Backpack, sun cream and mosquito repellent at the ready, you’re heading overseas! Well, of course, what you pack depends on where you’re going. Whether you’ve stuffed your woollen jumpers into an overpacked suitcase or just your favourite togs and signature shades, it’s important to take care of matters at home before starting your adventures. If you have questions about your KiwiSaver contributions when you leave, we’ve got all the answers!

What happens to your KiwiSaver kind of depends where you’re going and how long you’re going for! Don’t worry if your plans change; you can rejoin KiwiSaver if you’re eligible if/when you return to the land of sheep.

Image result for kiwis in london
A Kiwi (left) In London.

If you’re moving overseas temporarily
‘Temporarily’ could be anything from 1 year to 20 years! If you plan on coming back, you still be a member of KiwiSaver but once you stop working in New Zealand, your contributions will automatically stop. However, you can still make voluntary contributions whenever you like; simply have a yarn with your KiwiSaver provider.

For all you spring chickens jetting off on your OE, you can also remain a member of KiwiSaver, but you won’t receive all the benefits. Mainly, you won’t receive any Government contributions. Sad, but let’s be honest, that won’t bother you when you’re eating gelato and taking cringy photos at the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

However, those of you lucky enough to work for the NZ government or volunteer for a registered NZ charity overseas will still receive government contributions.

If you’re moving overseas permanently
We’re sad to see you go, but we don’t blame you if you’re looking for better weather! Once you’ve been overseas in any country outside Australia for 1 year, you can withdraw your KiwiSaver. Different rules apply to Oz, but we’ll get to that in a bit.

You can pretty much withdraw everything for permanent emigration. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to withdraw:

  • your contributions
  • your employer’s contributions
  • fee subsidies (if you have them)
  • any interest you’ve earned
  • your $1,000 kickstart (if you received one.)

Unfortunately, you can’t withdraw any Government contributions you’ve received.

There’s a cheeky bit of admin to complete before you can withdraw; you need to apply for a permanent emigration withdrawal. You’re going to need to get these documents ready:

  • a statutory declaration showing you’ve permanently emigrated from NZ
  • evidence you’ve left NZ
  • an overseas address you’ve lived at during the same year you left NZ.

Moving to Australia permanently
So, you’ve moved over to our Trans-Tasman cousins for eternal sunshine and endless barbies.

It’s super easy to manage your KiwiSaver account once you move to Australia. Instead of withdrawing your savings, you can transfer them to an Australian superannuation scheme. Contact your KiwiSaver provider to get the ball rolling.