1. Investors
  2. KiwiSaver and superannuation
  3. Transferring other funds to KiwiSaver

Transferring other funds to KiwiSaver

If you are thinking about transferring money from another country back to New Zealand or from a private fund, make sure you have all the facts before making your decision.

Transferring Australian superannuation funds

New Zealand residents can transfer their Australian superannuation savings into their New Zealand KiwiSaver scheme.

KiwiSaver members can also transfer their KiwiSaver savings to an Australian complying superannuation scheme, if they are moving permanently to Australia.

Before you transfer your funds, there are some important things to consider. Once the funds are transferred to New Zealand, you can only transfer them back to Australia if you move there permanently.

Please also read the IRD's fact sheet on trans-Tasman transfers.

Get independent financial advice

Make sure you get independent financial advice. There are costs involved with transferring your Australian superannuation savings, and currency conversion and tax implications to consider.

When you are ready to transfer your funds into a New Zealand KiwiSaver scheme, you also need to choose a provider that meets your needs. Sorted's KiwiSaver fundfinder can help with this.

What to consider before transferring

Before you transfer funds you should know:

  • the amount you are planning to transfer
  • the fees and transfer costs of your Aussie superannuation scheme and your KiwiSaver scheme provider
  • the loss of benefits, if any, when you transfer your Aussie savings into a KiwiSaver scheme
  • the tax implications when you transfer your Aussie savings into a KiwiSaver scheme
  • the basis for comparing your Australian provider with the KiwiSaver scheme provider.

Ask yourself these questions before you make your transfer

1. What is the amount of money I'm planning to transfer?

Know your ‘rollover value’ — this is the full amount you are entitled to. Your Australian superannuation provider can provide this. You may decide the amount is small enough to consolidate without the need to undertake extensive research, or that the cost to transfer is fair and reasonable.

If your superannuation is a large sum, we strongly encourage you to take more time to fully understand the implications of the transfer.

If you're not sure who your provider is, check the Australian Tax Office website.

2. How do the fees and transfer costs compare?

Make sure you understand all the fees that apply across all of your investments especially between your Australian and KiwiSaver providers so you can consider whether you are better off consolidating the funds or not.

Typical types of fees:

  • fixed charges (for example, monthly fees)
  • percentage-based fees (fees charged as a percentage of the investment portfolio’s total value)
  • performance-based fees (fees charged when the fund managers’ returns do better than the market’s benchmark).

Your Australian provider(s) may charge a fee to transfer the funds, and your KiwiSaver provider may charge a fee to arrange it. Currency exchange rate fees are likely to apply so find out exactly what you will be charged as this could influence your decision.

3. What benefits will I be giving up if I transfer?

Check to see if you have benefits linked to your Australian superannuation savings, as you may decide you don't want to give these benefits up.

Benefits could include:

  • additional benefits such as life, total and permanent disability or income protection insurance
    any guarantees on the amount paid out upon retirement age. These usually depend on how much you have contributed and for how long. They are sometimes referred to as a company final salary, accumulation fund or combination of these.

4. Are there any tax implications?

The way you pay tax on your investments will differ in Australia and New Zealand. The more favourable home for your superannuation savings depends on your individual funds and your circumstances.

We strongly recommend you visit the IRD and the Australian Tax Office websites.

The table below captures our current understanding of the tax differences:


Australia superannuation fund


Tax on transfers

no tax on transfer of savings to NZ

no tax on transfer of savings to Australia

Tax on earnings

generally a flat rate of 15%

range from 10.5% to 28% depending on your Prescribed Investor Rate (PIR)

Tax on capital gains

taxes gains on equities

does not tax gains on Australasian equities

5. What other things should I compare?

Look at what types of funds or assets can you invest in

  • It may vary between you Aussie provider(s) and KiwiSaver providers. Know all your options so you are comfortable with the choices you can make.

Look at whether you have control over investments in each country

  • Australian superannuation providers do offer a greater variety of options for choosing your own investments.
  • Check what investment options there are as you may not be able to invest in the same options within current KiwiSaver schemes.

Look at how you access information and advice once your money is transferred

  • Think about how you are going get information about your investments.
  • Ask yourself, do you like regular face-to-face contact with your providers, or are you happy to discuss your investments over the phone, by email, or over the internet.
  • Think about what works best base on where you live.

6. What can you do with your superannuation funds at 60 years old

After your Australian superannuation funds have been transferred to KiwiSaver, they will be available when you reach 60 years old, and you meet the Australian definition of retirement at that age.

For superannuation transfers into KiwiSaver from countries other than Australia or the UK, you will not have access to the funds until you reach the New Zealand retirement age (currently 65), and you have been in KiwiSaver for at least five years.


