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.

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.

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 non-concessional contributions cap. From 1 July 2017, your total superannuation balance also impacts how much you can contribute.

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.

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.