    End of further information

    Transfers to New Zealand

    If you are planning on moving permanently or indefinitely to New Zealand, you may transfer your retirement savings from a participating Australian super fund to a New Zealand KiwiSaver scheme.

    You may only transfer retirement savings between a complying APRA-regulated superannuation fund and a KiwiSaver scheme.

    Rules for transfers to New Zealand

    Once the savings in your Australian super fund have been transferred to your KiwiSaver scheme, it is generally subject to New Zealand's retirement savings rules.

    However, there are some rules that apply only to money transferred from an Australian super fund to a KiwiSaver scheme – for example:

    • it can only be transferred from complying super funds regulated by APRA
    • it cannot be used to purchase your first home
    • it cannot be moved to a third country
    • it can be accessed when the member reaches 60 years of age and satisfies the Australian definition of retirement at that age.

    Income tax

    Transfers from a participating Australian super fund are not taxed when you transfer them to a New Zealand KiwiSaver scheme. They are also tax free when withdrawn from your KiwiSaver scheme once you are legally allowed to access them.

    Further information

    For more information on transfers to New Zealand, see our frequently asked questions.

    End of further information

    Frequently asked questions

    What does the scheme mean for New Zealanders who live, or are planning to live, permanently in Australia?

    If you have retirement savings in a New Zealand KiwiSaver scheme, you can transfer these savings to an Australian super fund. This fund must be a complying APRA-regulated fund.

    It’s voluntary for individuals to participate in this scheme. It is also voluntary for Australian super funds as to whether they will accept transferred retirement savings. If you are a member of an APRA-regulated super fund, contact your fund to find out if they are participating.

    If you’re not a member of an APRA-regulated super fund, you can talk to your Australian employer or registered tax agent for more information.

    If you don't have a KiwiSaver scheme, you can open one, provided you meet the eligibility requirements.

    Further information

    For more information about APRA funds, see apra.gov.auExternal Link

    For more information on New Zealand KiwiSaver schemes, see kiwisaver.govt.nz/newExternal Link

    End of further information

    What does the scheme mean for Australians who live, or are planning to live, permanently in New Zealand?

    If you have retirement savings in an Australian super fund, you can transfer these savings to a New Zealand KiwiSaver scheme. Your Australian fund must be a complying APRA-regulated fund.

    It’s voluntary for individuals to participate in this scheme. Once you have provided your Australian super fund with all the necessary information required to transfer your retirement savings, the trustee must pay the amount to the KiwiSaver Scheme within 30 days.

    If you don't have a KiwiSaver scheme, you can open one, provided you meet the eligibility requirements.

    Further information

    For more information on APRA funds, see apra.gov.auExternal Link

    For more information on New Zealand KiwiSaver schemes, see kiwisaver.govt.nz/newExternal Link

    End of further information

    Which country’s rules will apply to the savings I transfer?

    In general, the rules of the host country will apply. However, there are some different rules that apply, depending on where you transfer your savings to. These different rules apply only to the savings you transfer, not to subsequent earnings on those savings.

    The key differences are shown below:

    New Zealand funds transferred to Australia

    Australian funds transferred to New Zealand

    May not be accessed until you reach the New Zealand age of retirement (currently 65)

    May not be accessed until you reach age 60 and you satisfy the Australian definition of retirement at that age

    May not be transferred into Australian self-managed super funds

    May not be used to purchase your first home

    May not be transferred to a third country

    May not be transferred to a third country

    Can I use a statutory declaration, declared and witnessed in New Zealand, to prove that I have permanently emigrated to New Zealand?

    Yes, but you must use an Australian statutory declaration. In addition, Australian law states that the declaration must be witnessed by certain individuals, such as Australian consular officials or other persons with a connection to Australia, before your Australian super fund can transfer your super benefits.

    Find out more

    For more information on making a statutory declaration overseas, refer to Attorney General’s Department – Making a statutory declarationExternal Link.

    For a list of authorised witnesses, refer to the Attorney General’s Department – List of authorised witnessesExternal Link.

    End of find out more

    Can I transfer savings in a New Zealand KiwiSaver scheme to an Australian self-managed super fund?

    No. You can only transfer funds from KiwiSaver schemes to a complying
    APRA-regulated super fund.

    End of example
    Further information

    For more information on APRA funds, see www.apra.gov.auExternal Link

    For more information on New Zealand KiwiSaver schemes, see kiwisaver.govt.nz/newExternal Link

    End of further information

    Can I transfer savings in an Australian selfmanaged super fund to a New Zealand KiwiSaver scheme?

    No. You can only transfer funds from APRA-regulated super funds to KiwiSaver schemes.

