It is a mandatory contribution that is made by employers on behalf of their employees, and it is designed to help individuals save for their retirement.
The funds in the Australia Super account are invested in a range of different assets, including stocks, bonds, and property, and the account holder can choose how their money is invested.
You are able to transfer your KiwiSaver into your Australian super fund. You are also able to withdraw some of your super funds to help you purchase your first home (read more below).
You should provide your tax file number (TFN) to your employer and super fund. If you don’t, your super fund may take extra tax out of your super contributions and will not be able to accept your personal contributions.
Please make sure your research your super fund provider and the specific fund you are going to invest in, as I have had a number of visitors transfer their KiwiSver into a fund they are not happy with.
In this post you will find information on:
Super, or superannuation, is a type of retirement savings account that is designed to help people save for their retirement. It is a long-term investment that grows over time, and is generally funded by contributions from both the employee and the employer.
The money in a super account is invested by a professional fund manager, and is intended to provide a source of income for the individual in retirement.
It’s important that you learn what you are entitled to, what your employer needs to pay, and limits that apply, because it can help you maximize your retirement savings.
Adding a little extra, choosing a fund whose investment strategies align with your circumstances and checking how much you are paying in fees and charges will help your super grow over your whole working life in Australia. The YourSuper comparison tool will help you compare MySuper products and choose a super fund that meets your needs.
The YourSuper comparison tool helps you choose a super fund by displaying MySuper products ranked by fees and net returns. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC’s) Moneysmart website also provides information on what to look for when comparing and choosing a fund at Moneysmart – choosing a super fund.
If you have priously lived in Australia and made super contribution, you can find your super account/s through myGov.
You can log in to ATO online services through myGov to find your super. You can see the super accounts held for you, and whether we are holding any super for you. You can also consolidate these into your preferred super account.
If you are a New Zealand permanent resident or citizen who worked in Australia and you were eligible for super, an amount may have been paid on your behalf into an Australian super fund account.
In some circumstances, Australian super funds are required to transfer certain accounts to the ATO as unclaimed super money (USM). This may occur when:
Money transferred to the ATOs in these circumstances is known as ATO-held USM.
The Trans-Tasman retirement savings portability arrangement helps you take your retirement savings with you when you move between Australia and New Zealand.
Changes to the law in December 2020 mean that if you permanently emigrated to New Zealand or are a New Zealand citizen and you have ATO-held USM, you may be eligible to:
You need to apply to the ATO directly, and they will transfer any ATO-held USM that belongs to you to your nominated KiwiSaver scheme. These transfers will occur bi-annually in February and August.
Read more about how you can search for lost super, get the application and how to ldge your application visit the ATO’s website, ATO-held USM for New Zealand permanent residents and citizens post.
Making extra contributions is a great way to boost your retirement savings. It could also help you reduce your tax. You may have different options depending on your age, how much you want to put in and your super balance. For more information, see growing your super.
Some of the main ways you can personally make extra contributions include:
Before you make decisions about your super, you need to understand what’s best for you. This will depend on your income and personal circumstances.
It’s important to consider any consequences of making super contributions as too much super can mean extra tax.
In some circumstances the government can also make additional contributions to your super as a:
You can generally only withdraw your super when you reach retirement. It is illegal to access super early without meeting a condition of release. Fees and penalties will apply for doing so.
You may be able to access your super early in the following types of circumstances and if you meet certain requirements, where you:
The first home super saver (FHSS) scheme allows people to save money for their first home inside their super fund, then withdraw it to use towards their home deposit of their first home.
From 1 July 2017, you can make voluntary concessional (before-tax) and voluntary non-concessional (after-tax) contributions into your super fund to save for your first home.
From 1 July 2018, you can then apply to release your voluntary contributions, along with associated earnings, to help you purchase your first home. You must meet the eligibility requirements to apply for the release of these amounts.
You can use this scheme if you are a first home buyer and both of the following apply:
You can apply to have a maximum of $15,000 of your voluntary contributions from any one financial year included in your eligible contributions to be released under the FHSS scheme, up to a total of $50,000 contributions across all years. You will also receive an amount of earnings that relate to those contributions.
However, you will need to be with a super provider and specific plan to be able to withdraw your funds to help purchase your first Australian home. Not all super providers have an FHSS scheme, so make sure before you transfer your funds.
Read more about the FHSS in my KiwiSaver for your Home Deposit post.
Reaching retirement age is a significant milestone, and accessing your super will provide you with a source of income in your retirement years. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to access your super as a lump sum or as regular payments over time.
There are rules around withdrawing and using your super. Severe penalties and fees apply for accessing it illegally. It’s important you are confident you meet the requirements before you access your super.
At this point you should also consider how tax will apply to your super benefits. This will depend on a number of different factors, such as your age and whether your super comes from a taxed or untaxed source.
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If you’ve read the above content and the answer to your question isn’t there, please write a comment below and I’ll research the answer for you. Please note, if the answer to your question is in the content above, I will not reply. Sorry, I just get too many questions these days and I can’t keep up.