Worked in Aussie? You may have unclaimed super money sitting with the Australian Tax Office, which isn’t being invested.
If you’re a New Zealand permanent resident or citizen who has worked in Australia at any point in the last 20 years, you may have unclaimed super money (USM) held by the Australian Tax Office (ATO). The ATO currently billions from inactive superannuation accounts. Some people don’t even know that they have money sitting over there!
If you’re in this situation, don’t worry! One of the providers we work with, has been working closely with the Inland Revenue and the Australian Tax Office to make it easy for you to transfer any unclaimed super money held by the ATO to your KiwiSaver account.
Look after the pennies, the dollars take care of themselves – Even though it may be a small amount, getting every little bit working right now, ensure you’ll have more than enough when you reach retirement.
Will wondering how this money has made it’s way to the ATO in the first place?
Australian Super providers transfer inactive accounts to the ATO when:
- The balance is less than $6000, and
- There haven’t been any contributions for at least 12 months.
This means that if your Aussie Super account has a balance higher than $6000, or you have contributed to your Aussie Super account within the last 12 months, then your account will likely still be invested with your Aussie Super provider. However, if your account has been transferred to the ATO, it’s not currently invested, which means you are missing out on potential returns.
Why transfer your inactive Aussie Super to your KiwiSaver account? Even with a balance that’s less than $6000, the magic of ‘compounding returns’ can make investing these funds alongside your KiwiSaver account very worthwhile by the time you reach retirement and are ready to withdraw1. By transferring your inactive Aussie Super to your KiwiSaver account, you’re ensuring that your money is being put to work and growing, rather than sitting idly by with the ATO.
Often funds never get withdrawn from the ATO, often because the rightful owner has forgotten about the funds or considers the process to hard or, let’s be honest, they can’t be bothered. This new process looks a lot easier from our perspective, and the sooner you transfer your funds – the sooner you can potentially start benefiting from time in the market.
1Money transferred from an Australian Super Account to a KiwiSaver account cannot be withdrawn as part of a first-home withdrawal. It can be accessed when you reach retirement.
So, how can you transfer your Aussie Super to your KiwiSaver account?
We’re working with a provider who is using this new process that makes it easier for our members to track down their unclaimed super money sitting with the ATO and transfer it to their KiwiSaver account. The new process involves the completion of an ‘Application for transfer of ATO-held USM to New Zealand’ form and posting it to the Australian Tax Office. That’s it!
From there, the NZ-based KiwiSaver provider work directly with the Australian Tax Office to confirm how much unclaimed super you have.
Reminder: This new process is for unclaimed super money held by the ATO, not an Aussie Super provider. Aussie Super providers will transfer inactive accounts to the ATO if the balance is less than $6000 and no contributions have been made for at least 12 months.
For Aussie Super accounts with a balance over $6000, or where there have been contributions within the last 12 months, Kiwis will need to follow a different process to transfer their funds to New Zealand. If you’re not sure whether your Aussie Super account is with your provider or has been transferred to the ATO – you can contact the ATO and they will be able to advise.
Ready to transfer your inactive Aussie Super from the ATO to your KiwiSaver account?
You can transfer your inactive Aussie Super to your KiwiSaver account and start reaping the benefits now, and it’s a bit easier than it used to be. We can help guide you through the process and ensure that your unclaimed super money is transferred as smoothly and efficiently as possible.