Transfer Australian Super to KiwiSaver With Our Free Service

by | Jun 16, 2024 | Investment News

Are you thinking of moving across the ditch? Whether you’re a New Zealander moving back home after living in Australia or an Australian planning to retire in New Zealand, you can transfer Australian super to KiwiSaver.

At OneStop Financial Solutions, our experienced KiwiSaver advisers understand the complexities and challenges of this process. That’s why we help you transfer Australian Super to KiwiSaver at $0 cost.

A DIY approach is hard work and involves lots of hassle (we’ll give you an overview below). We work with specialist KiwiSaver providers who ensure a smooth and hassle-free process. Plus, transferring your Australian Superannuation to a KiwiSaver account can be a smart financial step.

From avoiding double fees to consolidating your retirement funds in one place, transferring to KiwiSaver offers several advantages.

Here’s why consolidating your retirement savings with our assistance is a smart move:

To be eligible to transfer your Australian superannuation to KiwiSaver, you must have permanently emigrated to New Zealand. You need an active KiwiSaver account to accept transfers from Australian super funds.

Additionally, your entire Australian Super balance must be transferred – partial transfers are not permitted.

Having a New Zealand Inland Revenue Department (IRD) number is also necessary. This number acts as your tax identifier in New Zealand and is essential for processing your transfer.

Your KiwiSaver Scheme account must accept funds from Australian superannuation providers. Not all do!

Australian Superannuation Transfer Compliance

Your superannuation fund must be a complying fund regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). Complying funds meet specific legal requirements designed to protect your nest egg.

The transfer must also comply with Australian and New Zealand regulations, which are set out in the Trans-Tasman retirement savings portability scheme.

14 Little Known Facts About Transferring KiwiSaver Transfers

Portability arrangements allow the transfer of retirement savings between Australian super schemes and KiwiSaver accounts. This includes both employer contributions and personal savings accrued under each nation’s respective retirement scheme.

Transferring your Aussie super to New Zealand can be a straightforward process, but there are several lesser-known facts you should be aware of:

  1. Permanent Emigration: You must provide proof of residence in New Zealand and a letter of compliance from your KiwiSaver scheme provider to initiate the transfer. You must be transferring funds from an Australian complying superannuation scheme. Defined benefit funds and self-managed funds are excluded from trans-tasman transfers.
  2. Future Emigration: If you emigrate back to Australia, the money can be transferred back to an Australian complying superannuation scheme. However, if you move to any other country, the funds may not be included in a permanent emigration withdrawal, meaning, they cannot be transferred to a third country.
  3. No Partial Transfers Allowed: You must transfer the whole balance of your Australian superannuation savings to a KiwiSaver scheme. This avoids small accounts that are hard to manage and will likely chew up your savings in fees.
  4. First Home Purchase Restrictions: Funds transferred from an Australian superannuation account cannot be used under the KiwiSaver first home withdrawal scheme to purchase a first home in New Zealand. However, a big caveat to this is that the interest and earnings you make from the money you bring across can!
  5. Tax Implications: The transfer itself is not taxed, and there are no taxes on withdrawing funds from your superannuation to transfer to KiwiSaver. Transferring your Australian super to a New Zealand KiwiSaver Scheme means you will pay tax on your investment returns at your designated New Zealand rate. Make sure to check your Prescribed Investor Rate (PIR) to understand the tax implications.
  6. Currency Exchange: The transfer involves converting Australian dollars (AUD) to New Zealand dollars (NZD). Exchange rates can impact the final amount received.
  7. Investment Choices: Australian retirement savings can only be transferred into KiwiSaver funds in New Zealand, not into any other private retirement funds. Our experts can help you make the best choice to maximise returns on your retirement savings account.
  8. Timing and Processing: Transfers can take some time to process, often several weeks. Plan accordingly, especially if you are relying on these funds for specific financial planning purposes.
  9. Preservation Age: The Australian rules around preservation age remain in force for the money you transferred out of Australia. This means you cannot access the super you transferred until age 60, and satisfy the Australian definition of retirement.
  10. Impact on Government Contributions: In New Zealand, the government contributes to KiwiSaver savings through the annual government contribution (formerly known as the member tax credit). However, this only applies to KiwiSaver contributions while you are a New Zealand resident and does not apply to transferred Australian superannuation funds. Any money transferred from your Australian Super to your KiwiSaver Scheme does not earn Government contributions. This is an important factor to consider when making your decision.
  11. Fee Structures: The fee structure can vary significantly from Australian superannuation funds. It’s important to compare the fees associated with your KiwiSaver balance to ensure you’re not paying more than necessary. This includes management fees, administration fees, and any other associated costs.
  12. Death Benefits: The rules around death benefits and the distribution of funds upon death may differ between Australian superannuation and KiwiSaver. It’s important to understand how these rules apply to ensure your beneficiaries are properly considered.
  13. Lost or Unclaimed Super: Before transferring, check if you have any lost or unclaimed superannuation accounts in Australia. Consolidating these accounts can simplify the transfer process and ensure you don’t leave any funds behind.
  14. Beneficiary Nominations: Ensure that your beneficiary nominations are updated after the transfer. The process and rules for nominating beneficiaries in KiwiSaver might differ from those in Australian superannuation funds. Properly nominating beneficiaries ensures that your funds are distributed according to your wishes.

