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KiwiSaver: Should I Withdraw If I Move Overseas?

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Mary Holm
Mary Holm


I have recently left New Zealand and put about $2000 into KiwiSaver before I left. I was wondering if it was best to leave it in the KiwiSaver account and contribute the minimum amount or whether it is better to pull it out after a year overseas.

I am planning to come back to New Zealand but it could be two years or it could be 10 years. What do you recommend?


Mary Holm: Generally, people overseas can withdraw KiwiSaver money only if they have been away more than a year and sign documents saying they plan not to return to New Zealand. At that stage, the Government will claim back its tax credits, although not the returns earned on the credits.

The exception is if you reach NZ Super age overseas, in which case you can take out all the money, the same as anyone still in New Zealand.

Given your plans to return here, your only consideration is whether to keep contributing. Because you are overseas, you won't receive any further tax credits or employer contributions, so KiwiSaver is no better than any other savings plan.

I suggest you base your decision on whether you would like to tie up the money. If not, you might prefer to keep saving in another account.

If your KiwiSaver provider requires a minimum contribution, even though you are overseas, move to another provider. Many have no minimum requirements.


Mary Holm is the author of bestselling books on KiwiSaver and personal finance. She is also a highly praised seminar presenter. Her written advice is of a general nature, and she is not responsible for any loss that any reader may suffer from following that advice.    

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