leaving the country

Q) I am thinking of leaving NZ and returning to the U.K. I am 60 years old. What do I need to do to get my Kiwisaver funds?

A) As you might already be aware, permanent emigration is one of the four accepted reasons for being able to get out of KiwiSaver early. The other three are: financial hardship,  serious illness and first time home buying. Here's a link to the official KiwiSaver website outlining early access provisions. 

What do you need to do?

First, you'll need to contact your provider to obtain the required paperwork. Remember that before you can get access to that money, you'll have to have waited a minimum of 12 months but you might as well get all your ducks in a row before hand to speed up the process for when the date ticks over.  Among the paperwork you'll need is a statuary declaration swearing that you've left the country, passport records, airline tickets, as well as evidence that you live somewhere else in the U.K.

What will you get?

Basically you'll get back everything you paid into the scheme, the $1,000 kick-start, any contributions your employer or employers here  have made, plus the returns earned on the investment. What you won't get back are the member tax credits that Government chipped in over the time you've been invested. Up until July last year that was a maxiumum of $1043. That's since been cut in half to $521.

If you want to see exactly how much in member tax credits you'll forfeit, you can go to the KiwiSaver website. To access your personal information and details, you need a on-line registration user name and password. It's the same one you use to access IRD's website. This link will take you directly to the registration site for IRD. So long as you have your IRD number handy, you're in business.

If you're after more information on keeping track of contributions, check out this link.  And this one  will specifically explain how to obtain the break down in payments between your contributions, your employer and Government's share. 

If you are not on-line savy, don't stress. You should be able to get all this information over the phone from someone at Inland Revenue.

Here's the phone number.

0800 KIWISAVER (0800 549 472).

If you're calling from outside New Zealand, call +64 4 978 0800.

Calling hours are 8am to 6.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Good luck!