The Transfer Process

Transferring your Australian superannuation to a KiwiSaver scheme involves several steps. You can do this yourself if you choose. Our KiwiSaver advisers also offer a 100% done-for-you service to help make the process smoother for you. Click here to contact an adviser now.

  1. To begin the transfer, you must first join a KiwiSaver scheme. Ensure your chosen fund in New Zealand accepts transfers from Australia (not all do). You will need an active KiwiSaver account to initiate the process.
  2. Contact your Australian super fund and inform them of your intention to transfer your funds to a KiwiSaver scheme. They will guide you on the specific requirements and initial steps needed to move forward.
  3. Complete an application form and provide proof of identity, residency, and other necessary documents, such as a statutory declaration.
  4. Your Australian provider may require a letter of acceptance from your KiwiSaver provider to verify they can accept the funds.
  5. Once the transfer is approved, your Australian superannuation funds will be moved to your KiwiSaver. Verify that the funds have been accurately transferred and update your records accordingly.

Taxation Considerations

When transferring your Australian superannuation to a New Zealand KiwiSaver scheme, the transfer itself is not taxed. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) facilitates this process under the Trans-Tasman retirement savings portability arrangement.

However, any Australian government contributions within your super fund may be subject to different rules. You must transfer the entire balance of your Australian super to your KiwiSaver to meet eligibility requirements.

If you have unclaimed super money held by the Australian Tax Office, it can also be transferred directly to your KiwiSaver. This process is generally streamlined to ensure efficiency and compliance with both Australian and New Zealand regulations.

New Zealand Tax Rules

In New Zealand, the funds transferred from your Australian super to KiwiSaver are not taxed upon receipt. Withdrawals from your KiwiSaver scheme are tax-free once you reach retirement age or meet other legal withdrawal criteria.

The transferred funds will be subject to New Zealand’s tax laws, which generally offer favourable conditions for retirement savings. It’s important to know that KiwiSaver member tax credits and other bonuses transferred to your KiwiSaver can also remain tax-free upon withdrawal.

To Summarise:

  • In Australia, you usually pay a 15% tax on what you earn from your retirement savings.
  • In New Zealand, the tax on what you earn from your retirement savings can be between 10.5% and 28%.
  • It’s easier to manage your money if it’s all in one place.
  • You won’t have to pay fees to both countries.

Financial Implications and Investment Options

Transferring your super to KiwiSaver might require adjusting your investment strategy. KiwiSaver offers a range of investment options, from conservative to high-growth funds, depending on your risk tolerance and financial goals. Our advisers can help you evaluate the management fees for each option, high fees can significantly impact your returns over time.

Choosing the right KiwiSaver fund involves careful consideration of performance metrics, fees, and charges, which can affect your savings’ growth. Our advisers can help you make informed decisions and compare available options to maximise your investment returns.

Things to Consider Before Transferring Your Australian Super to KiwiSaver

Transferring your Australian super to KiwiSaver can impact your insurance coverage, influence currency fluctuations, and affect your long-term retirement savings.

Insurance Cover Differences

Some Australian superannuation funds often include life insurance and income protection as part of their offerings. When transferring to KiwiSaver, you may lose these benefits. KiwiSaver may not provide the same level of insurance or may have different premiums and terms.

Our advisers can help you check what insurance coverage you have with your current super fund and compare it to what is available.

Long-Term Impact on Retirement Savings

Transferring your superannuation savings to KiwiSaver can have a long-term impact on your retirement savings strategy.

Investment risk varies between different funds and schemes. Your Australian super may be invested in different assets compared to what is offered by KiwiSaver providers. This can influence the growth potential and stability of your retirement savings.

Review the investment options and performance of your current Australian super fund and compare them with KiwiSaver schemes. Also, consider how the transfer might affect your overall retirement income, taking into account factors like potential loss of income due to different fee structures or investment returns. Making an informed choice will help ensure your retirement plan remains robust.

The Importance of Financial Advice

Consulting a financial adviser is critical when transferring your Australian super to KiwiSaver. Expert advice can ensure that you comply with Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) guidelines and avoid pitfalls. Advisers can provide customised advice, helping you understand the implications of your transfer.

We can assist with paperwork and communication with relevant institutions, saving you time and stress.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are our frequently asked questions about transferring Australian super to Kiwisaver:

How long does the process usually take to move my Australian super to a KiwiSaver scheme?

The transfer takes several weeks to a few months. The duration will depend on how quickly your Australian fund and KiwiSaver provider process the necessary paperwork and funds transfer.

Can I use my transferred funds for a KiwiSaver First Home Withdrawal?

No. Money transferred from Australian super cannot be put towards the purchase of a first home in New Zealand.

What are the requirements for a New Zealand citizen to transfer superannuation upon leaving Australia?

As a New Zealand citizen, you need to have permanently emigrated from Australia and set up an active KiwiSaver account.

Can transferred Australian Super be transferred again if I leave New Zealand?

You can transfer superannuation between Australia and New Zealand only. You cannot move funds to a third country. 

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