• Trans-Tasman retirement savings portability scheme for individuals

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

    The transfer is voluntary for members. Accepting transferred retirement savings is also voluntary for Australian super funds. Check with your Australian super fund to confirm if 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.

    See also:

    Transfers to Australia

    If you're planning to move permanently or indefinitely to Australia, you may transfer your retirement savings from a KiwiSaver scheme to a participating Australian super fund.

    Check with your fund and KiwiSaver scheme to see if they will charge any fees for transferring or accepting funds on your behalf.

    You will need an Australian tax file number (TFN) to transfer your retirement savings to an Australian super fund.

    See also:

    Transferring savings from your KiwiSaver scheme to an Australian super fund

    When transferring super savings from your KiwiSaver scheme to an Australian super fund, your fund may request details of:

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

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

    Rules for transfers to Australia

    Once your KiwiSaver scheme savings are transferred to your Australian super fund, they are generally subject to Australia's superannuation rules.

    Some rules only apply 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).

    Accessing your 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 60 years old and satisfy the Australian definition of retirement.

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

    Income tax

    A transfer from a New Zealand KiwiSaver scheme to a participating Australian super fund is not taxed. It's also tax-free to withdraw them from your super account once you're legally allowed to access them.

    Any savings you transfer to an Australian super fund are not deductible as a personal contribution.

    Transfers are not eligible personal contributions for the purpose of receiving the super co-contribution for low-income earners.

    Transfers are also not eligible for a spouse contribution tax offset.

    Limits to how much you can transfer

    The limit on how much you can transfer from a KiwiSaver to an Australian super fund depends on your age:

    • If you under 65 years old – your transfer limit is $540,000.
    • If you are 65 or more years old – your transfer limit is $180,000.

    Note: 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.

    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.

    Excess contributions tax

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

    Transfers from New Zealand KiwiSaver schemes to complying Australian super funds must be the whole balance of the account – partial transfers are not allowed.

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

    See also:

    Transfers to New Zealand

    If you're planning to move 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.

    Check with your fund and KiwiSaver scheme to see if they will charge any fees for transferring or accepting funds on your behalf.

    You will need a New Zealand Inland Revenue Department (IRD) number to transfer you retirement savings to a KiwiSaver scheme.

    You can use a statutory declaration, declared and witnessed in New Zealand, to prove you have permanently emigrated to New Zealand.

    See also:

    • IRD number applicationsExternal Link – on the New Zealand IRD website
    • Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994 Regulation 12A.10(3) and 12A.10(6) (applicable on and after 1 July 2013).

    Transferring savings from your Australian super fund to a KiwiSaver scheme

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

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

    Rules for transfers to New Zealand

    Once your Australian super fund savings are transferred to your KiwiSaver scheme, they are generally subject to New Zealand's retirement savings rules.

    Some rules 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
    • can't be used to purchase your first home
    • can't be moved to a third country
    • can be accessed when the member reaches 60 years old and satisfies the Australian definition of retirement.

    Accessing your 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 60 years old and satisfy the Australian definition of retirement.

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

    Income tax

    A transfer from a participating Australian super fund to a New Zealand KiwiSaver scheme is not taxed. It's also tax free to withdraw funds from your KiwiSaver scheme once you are legally allowed to access them.

    Limits to how much you can transfer

    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.

    Moving back to your original country

    If you move back to your original country, you can transfer your savings back too.

    If you're moving back to Australia, you 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 also needs to show the different components (such as tax-free and taxable) of your retirement savings, so they retain that status when 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 is 35 years old. She is an Australian citizen currently living in New Zealand.

    During her working life in Australia, Silpa accumulated $20,000 in her Australian complying super fund. She does not intend to return 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 15 years in New Zealand, Silpa decides to return to Australia and transfers all her accumulated savings to an Australian complying super fund.

    Silpa provides the receiving Australian fund with a statement from her previous Australian fund confirming $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

    See also:

      Last modified: 01 Sep 2016QC 35380