Access to Australian retirement savings for Kiwis has just got a step closer, with the trans-Tasman retirement portability scheme set to pass.
Minister for superannuation Bill Shorten has released draft legislation to establish Australia’s participation in a portability scheme New Zealand passed in parliament two years ago.
Australians and New Zealanders working in Australia are currently unable to take their super with them when they permanently leave Australia, leaving literally billions of dollars left sitting in untouchable funds.
However, the portability scheme would allow Australians and New Zealanders to take their retirement savings with them when they decide to move back home – and is expected to be introduced to Australia’s parliament later this year.
The difference between Australia’s generous super package and New Zealand’s more conservative and relatively new national super scheme, Kiwisaver, means that Kiwis have billions of dollars in savings locked in superannuation accounts in Australia, and while they can access their superannuation once they reach retirement age, in many cases the interest on those savings does not cover the management fees from Australian super companies, which drain the cash.
In a report by The Australian, Shorten said the scheme was intended to enhance labour mobility between the two countries.
"The new scheme will help Australians and New Zealanders make the most of their retirement savings, as they will be able to take their retirement savings with them across the Tasman when they move," he said.
“This will make it easier for people to move freely between the two countries, help consolidate their retirement savings in their country of residence and avoid paying fees and charges on accounts in the two countries."