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Moving your Aussie Superannuation to New Zealand: yeah or Nah?

Are you a Kiwi returning from Australia? Or maybe an Aussie moving to this side of the ditch? Here’s a rundown of the key things to know, to help you…

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05 April 2023

Are you a Kiwi returning from Australia? Or maybe an Aussie moving to this side of the ditch? If so, you may be wondering what to do with your Australian Superannuation: leave it there or bring it over?  

Here’s a rundown of the key things to know, to help you work out if a transfer is for you. 


Who can transfer their Aussie Super to NZ? 

To be eligible, you must: 

  • Have worked and earned Super in Australia;  

  • Have permanently moved back to New Zealand (or emigrated here) from Australia; 

  • Have your savings in an Australian complying Superannuation scheme;  

  • Meet the KiwiSaver’s eligibility criteria.  

Unless you satisfy a condition of release(1),  you cannot withdraw any of your Superannuation funds in cash. Your transfer must be to KiwiSaver, and it must be a full transfer: partial transfers are not allowed.  


Can’t remember where your Aussie Super is invested? 

Generally speaking, you can manage your Australian Super via your myGov account at But if you’ve lost the details, you can contact the Australian Tax Office (ATO) on +61 2 6216 1111 and they will help you find it. Learn more here.  


Can you access your money after the transfer? 

Not until you’re 60. In short, your transferred Super funds will be locked into KiwiSaver. But while the rest of your KiwiSaver savings (earned and saved in New Zealand) can only be accessed after you reach retirement age at 65, you’re allowed to withdraw your transferred Super funds at age 60 if you’re retired. 


What are the costs of transferring? 

It’s important to take taxes and fees into account. For example, your Australian provider may charge a transfer fee. Make sure you check in with them if that’s the case, so you can make an informed decision.  

As for taxes, a transfer from a participating Australian Super fund to a New Zealand KiwiSaver scheme is tax-free(2). And it’s also tax-free to withdraw funds from your KiwiSaver scheme, once you’re legally allowed to do so.  

Once the money is in your KiwiSaver scheme, you’ll pay tax on your investment returns based on your designated New Zealand rate – find your Prescribed Investor Rate (PIR) here. We recommend checking with your accountant or tax specialist to ensure there aren’t any other tax considerations to be aware of.  

Lastly, don’t forget to factor in the currency exchange rates, as they will also have an impact on your transfer. 


Key pros and cons in a nutshell. 

Depending on your situation, it can make good financial sense to consolidate your retirement savings into your KiwiSaver plan, rather than having two different accounts on both sides of the Tasman.  

Let’s start with the benefits: 

  • Easier to manage – With only one account in one country and one currency, your retirement savings become easier to manage and keep track of.  

  • Reduced ongoing costs – Combining your funds may also reduce the overall amount you pay in management fees and other charges on your investments. For example, your Australian Super provider may charge administration fees and insurance premiums, which could eat into your returns.  

  • It’s tax-free (for now) – Taxation rules often change. And while there are no entry or exit taxes on your transfer right now, there may be in the future. It’s something to consider.  

But a transfer may not be for you if: 

  • You don’t want to give up on key Australian benefits you may have – Some Australian Super providers offer also offer insurance coverage against illnesses, accidents and death. If you transfer your money to KiwiSaver, you’ll most likely lose those benefits, so make sure you review what you currently have before making any moves. 

  • Fees and taxes make it too expensive – As we said, your Australian Super provider may charge a transfer fee. Plus, even though the transfer itself is tax-free, once your money arrives in New Zealand, New Zealand tax rules will apply. How do those compare with the Australian tax rules? 

  • You’re planning to migrate to a third country – If you choose to move again to another country other than Australia, you won’t be able to transfer your funds there. If you’re moving back to Australia, on the other hand, you will be allowed to transfer the money once again to an Australian complying Superannuation scheme. 

  • You’re relying on that money for a first-home purchase – Even if you transfer your Super funds to KiwiSaver, you can’t use them to boost your first-home deposit. Plus, they won’t count towards the annual Government contribution of up to $521.43. 


Ready to apply? Here’s how. 

Here are the steps you need to take to transfer your Aussie Super to New Zealand: 

  1. Join KiwiSaver (if you haven’t already). 
    Make sure you join before you transfer your savings – here’s how to sign up to the Kōura KiwiSaver Scheme.

  2. Contact your Australian Super provider (or providers). 
    They will send you all the paperwork you need to apply. You will also need supporting documents, like a proof of residence in New Zealand, a letter of compliance from your KiwiSaver scheme of choice, proof of identity and more. Not quite sure where your Aussie Super is? Get in touch with the Australian Tax Office (ATO) on +61 2 6216 1111. 

  3. Apply, sit back and relax. 
    Once you’ve submitted your application, your Australian provider has 30 days to assess it. Then, once that’s approved, it may take another 30 days to transfer the money.  


Further reading: 


Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current developments or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.