Personal finance and KiwiSaver columnist at the NZ Herald

Helen Twose: Get advice on ownership transfer

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No reference in legislation to how long property must stay in the member's name before it can be changed

Photo / File
Photo / File

Q: A family home has been purchased with the help from money from KiwiSaver. Is there a time limit before the home can be transferred into an existing family trust?

A: The KiwiSaver legislation notes that the sale and purchase agreement for a property must show the member as the purchaser so the property cannot be bought in the name of a family trust.

In terms of the property being purchased with the aid of KiwiSaver employer and member contributions there appears to be no reference in the legislation to how long the property must stay in the member's name before it can be changed.

If the Housing New Zealand deposit subsidy was used to purchase the property, the property must stay in the member's name for six months.

It may be wise to seek personal legal advice around your own circumstances of purchase and intention with regards to the transfer of property ownership.

Anthony Quirk, Milford Asset Management managing director.

Q: So from next July providing all the criteria are met, Kiwis will be able to move their Aussie super over to New Zealand KiwiSaver.

Is this arrangement going to be reciprocal?

I have a decent little stash of Aussie super having lived and worked there for close to 18 years.

As you know the rate over there was, until very recently, 9 per cent but it is calculated and tacked on to your negotiated base salary and employers don't begrudge paying it.

They figured out early that employees do not consider superannuation to be a "staff benefit" because it doesn't matter who you work for you're going to have super figured into the equation and the tax incentives for both employer and employee make it nicely workable for all parties concerned.

And what does the government get out of it? A nice big chunk of constantly increasing contributions into the economy.

Win, win, win, win.

Also I was fortunate enough to work for some very progressive companies who pretty much matched dollar for dollar any contributions over and above the regulatory 9 per cent.

So all in all it's a tidy little sum.

Not big by Aussie standards but I'm happy with it.

I am happy in New Zealand. I've been back for six years and my kids are getting to know their grandparents.

It's a more family-oriented lifestyle in New Zealand but to be perfectly honest I really think I would be crazy to move my super from Australia back to here.

As far as my KiwiSaver goes, I don't have a whopping great amount, but it's not too bad as being a strong believer in superannuation (a mindset from living in Australia between the ages of 18 to 36) I've chosen to contribute the highest amount possible: eight per cent.

Admittedly, this hurts a bit given it's after tax and quite frankly it irks me that the employer only has to contribute 2 per cent, but that's the way it is and the whole KiwiSaver thing will get there in the end.

It will just take time, and probably longer than it should because the 1 to 2 per cent mentality isn't really going to cut the mustard in the long run.

I'm not going to stop funnelling off as much as I can now, for later.

But if I move back to Australia (who knows what the future will bring) will I be able to move my KiwiSaver into an Australian super scheme?

Which I guess opens up a few more questions around lump sum movement v dribs and drabs that may (or may not) be accumulated sporadically between the two countries?

A: Yes, when Australian legislation is passed you will be able to move your Australian superannuation savings to KiwiSaver schemes and vice versa.

This arrangement, known as Trans-Tasman Superannuation Portability, is designed to reflect the increased mobility of people between New Zealand and Australia.

We'd strongly recommend getting advice from a qualified adviser before initiating a transfer to ensure you get the best outcome for your situation since differences in tax and fees as well as your personal circumstances should be considered.

Nigel Jackson, Westpac acting head of investments and insurance.

Disclaimer: Information provided is stated accurately to the best of the respondent's knowledge at the time of publication. It is general in nature and should not be construed, or relied on, as a recommendation to invest in a particular financial product or class of financial product. Readers should seek independent financial advice specific to their situation before making an investment decision.

To have your KiwiSaver questions answered by the NZ Herald's panel of industry players email Helen Twose,

- NZ Herald

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