    End of example
    Further information

    For more information on APRA funds, see www.apra.gov.auExternal Link

    For more information on New Zealand KiwiSaver schemes, see kiwisaver.govt.nz/newExternal Link

    End of further information

    When can a New Zealander living permanently in Australia access their retirement savings?

    Retirement savings you transfer to Australia from New Zealand are held in your super fund in two parts:

    • the New Zealand-sourced component
    • the Australian-sourced component.

    To access the Australian-sourced component, generally you will need to be age 60 and satisfy the Australian definition of retirement at that age.

    To access the New Zealand-sourced component, you will need to reach the New Zealand age of retirement (currently 65).

    When can an Australian living permanently in New Zealand access their retirement savings?

    Retirement savings you transfer to New Zealand from Australia are held in your KiwiSaver in two parts:

    • the Australian-sourced component
    • the New Zealand-sourced component.

    To access the Australian-sourced component, generally you will need to be age 60 and satisfy the Australian definition of retirement at that age.

    To access the New Zealand-sourced component, you will need to reach the New Zealand age of retirement (currently 65).

    Does a New Zealander need an Australian tax file number (TFN) to transfer their retirement savings to an Australian super fund?

    Yes. Australian super funds will be unable to accept any transfers on your behalf until you provide a TFN.

    It's also important that you keep accurate records of any savings you transfer.

    Further information

    For more information about obtaining a TFN, see Permanent migrants or temporary visitors to Australia - online TFN application or enquiry.

    End of further information

    Does an Australian require a New Zealand Inland Revenue Department (IRD) number to transfer their retirement savings to a KiwiSaver scheme?

    Yes. You will need to supply your KiwiSaver scheme provider with your IRD number.

    It's also important that you keep accurate records of any savings you transfer.

    Further information

    For more information about obtaining an IRD number, see IRD number applicationsExternal Link on the New Zealand IRD website.

    End of further information

    Are there any fees for transferring savings between the two countries?

    Not from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). However, check with your fund to see if they will charge any fees for transferring or accepting funds on your behalf.

    Is there a limit to how much I can transfer to an Australian super fund?

    Yes. The limit on how much you can transfer from a KiwiSaver to an Australian super fund depends on your age. See the table below for the agebased limits.

    Your age Transfer limit

    Less than 65

    $450,000

    65 or more

    $150,000

    Attention

    You must transfer the entire balance of your KiwiSaver when you transfer to an Australian fund. If your balance is more than the transfer limit, you will be unable to transfer your savings.

    End of attention

    We will treat your contributions as non-concessional (or personal) contributions. They will therefore be subject to the non-concessional contributions cap. If you exceed the cap, you will be liable for excess contributions tax.

    The transfer limits are equal to the non-concessional contributions cap for each age group.

    Further information

    For more information about excess contributions tax (including information about concessional and non-concessional contributions), see Super contributions too much super can mean extra tax.

    End of further information

    Is there a limit on how much I can transfer to a KiwiSaver scheme?

    No. There are no limits on how much you can transfer from an Australian super fund to a KiwiSaver scheme. However, you must transfer the whole balance of your Australian fund.

    Are savings I transfer to Australia taxed?

    You don't have to pay any tax on retirement savings you transfer from a KiwiSaver scheme to an Australian super fund.

    However, the savings you transfer are treated as personal (or non-concessional) contributions and are subject to the non-concessional contributions cap. If you exceed this cap, you will be liable for excess contributions tax.

    Further information

    For more information about excess contributions tax (including information about concessional and non-concessional contributions), see Super contributions too much super can mean extra tax.

    End of further information

    Are savings I transfer to New Zealand taxed?

    No. You don't have to pay any tax on retirement savings you transfer from an Australian super fund to a KiwiSaver scheme.

    How are transfers from a KiwiSaver treated in an Australian super fund?

    Retirement savings transferred from a KiwiSaver to an Australian super fund are treated as personal (or non-concessional) contributions.

    The Australian super fund will separate your savings into New Zealand-sourced and Australian-sourced amounts (or components). They will report these two components separately on statements to you and also when they report to us.

    The super fund will combine the two components for investment purposes and they will earn interest together. The interest earned will be taxed normally and will become part of your Australian-sourced component.

    However, the New Zealand-sourced component you originally transferred will remain separate.

    There are different rules for legally accessing the two components, as they must follow the access rules of the host country.

    • You can only access the New Zealand-sourced component when you reach the New Zealand age of retirement (currently 65).
    • Generally, you can only access the Australian-sourced component when you reach age 60 and satisfy the Australian definition of retirement at that age.
    Further information

    For more information about excess contributions tax (including information about concessional and non-concessional contributions), see Super contributions too much super can mean extra tax.

