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Transferring overseas superannuation

Page last updated: 19 Mar 2018

If you are thinking about transferring money from another country back to New Zealand, make sure you have all the facts before making your decision.

5 things to find out before you transfer

Below are 5 things you need to know before you transfer any pension or superannuation benefits from overseas to New Zealand. 

  1. What benefits will you lose when you transfer?
  2. If you’re using a financial adviser to help with the transfer, is the fee set or is it commission-based? If the fee is commission-based, find out how much, and make sure you are comfortable your adviser is acting in your best interest.  
  3. Will you be charged any other fees, either by your adviser or the pension or superannuation providers?
  4. Are there any tax implications you need to consider?
  5. Will the age you can access your benefits be different?

Transferring UK pension funds

If you want to transfer money from your UK pension fund back to New Zealand, you must use a New Zealand Qualifying Registered Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS). You cannot transfer your UK pension savings into your KiwiSaver scheme.

Once your pension has been transferred, you cannot transfer it back so we strongly recommend you speak to an authorised financial adviser first. You should also consider speaking to an international tax expert.

If you’re in a defined benefit scheme, it’s rarely in your best interests to transfer your savings to New Zealand. To learn more read

Be aware of people contacting you out of the blue

We’re aware of overseas companies cold calling New Zealand residents and offering UK transfers. This may not be in your best interests. Often, people are offered different ways to invest, special ‘deals’ or opportunities to access their money before 55. 

If you’re contacted out of the blue, hang up. It’s likely to be a scam. Visit the UK Pension Regulator’s website for more tips on how to protect yourself from scammers.

Transferring Australian superannuation funds

If you’re a New Zealand resident, you can transfer your Australian superannuation savings into your KiwiSaver scheme. If you’re living in Australia permanently, you can also transfer your KiwiSaver savings to an Australian complying superannuation scheme.

Once you’ve transferred your Australian superannuation savings to New Zealand, you can only transfer them back to Australia if you return there permanently.

Before making a decision to transfer, get advice from an authorised financial adviser. You should also consider speaking to an international tax expert. To learn more read IRD's fact sheet on trans-Tasman transfers.

Transferring from other countries

If you are a New Zealand resident wanting to transfer pension funds from your country of origin to New Zealand, you need to check whether the laws in your country allow it.

Consider the tax and financial implications before deciding. The IRD's website provides some information on foreign superannuation taxation, but you should also get advice from an authorised financial adviser and an international tax expert.