Super is a way of saving for your retirement. Generally, when you start working in Australia and you are 18 years of age or older, your employer must start contributing to your super.

Unlike in New Zealand, your contribution does not come out of your pay. In Australia, your employer pays a compulsory sum of money into a super account of your choice. This sum is known as superannuation guarantee (SG) and is currently 11% of your earnings (including bonuses, commissions and loadings).

Your super is then invested by your superannuation fund in a range of assets to help grow your balance. You can also make additional personal, voluntary contributions to further boost your savings.

NZRelo has specifically partnered with First Super, an APRA regulated industry super fund that allows KiwiSaver transfers to Australia so that you can combine your KiwiSaver with your Australian super contributions. This allows you to save on taxes and admin fees so you can grow your balance for the best possible retirement outcome.

There are very few funds that accept KiwiSaver transfers, and you cannot transfer your KiwiSaver to an Self Managed Super Fund.

If you don’t choose a super fund when you start your first job in Australia, your employer will open an account on your behalf with their “default” superannuation fund. You also can’t choose to receive your superannuation as a cash payment.

It is important to note that super is designed as a long-term investment to give you an income in retirement, so normally you can’t access your super until you’ve reached your preservation age. However, there are certain situations where you may be eligible to access your super early. These include:

  • First Home Super Saver scheme
  • Severe Financial Hardship
  • Compassionate Grounds
  • Temporary resident permanently leaving Australia (you can transfer your Australian superannuation savings back to a KiwiSaver fund).
  • Terminal illness or permanent disability.

One of the main differences between Australia and New Zealand is the way in which the word “superannuation” is used.

In Australia, superannuation generally comes from SG contributions that your employer makes throughout your working life. This money is invested by the super fund and the money earned on these investments is added to your account. You are also able to make “voluntary” contributions if you wish to save more for your retirement. The Australian Government may also contribute to your superannuation if you satisfy certain criteria.

These funds are “locked” in place until you reach preservation age, and you cannot withdraw them earlier unless you satisfy certain conditions mentioned above. You do have the option to change super funds though and to choose which fund holds your money.

In short, Australian superannuation is similar to a KiwiSaver account, but with slightly different rules. In New Zealand, when you turn 65, you may be eligible for NZ Superannuation – which in Australia would be called a “Aged Pension”.


This is a sponsored advertising promotion by First Super Pty Limited (ABN 42 053 498 472, AFSL 223988) as trustee of First Super (ABN 56 286 625 181).

This document contains general advice which has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether the advice is appropriate for you and read the Product Disclosure Statement before making any investment decisions.  To obtain a copy of the PDS or Target Market Determination please contact First Super on 1300 360 988 or visit our website