Transferring UK pension funds

If you are thinking about transferring money from your UK pension fund back to New Zealand, make sure you have all the facts before making your decision, particularly if you’re a member of a defined benefit pension scheme.

According to the UK Government, most people are best to continue their membership in a defined benefit pension scheme.

Changes to UK legislation in 2015 mean UK pension funds can no longer be transferred into KiwiSaver. You must use a NZ Qualifying Registered Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS).

Get independent financial advice

One of the most important things on your checklist is to get independent financial advice as this involves the management of your retirement savings.

There are costs and financial implications associated with transferring your UK pension savings to New Zealand.

We recommend you seek professional financial advice that meets your personal circumstances. Consider talking to a tax specialist.  Read our advice on choosing an adviser and pension transfer companies.

What to consider before transferring your money

  • Benefits: what are the benefits of transferring your UK pension, will you lose any existing benefits because the benefits cannot be replicated in your NZ QROPS
  • Risks: what are the risks involved? Some transfers pose higher risk than others
  • Charges: what costs apply to your UK scheme transfer, the charges for the transfer, including the foreign exchange , ongoing service and NZ QROPS scheme charges in NZ
  • Penalties: what are the penalties (if any) and exit fees for the transfer of your UK scheme
  • Withdrawal age: what age you can withdraw your UK pension benefits compared to the proposed NZ QROPS
  • Tax benefits:  note there may not be a tax benefit - IRD’s policy on taxation of foreign superannuation is that there should be no incentive or disincentive to transfer superannuation to New Zealand compared to leaving savings overseas. We suggest you get advice from a tax specialist.

When you talk to your adviser, make sure you get written information on the following about your UK-based scheme including (but not limited to):

Analysis of your UK-based scheme Analysis of your personalised needs and goals
a thorough assessment of any guarantees or associated benefits your personal financial needs and financial goals
the investment fund’s options and scheme’s features the risks of the proposed transfer fund options and scheme features
the funding and income options the benefits of the proposed transfer specific to your situation
a balanced comparison of any other features with the proposed NZ QROPS information on any alternative strategies that have been considered

What you need to know when choosing an adviser

Are they licencsed? Do they have the right expertise? Are they an ‘execution-only’ service?

Only Authorised Financial Advisers (AFAs) and certain Qualifying Financial Entity (QFE) advisers can provide personalised financial advice on category 1 products.

Tax specialists cannot offer you personal advice on your savings unless they hold an AFA or QFE licence  

An adviser needs to have the skills and expertise to help you make informed decisions about your UK pension transfer. This means they won’t take into account your personal situation although they act for people like you. 

Some advisers provide advice on UK pension transfers but only on a ‘class’ basis.

‘Execution only’ services do not provide any advice, so cannot tell you if the transfer is in your best interest.

They only provide information or a recommendation or opinion on the process for acquiring or disposing of a financial product


Are there any good reasons to transfer my UK pension scheme entitlements?

There may be good reasons to transfer your UK pension scheme entitlements in certain circumstances, for example if you have a relatively small holding, or are in poor health. This is why it’s important to seek personalised financial advice about your individual circumstances.

I have already transferred my pension. Have I made a mistake?

Once your pension has been transferred it may be very difficult to transfer it back. If you have concerns about a transfer you have made, you should talk to your financial adviser, transfer agent or QROPS provider. To help with an assessment, you may need to refer to the paperwork completed at the time of your transfer.

How do I make a complaint if I am unhappy with my pension transfer?

All financial service providers who offer services to the public must belong to an independent dispute resolution scheme. You will find the name of their scheme in their disclosure documents.

Can I also get advice from the UK or from my UK scheme provider?

You can try contacting your UK scheme provider who may have a scheme administrator or adviser licensed to help you under UK legislation. There are many independent advisers in the UK that may be able to assist.

Find out more

Transferring from other countries

If you are a New Zealand resident wanting to transfer pension funds from your country of origin to New Zealand, you need to check whether the laws in your country allow it.

There are tax and financial implications to consider before deciding. The IRD's website provides some information on foreign superannuation taxation, but you should get advice from a tax expert and a financial adviser.

Transferring private superannuation funds

If you are a New Zealander wanting to transfer money you have saved in a private or workplace superannuation scheme into a KiwiSaver scheme, you need to check whether:

  • the trust deeds of your superannuation scheme and the KiwiSaver scheme allow you to transfer
  • the trustees of your superannuation scheme and the manager of the KiwiSaver scheme agree to the transfer.

You can contact IRD about KiwiSaver.

If you are seeking advice about KiwiSaver schemes, you should talk to an authorised financial adviser.