Under KiwiSaver, if you have permanently emigrated from New Zealand to a country other than Australia, after one year you can apply to the Manager for approval to withdraw your funds and close your KiwiSaver Account. Under this option, any member tax credits you have received since joining will be returned to the Government. You keep any interest earned on the tax credits, and you keep the $1,000 kick-start.
If it is less than one year since you permanently emigrated, you also have the option at any time after permanently emigrating to transfer the balance of your account to a foreign superannuation scheme authorised for that purpose under regulations made under section 228 of the KiwiSaver Act. These regulations are still to be clarified.
If you have permanently emigrated to Australia, you can apply to transfer your KiwiSaver scheme to your Australian superannuation scheme. For more information, click here.
To apply to the Trustee to withdraw your KiwiSaver Account due to permanent emigration you will need to take the following steps:
1. Complete the permanent emigration withdrawal form.
2. Complete the statutory declaration (over the page), and have it signed by someone who is the equivalent of a Justice of the Peace (JP) or other notary public in New Zealand.
3. Attach evidence to satisfy the Manager that you have permanently emigrated and have been gone from New Zealand for at least one year. This should include:
- proof of departure from New Zealand such as travel arrangements;
- certified copy of passport;
- proof of an address that you have lived at since leaving NZ;
- visa details if relevant;
- evidence to support your claim to have permanently emigrated, such as address details, employment confirmation, power bills, bank statements.
4. Send your application form together with the supporting documentation to SuperLife.
5. Your application will be considered by the Manager for approval, and the outcome advised to you.
6. If approved, your KiwiSaver Account balance will be paid to your bank account and any member tax credits will be refunded to the government, if you have not emigrated to Australia, and to your Australian scheme including any member tax credits, if you have emigrated to Australia.