    For more information on superannuation tax rates, see Key superannuation rates and thresholds.

    End of further information

    How are transfers from an Australian super fund treated in a KiwiSaver?

    The KiwiSaver scheme will separate your savings into New Zealand-sourced and Australian-sourced amounts (or components). They will report these two components separately on statements to you.

    There are different rules for legally accessing the two components, because they must follow the access rules of the host country.

    • You can only access the New Zealand-sourced component when you reach the New Zealand age of retirement (currently 65).
    • Generally, you can only access the Australian-sourced component when you reach age 60 and satisfy the Australian definition of retirement at that age.
    Further information

    For more information on New Zealand KiwiSaver schemes, see kiwisaver.govt.nz/newExternal Link

    End of further information

    Can I claim a tax deduction when I transfer savings to an Australian super fund?

    No. Any savings you transfer to an Australian super fund are not deductible as a personal contribution. They are also not eligible for a spouse contribution tax offset.

    How do I transfer savings from my Australian super fund to a KiwiSaver scheme?

    To transfer funds from your Australian super fund to a KiwiSaver scheme, you must ensure the following:

    • You have permanently emigrated to New Zealand. You will need to sign a statutory declaration stating this is the case, and provide proof of residence at an address in New Zealand.
    • You have contacted your Australian super fund and requested the whole balance of your super savings be transferred to a KiwiSaver scheme.
    • You have a KiwiSaver scheme ready to receive the transferred funds and ensured the KiwiSaver scheme is going to accept your Australian transfer.

    How do I transfer savings from my KiwiSaver scheme to an Australian super fund?

    When transferring super savings from a KiwiSaver to an Australian super fund, your fund may request the following:

    • details of any Australian-sourced or New Zealand-sourced amounts that form part of the transfer
    • details of any taxfree component of an Australian-sourced amount.
    • details of any amount not previously counted towards the nonconcessional contributions cap
    • details of any restricted non-preserved or unrestricted non-preserved amounts.

    These details must be provided by the KiwiSaver scheme if requested, and the details must be provided before the Australian super fund will accept the transferred amount.

    Are transfers from a KiwiSaver to an Australian super fund eligible for the super co-contribution?

    No. Any transfers from a KiwiSaver into an Australian super fund are not eligible personal contributions for the purpose of receiving the super co-contribution for low-income earners.

    Will my privacy be protected when transferring savings from one country to another?

    Yes. Your personal information is protected under the Privacy Act 1988.

    Further information

    For more information on your privacy rights, see privacy.gov.auExternal Link

    End of further information

    If I decide to move back to my original country at a later date, can I transfer my savings back too?

    Yes. But if you are moving back to Australia, you will need to provide a statement to your Australian super fund showing which components of your savings (Australian or New Zealand) were previously counted toward the Australian non-concessional contributions cap.

    The statement will also need to show the different components (such as tax-free and taxable) of your retirement savings, so they can retain that status when they are transferred back to Australia.

    If you don't provide this statement, all your savings will be counted towards the non-concessional contributions cap and you may have to pay excess contributions tax. Also, all the components of your Australian-sourced savings will become taxable and you may be liable for additional tax.

    Example

    Silpa, age 35, is an Australian citizen currently living in New Zealand. During her working life in Australia, she accumulated $20,000 in her Australian complying super fund. Silpa has no intention of returning to Australia and transfers her Australian super benefits to her KiwiSaver scheme in New Zealand.

    Silpa’s Australian fund provides her and the receiving KiwiSaver scheme with a statement about the transferred benefits, including information about her contributions (concessional or non-concessional) and components (taxable or non-taxable).

    After fifteen years in New Zealand, Silpa decides to return to Australia and transfers all her accumulated savings to an Australian complying super fund.

    Silpa is able to provide the receiving Australian fund with the statement from her previous Australian fund confirming that $10,000 of her Australian-sourced savings were counted towards the non-concessional contributions cap. This amount is not counted against the cap again. The taxable and non-taxable components of her Australian-sourced savings also retain their status.

    Silpa’s New Zealand-sourced savings, and the balance of her Australian-sourced savings, are subject to the non-concessional contributions cap since they were not previously counted against them.

    End of example
    Further information

    For more information about excess contributions tax (including information about concessional and non-concessional contributions), see Super contributions too much super can mean extra tax.

    For more information on superannuation tax rates, see Key superannuation rates and thresholds.

    End of further information

    How soon after I become a permanent resident of my new country can I transfer my retirement savings?

    You can transfer your retirement savings as soon as you have permanent residency status in your new country, provided you meet the other transfer requirements.

    • Last modified: 27 Nov 2013QC 35380