If you are thinking of moving to Australia and have funds in Kiwisaver the Australian Government has changed legislation to enable New Zealanders to move their funds to a similar Australian scheme which is compatible (not all are). This system can also be used in reverse where Australian superannuation funds can be transferred to Kiwisaver (check on www.kiwisaver.govt.nz).
After discussions between the Australian and New Zealand Governments it has been decided that to enable citizens of both countries to make the most of job opportunities in each other’s countries this obstacle should be removed. This will also encourage people to keep investing in a retirement scheme be it in Australia or New Zealand.
In Australia it is compulsory for an employee to belong to a retirement saving scheme which, in the past, has meant those funds had to be left in Australia if and when an ex-pat Kiwi went back to New Zealand. The Tax Office in Australia estimates they retain around NZ$21 billion in unclaimed accounts due to this anomally where Kiwis have returned home. With this new initiative it is hoped this money can be transferred to the account of these people’s Kiwisaver provider.
Taxes (entry or exit) will not be applied to the transferred funds but any Australian funds will not be available to be used towards a new home in New Zealand although interest earned can be.