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Trans-Tasman retirement savings portability

Saturday 19 July 2008, 1:41AM

By Michael Cullen

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Officials from Australia and New Zealand will finalise the text of a deal by the end of October that will facilitate the portability of private retirement savings across the Tasman, Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan and New Zealand Finance Minister Michael Cullen said at the conclusion of their first formal bilateral talks, which were held at Parliament in Wellington today.

“At our meeting today we surveyed the good progress that senior officials from the two countries have made on the design of some practical options for improving the portability of savings between Australian and New Zealand retirement savings schemes”.

“We are now confident that KiwiSaver and complying Australian superannuation accounts are mutually compatible and that outstanding policy issues can be addressed in time for a Memorandum of Understanding to be ready for signing by the end of October,” the Ministers said.

The basic framework has been agreed, but officials, in conjuction with local financial services industries, still need to design the domestic arrangements in either country.

Progress on the issue would mark another important step forward in efforts to facilitate the free-flow of people between Australia and New Zealand.

“Both governments are committed to all measures that make the Australasian economy a more competitive place in which to work, invest and to do business, and we are delighted that we have been able to make such quick progress in this area,” the Ministers said.