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Foreign super

Super portability between Australia and New Zealand

Section: 10.8

From 1 July 2013, 'trans-Tasman retirement savings portability' rules allow Australian and New Zealand residents to transfer their retirement savings when they move between Australia and New Zealand and are a permanent resident of the other country, while maintaining the integrity of the retirement savings systems of both countries.

It is important to note that the foreign superannuation rules discussed earlier in this section (eg taxation of applicable fund earnings) do not apply to trans-Tasman
retirement savings portability.

Introduction to portability rules

Eligible individuals can transfer their retirement savings between Australian complying superannuation funds and New Zealand KiwiSaver schemes. The transfer of the funds is voluntary for individuals and funds or schemes are also not obligated to offer or accept these transfers.

Australian super savings that include a New Zealand-sourced amount can only be transferred to and held in complying superannuation funds that are regulated
by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

Once funds are transferred from the source country to the host country:

  • Retirement savings will be subject to superannuation and taxation rules applicable to host fund or scheme, with some exceptions (eg access to retirement savings).
  • Transferred amounts from the source country must be separately identifiable as either Australian or New Zealand sourced amounts.
  • Reductions and/or payments from a member's account balance will be applied to balances that were accrued in the host country, prior to being applied to balances from the source country.
  • New Zealand-sourced amounts being transferred to Australia for the first time will count towards non-concessional contributions cap.


The following are not allowed under trans-Tasman retirement savings portability:

  • Retirement savings that contain a New Zealand sourced amount cannot be transferred to a SMSF.
  • Transfers of the following to New Zealand:
    • Defined benefit interests.
    • Unfunded public sector scheme interests.
    • Payments that contain taxable component (untaxed element).

Summary of super portability rules

  Transfers from New Zealand to Australia Transfers from Australia to New Zealand
Who is eligible?
  • Must provide receiving fund with evidence of permanent emigration from New Zealand
  • Must meet SIS contribution requirements
  • Under 65, or
  • 65 to 74 and meet work test
  • Must provide receiving fund with evidence of permanent emigration from New Zealand
  • Must be under eligibility age for NZ super (currently 65)
What can be
  • The full balance of a member's KiwiSaver account
  • The entire balance, not part, in a complying Australian super fund
  • Exclusions apply for SMSFs and certain interests (see previous section)
Where can it
be transferred?
  • Any APRA Regulated complying super fund that is willing to receive the transfer
  • Cannot be transferred to a SMSF
  • Any KiwiSaver scheme
  • Entire transfer is generally treated as a non-concessional contribution for contribution cap purposes
  • Exceptions apply for amounts received that have already previously been transferred to Australia or originated in Australia
  • No restrictions
  • NZ super system does not have contributions caps
  • New Zealand sourced amounts form part of tax-free component
  • Earnings (while in accumulation phase) on New Zealand sourced amounts form part of taxable component
  • Normal Australian superannuation tax rules apply on withdrawal
  • Transfer is exempt from Australian tax
  • Advice should be sought on any New Zealand tax implications
Accessing funds after transferring
  • New Zealand sourced amounts cannot be transferred to a SMSF or to another country
  • New Zealand sourced amounts cannot be accessed until NZ retirement age (currently 65)
  • Australian sourced amounts cannot be transferred to another country
  • Australian sourced amounts can be accessed once the member reaches age 60 and permanently retires

Last modified: Wednesday, July 24, 2019