New Zealanders who worked in Australia and made compulsory superannuation payments will be able to get their hands on their nest eggs at last after the Australian Government introduced legislation that will allow Kiwis to transfer their funds across the Tasman.
Previously, New Zealanders who made payments to Australian pension schemes were compelled to leave them there.
Australian Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation Bill Shorten said the legislation was an important step towards closer economic relations between New Zealand and Australia and a removal of barriers to labour mobility.
New Zealanders returning home and Australians moving here will be able to bring their Australian savings and consolidate them with their New Zealand retirement savings.
New Zealanders who move to Australia will also be able to transfer their KiwiSaver scheme savings there and add them to their Australian superannuation benefits.
Next year marks the 30th anniversary of the Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement between the countries.
"That agreement, together with the single economic market agenda, has brought down trade barriers, reduced costs for business, encouraged investment and created jobs and economic growth for both Australia and New Zealand,'' said Mr Shorten.
The legislation will come into force in July next year.
Key features of the scheme include:
- Individuals may transfer their retirement savings between an Australian complying superannuation fund regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and a New Zealand KiwiSaver scheme
- Participation is voluntary for members and for superannuation funds and schemes
- Retirement savings will generally be subject to the rules in the host country
- New Zealand retirement savings transferred to Australia will be treated as non-concessional contributions and subject to the Australian non-concessional cap arrangements at the initial point of entry.