Tracking down your partner's previous KiwiSaver provider is not as hard as it sounds.
Every dollar that members contribute to their KiwiSaver is tracked according to source (employee contribution, government tax credit and so on).
There are several reasons for the careful record keeping: firstly, prudent financial management; secondly, to calculate entitlements (such as Member Tax Credits or the HomeStart Grant); and thirdly, when it comes to withdrawals, different rules apply.
For example, permanent emigration applicants cannot withdraw any Member Tax Credits, but if they apply to transfer their funds to an approved Australian super scheme then all the funds can be transferred.
KiwiSaver providers are required to keep these records, and a summary is passed from one provider to the next. KiwiSaver providers must also send members a statement at least once a year.
What can you do to find this information? The answer is quite simple - your husband's current provider will know who his previous provider was.
They will have communicated with each other in the course of transferring his KiwiSaver account across.
Your husband can ring his current (bank) provider on their 0800 number and get the name of his previous provider.
He will need to do this himself, rather than leaving it to you.
His provider will need to speak to him directly as the owner of the KiwiSaver account.
Why hasn't your partner been taking more interest in his KiwiSaver?
Financial statements do not always make interesting reading but KiwiSaver account statements largely bring good news rather than bad, and are certainly worth a read.
If anyone finds their statements boring or hard to understand, they should call their KiwiSaver provider and let them know.
I asked one of the larger KiwiSaver fund managers for a comment on your partner's problem and they replied: "The new KiwiSaver provider will be able to tell the customer who their previous provider was. The customer can then contact their old provider and get the information that they need from them. If the old provider does not still have statements for the customer, they should still be able to provide them the details that they need on letterhead or in an email."
Your partner's experience is a cautionary tale for readers not to leave financial matters wholly in the hands of their spouse or partner.
Certainly it makes sense to delegate according to strengths and weaknesses.
But no matter how good a relationship is, everyone should be familiar with their financial setup, and be able to take over the reins in the case of illness, separation or death.
- Shelley Hanna is an authorised financial adviser FSP12241. Her free disclosure statement is available on request by calling 06 870 3838 or go to www.peak.net.nz. The information in this article is general and is not personalised. Send your KiwiSaver questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.