7 Jul 2009

NZers could soon retrieve Australian super savings

3:12 pm on 7 July 2009

New Zealanders returning home from Australia could soon be able to bring their Australian retirement savings with them, potentially worth billions of dollars to the economy.

Finance Minister Bill English is meeting Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan in Brisbane next week, in which reaching a deal on the portability of retirement savings is at the top of the agenda.

Under present arrangements, people living in either country have to leave their retirement savings behind when they move across the Tasman.

Australia's tax office estimates the equivalent of about $NZ16.6 billion in lost accounts in the Australian superannuation system.

It is likely a considerable proportion of that money belongs to New Zealanders who have already returned home, Mr English says.

The minister says reaching a deal on retirement savings portability would allow them to bring the money back, but it would have to be transferred to KiwiSaver accounts here.