Can I still contribute towards KiwiSaver and send money into my KiwiSaver account if I move overseas?
"Yes", says Westpac's head of investment products, Nigel Jackson.
"You can make one-off or regular contributions whenever you like, even if you're living overseas.
"One thing to bear in mind however is that you won't be eligible for member tax credits for the time you live overseas (though you may be eligible for a partial payment if you were here for part of the 1 July - 30 June period)." The member tax credit is the annual $522 government bonus given to those who put $1044 into their KiwiSaver fund.
If you join or leave KiwiSaver part-way through the KiwiSaver year - this runs from the beginning of July to the end of June - the member tax credit is worked out on a pro-rata basis.
To work out your pro-rata member tax credit multiply the number of days from July 1 until your departure date by $521.43 (the figure for the member tax credit available for a full year). Now divide this number by 365.
The answer should be the amount of your final member tax credit before your departure overseas, which will be paid early in the following "KiwiSaver year".
If for some reason you decide to make your move overseas permanent there are options for getting access to your KiwiSaver funds.
Moving KiwiSaver funds to Australia is now governed by transtasman portability rules, which has opened the way for those making Australia their permanent home to take their KiwiSaver funds with them.
Up until the middle of last year it was possible to cash up your KiwiSaver, minus any member tax credits you might have received, and take it with you once you'd lived in Australia for a year. Transtasman portability makes it possible to take contributions made by you and your employer, the $1000 kick-start, plus the member tax credits with you when you move to Australia.
Those funds will still be subject to some of the KiwiSaver rules so at present you can't withdraw that money from your Australian super fund until you turn 65, unlike your Australian-sourced funds, which will be available at the age of 60, the current age of eligibility there.
It isn't compulsory for providers on either side of the Tasman to accept transferred funds but, generally speaking, KiwiSaver providers have set themselves up to receive funds from Australian super funds.
Unfortunately it currently isn't so easy moving KiwiSaver money to Australia.
It seems very few Australian providers are taking KiwiSaver money, in part because super funds there have been focused on some big industry-wide changes, but hopefully this will change in time.
It's not absolutely necessary to move your KiwiSaver funds, but remember Jackson's point that you won't get the annual member tax credit benefits if you make any contributions while you are out of the country.
Until the Australian providers have sorted themselves out it really is just a case of sitting tight.
If you're moving permanently to countries other than Australia it is still possible for you to withdraw your KiwiSaver funds after you've lived outside New Zealand for a year.
Once you've signed a statutory declaration and provided evidence that you've left New Zealand for good you'll be able to withdraw your KiwiSaver funds, except for any member tax credits.
Should you decide to return to New Zealand further down the track you can re-join KiwiSaver but you won't get another $1000 kick-start payment.
More information is available on the KiwiSaver website here.
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 Herald's panel of industry players email Helen Twose, email@example.com.