Announcements
PUBLISHED 7 July 2009

Australia-NZ super portability on agenda

The portability of retirement savings between New Zealand and Australia is on the agenda for discussions next week in Brisbane between Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan and New Zealand Finance Minister Bill English, the government announced today. If an agreement is reached, the government said, people returning permanently to New Zealand from Australia would soon be able to bring their retirement savings back home. The annual meeting will also cover progress with the Single Economic Market programme, the new DTA between the two countries, and global and domestic economic issues. For more information see the media statement.


Hon Bill English
Minister of Finance

MEDIA STATEMENT

Super portability on agenda for Australian visit

Finance Minister Bill English will meet Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan in Brisbane on July 16 to discuss the portability of retirement savings between New Zealand and Australia.

"If an agreement is reached, it will mean that people returning permanently to New Zealand from Australia will soon be able to bring their retirement savings back home," Mr English says.

"Retirement savings portability is part of the wider Single Economic Market work programme, which will reduce impediments to trade and the free movement of people between our two countries.

"Although details are still to be discussed, this stands to be an important step forward. It would allow New Zealanders and Australians to consolidate their financial affairs in the country in which they live."

It is envisaged the new arrangements would apply to retirement savings held in New Zealand Kiwisaver accounts and certain Australian complying superannuation funds. Retirement savings from Australia could be transferred only into KiwiSaver funds in New Zealand.

Australia's Tax Office estimated last year that it had about A$13 billion (NZ$16.6 billion) in "lost accounts" in the Australian superannuation system.

"We expect that a considerable amount of this money could belong to New Zealanders who have returned home and portability arrangements would allow these funds to be brought back to New Zealand," Mr English says.

Mr English's annual meeting with Mr Swan will also cover progress with the Single Economic Market programme, discussions about the two countries' new double tax agreement signed last month, along with global and domestic economic issues.

"This will be an important visit and I'm looking forward to sharing ideas with Mr Swan about the global economic situation and how New Zealand and Australia can work together on our many common challenges," Mr English says.

During his two-day visit to Australia, Mr English will speak to the Australian Association of Business Economists in Sydney on July 15 and visit businesses with interests in New Zealand.

He will then travel to Brisbane for the meeting with Mr Swan, a speech to the Trans Tasman Business Circle and a function with New Zealand and Queensland businesses.

Media contact: Craig Howie: Ph 027 755 5809