Trans-Tasman Retirement Savings Transfers – Advice Is Key

The rules around Trans-Tasman transfers are a bit odd, and a giant pain in the neck, but worth it.

It took years for the two governments of New Zealand and Australia to get to a place where we could get Trans-Tasman portability, and while the KiwiSaver providers leaped at it, the Australian ones, not so much.

Bringing money to New Zealand requires a pile of paperwork, a visit to the Australian Embassy (if you are in Wellington) or a lawyer who is recognised as being able to practice in Australia otherwise, and then hoping that some minor infraction does not have them send it all back.

Most people I know have had their stuff reposted back to New Zealand at least once.

Going the other way, most of the Australian providers are not interested in helping.  It’s starting to change, but essentially they don’t want the hassle.

I don’t blame them, it’s a bit of a pain as the money that’s transferred has to stick to the original countries rules, so money from Australia cannot be used to buy a home in New Zealand, and money going to Australia has to stay in the fund till you’re aged 65, not as part of the early withdrawal they can do.

So the answer?  Get advice as usual, read the documents thoroughly and be patient.

Once the money is here, you don’t have to worry about what Australia does with their rules.

It’s not about long term returns etc., just about having your money in a country you are in and can keep an eye on.

BlogAlan Borthwick