Who can become a KiwiSaver member?
Any person under the New Zealand Superannuation qualification age (currently age 65) who is a New Zealand citizen or entitled to remain in New Zealand indefinitely and is living, or normally living, in New Zealand.
Do I have to join a KiwiSaver scheme?
No. KiwiSaver is a voluntary savings initiative.
If you’re not automatically enrolled and are eligible for KiwiSaver, you can choose to "opt in" to KiwiSaver, or not. It's up to you.
How do I join the OneAnswer KiwiSaver Scheme?
Applying for the OneAnswer KiwiSaver Scheme is easy. See 'How to join'
Can I change my investment funds?
You may switch your investment balance from one fund to another by completing a change form.
Can I change to another KiwiSaver scheme?
You can change KiwiSaver schemes at any time, but you can only be a member of one KiwiSaver scheme at a time.
Do all employers have to contribute to KiwiSaver in their workplace?
Yes. As an employer you must meet all of the employer obligations, unless you’re not a New Zealand resident or do not operate your business from a fixed establishment in New Zealand and choose not to apply the KiwiSaver Act.
What are my obligations as an employer?
As an employer you must meet all of the employer obligations.
Do all employees have to join a KiwiSaver scheme?
No. KiwiSaver is a voluntary savings initiative. However, once employees have joined they will generally remain KiwiSaver members until they reach the New Zealand Superannuation qualification age (currently 65) or if they join after the age of 60, once they have been a member of a KiwiSaver scheme for five years.
What about overseas workers?
Only people under the New Zealand Superannuation qualification age (currently 65) who are a New Zealand citizen or entitled to remain in New Zealand indefinitely, and are living, or normally living, in New Zealand (subject to certain exceptions), can join a KiwiSaver scheme. Employees on temporary work visas cannot join.
What about part-time and temporary workers?
Part-time workers can join a KiwiSaver scheme; however staff on contracts of 28 days or less do not have to be automatically enrolled in KiwiSaver. Employers are not required to automatically enrol casual employees.
What happens when new staff join?
You must enrol all new eligible staff members aged 18-65 who are not already KiwiSaver members in a KiwiSaver scheme (unless you’re an exempt employer). They then have up to eight weeks (56 days from, and including, the day they start their new job) to decide if they want to remain a KiwiSaver member or ‘opt out’.
What if new staff are already KiwiSaver members?
Because KiwiSaver accounts automatically follow employees from one job to the next, new staff may already have a KiwiSaver account when they join your organisation. In that case, you need to deduct contributions from their salary or wages at the rate advised by the employee (or if no rate is given, at the default rate), make the relevant employer contributions and forward them to Inland Revenue.
What about existing staff members?
Existing employees who are eligible can ‘opt in’ to a KiwiSaver scheme at any time by giving you a deduction notice.
What if I don’t offer a preferred provider scheme?
If you don’t offer a preferred provider KiwiSaver scheme, employees simply choose their own scheme, or if an employee does not choose their own scheme, Inland Revenue will allocate that employee to one of the default schemes.
Do I have to make an employer contribution?
Yes, employers are required to make contributions to a KiwiSaver scheme at a minimum of 3% of gross salary or wages for contributing employees who are members aged 18 or over, and have not reached the end payment date (aged 65 or five years of membership, whichever is later).
How much can an employer contribute?
Over and above the level of any compulsory employer contributions, you can contribute as much or as little as you like, and set your own rules and conditions around those additional contributions you make. All employer contributions are subject to employer superannuation contribution tax (ESCT).
What’s the impact on payroll?
As an employer you will be responsible for passing on all employee contributions to Inland Revenue as part of your fortnightly or monthly PAYE process.
What records will I need to keep?
You’ll be required to keep KiwiSaver records in the same way you keep PAYE records. This will include recording which of your employees are KiwiSaver members, their contribution rates, and any notification of contributions holidays or opt-outs.
Will I need to give financial advice to employees?
No. Neither you nor any of your staff will be expected to provide financial advice. Inland Revenue will provide you with KiwiSaver information packs to give to your employees. These packs explain how KiwiSaver works, and tell employees how they can receive more information.
How do I choose the OneAnswer KiwiSaver Scheme as my preferred provider scheme?
It’s easy to choose the OneAnswer KiwiSaver Scheme as your preferred provider scheme. See the KiwiSaver - For employers section.
The Trans-Tasman retirement savings portability scheme allows KiwiSaver members who permanently emigrate to Australia to move their KiwiSaver savings to a complying superannuation scheme that is regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority in Australia ("Australian complying superannuation fund"). It also allows Australians who permanently immigrate to New Zealand, and returning New Zealanders, to move their superannuation from an Australian complying superannuation scheme to a KiwiSaver scheme if they want to.
Do I have to transfer my savings into KiwiSaver? Can I transfer them to my bank account or another superannuation scheme in NZ?
Retirement savings transferred from Australia may only be transferred into a KiwiSaver scheme in New Zealand. This means Australian savings cannot be transferred into any other retirement schemes (including complying funds), personal managed funds or New Zealand bank accounts.
Should I transfer my Australian retirement savings back to New Zealand?
There are a number of considerations to take into account, including tax, insurance (if applicable) and fees. Therefore, it’s best to talk to your financial adviser about what would be best for your personal and financial situation. They may also refer you to a specialist tax adviser.
What could be the benefits of transferring my Australian retirement savings back to New Zealand?
Transferring your Australian retirement savings may provide the following benefits:
Can I use the savings that I’ve transferred from Australia for the purposes of buying my first home?
No. Savings transferred into a KiwiSaver scheme from an Australian complying superannuation fund are not available for first home withdrawal. This is consistent with Australia’s retirement savings policy. However, investment earnings on the transferred amount can be withdrawn to help with the purchase of your first home.
