Thousand of New Zealanders with retirement savings in Australian superannuation funds are still waiting to be able to bring their money back home.
As we covered in a blog piece back in 2009, Australia and New Zealand signed an agreement (the Trans-Tasman portability of retirement savings) that would allow a person who has retirement savings in both Australia and New Zealand to move them into one account in their current country of residence.
New Zealand has since changed its legislation to meet the reciprocal agreement but Australia has yet to follow suit. The retirement saving transfer arrangements will take effect up to two months after the two countries have made the legislation legal.
The key features of the agreement are:
- each individual will decide whether to avail of the portability advantage
- the superannuation savings may only be transferred between a KiwiSaver scheme and an Australian complying superannuation fund;
- a KiwiSaver member won’t be able to withdraw their retirement savings in cash if they emigrate to Australia (as can be done one year after the person emigrates to a country other than Australia)
- the person must permanently emigrate to Australia or New Zealand to be eligible to transfer their retirement savings there.
Bill English, Finance Minister of Australia, is confident that the Australian Government will enact the legislation next year, which will be almost 3 years after New Zealand passed similar legislation. We’ll keep you posted, folks.