Can I move my Australian sourced retirement savings to another country in the future?
Once your Australian retirement savings have been transferred to a KiwiSaver scheme, those funds cannot be transferred to a third country.
Can the funds transferred into my KiwiSaver scheme from my Australian fund be counted towards the annual member tax credit?
No. When your Australian balance is transferred into your KiwiSaver account, your KiwiSaver manager cannot count this as a contribution that qualifies towards the annual member tax credit.
Are there any tax implications?
The transfer of your retirement savings from Australia to New Zealand will not be subject to exit or entry taxes. Different tax rates and rules apply in each country – your retirement savings will be subject to the tax rules in New Zealand once transferred. Before you decide whether or not to transfer your retirement savings, you should consider any tax implications.
We recommend you seek independent tax advice in Australia and New Zealand.
Will the exchange rate affect my savings?
If you transfer your Australian retirement savings to the OneAnswer KiwiSaver Scheme, the amount transferred from Australia will be converted into New Zealand dollars (NZD).
ANZ New Zealand Investments Limited (ANZ Investments) has a foreign exchange contract with ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited who receive a margin on the amount exchanged, in accordance with standard commercial terms.
You should consider the impact of the exchange rate before making a decision on whether or not to transfer your retirement savings.
Are there any restrictions if I want to transfer my KiwiSaver savings (including any savings from Australia) to another KiwiSaver manager?
The KiwiSaver scheme you want to transfer to must be able to accept superannuation funds from Australia. Some managers may choose not to accept superannuation funds from Australia under the Trans-Tasman portability rules. The OneAnswer KiwiSaver Scheme accepts these transfers.
Is there a transfer fee?
The OneAnswer KiwiSaver Scheme does not charge a fee to transfer your Australian retirement savings. If you wish to transfer your Australian retirement savings to another KiwiSaver scheme, you should check whether they charge a transfer fee. You may also wish to check whether your Australian provider(s) will charge a fee for transferring from Australia.
Do I have to transfer my savings if I move to Australia or vice versa?
No, the arrangements are voluntary.
If I transfer savings from Australia, can I withdraw these for reasons of significant financial hardship or serious illness?
Yes, Australian savings transferred to New Zealand will be subject to KiwiSaver rules regarding significant financial hardship and serious illness access. Likewise, New Zealand savings transferred to Australia will be subject to Australian rules regarding financial hardship and serious illness access. The withdrawal criteria for KiwiSaver schemes can be found here.
My Australian super account has an insurance component. What happens to that?
Your Australian super account may insure you against death, or illness or an accident that leaves you unable to return to work. If you have insurance cover attached to your Australian super accounts, your cover may cease if you transfer your Australian retirement savings to a KiwiSaver scheme. You should review your insurance to ensure you remain protected.
How can I transfer my Australian super to KiwiSaver?
Once you have completed all of the required forms and have the additional documents ready, please post them directly to your Australian provider(s).
How long does the process take?
The time it will take to transfer your Australian retirement savings will vary. Once you have supplied all of the required information to your Australian provider(s) they have 30 days to assess your application. If approved, it may take a further 30 business days for your Australian provider(s) to send us the funds and a withdrawal statement.
If your Australian provider pays the funds electronically into our AUD clearing account, the funds are converted to $NZD the next business day and applied to your OneAnswer KiwiSaver Scheme account when we receive a withdrawal statement from your Australian provider. The withdrawal statement can be received up to 30 days after the electronic payment.
How do I find out whether I have any retirement savings in Australian and where it is?
You can search for you superannuation savings by going to www.ato.gov.au and using the Australian Tax Office (ATO) online tool SuperSeeker. The search can be completed in a couple of minutes by providing the following details:
Alternatively, if you don't know your TFN, you can call the ATO (please see our Trans-Tasman Portability brochure for how to contact the ATO).
How do I know if an Australian superannuation scheme is approved for the purposes of accepting my KiwiSaver savings?
You can find information on Australian schemes at the Australian Government Super Fund Lookup site.
While Australian complying superannuation schemes must allow transfers to KiwiSaver schemes if you emigrate to Australia, it is not compulsory for those Australian schemes to accept transfers from KiwiSaver schemes. You will need to check whether your Australian scheme will accept your transfer and whether they are eligible to participate.
We are currently only aware of a limited number of Australian providers who will accept KiwiSaver transfers so please check with your Australian provider first.
If I transfer my savings to Australia, when will I be able to access them?
You will be able to access your KiwiSaver savings on or after the day when you reach the standard qualifying age for New Zealand Superannuation (currently 65).
Any investment performance on these KiwiSaver savings, as well as contributions made while in Australia will be subject to the Australian rules regarding access to savings.
Can I transfer some savings to Australia and leave some in New Zealand?
No. If you choose to transfer your savings to Australia when you permanently emigrate, you must transfer them all.
Does Australia tax any transfers?
No, Australia does not specifically tax the transfer of retirement savings to or from New Zealand. However, transfers of New Zealand savings are subject to non-concessional contribution caps which are:
If the amount you’re transferring exceeds the non-concessional contributions cap for the relevant year (or three year period, if applicable) it may be rejected by your Australian provider.
If the amount you wish to transfer exceeds the amounts above please talk to your Australian provider before you apply for more information. For more information go to the Australian Tax Office website.
It is recommended that you seek independent and professional Australian and New Zealand tax advice.
Can I move my KiwiSaver savings to another country in the future?
No. Once your KiwiSaver savings have been transferred to an Australian superannuation scheme, those funds cannot be transferred to a third country.
I am a member of the OneAnswer KiwiSaver Scheme, how can I transfer my KiwiSaver savings to Australia?
See the 'Trans-Tasman transfers' tab under the KiwiSaver - Managing KiwiSaver section for further details.
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