Benefits when you leave
Your benefit is the same whatever your reason for leaving. However, the standard and locked sections have different rules about when you can withdraw your money.
Retained membership – leaving your money in UniSaver
When you leave, you may elect to leave all or part of your benefit in UniSaver and become a retained member. Read more about retained membership.
Benefits from standard accounts
When you leave, you may withdraw the balance of your accounts less any amounts in your locked accounts that you are not yet eligible to withdraw.
Benefits from locked accounts
If you are a locked member, the balances in your locked accounts are not normally payable until you have attained the age where you would ordinarily qualify for New Zealand Superannuation (currently 65).
There is an additional requirement if you joined the locked section before 1 July 2019. In this instance, when you fill in a leaving form, you will be asked to confirm that you are opting out of the requirement to have completed five or more years' membership of the locked section (or another complying superannuation fund or KiwiSaver scheme) before becoming eligible to make a withdrawal. As a result, from the date of the withdrawal, you will no longer be eligible for government contributions.
If you emigrate permanently from New Zealand, not less than 12 months after you emigrate, you may apply to us to withdraw the balances in your locked accounts (excluding any government contributions, which revert to Inland Revenue, but including any investment earnings on them), using the Withdrawal on permanent emigration (locked members) form.
You cannot transfer your locked balances direct to an Australian complying superannuation fund. If you wish to do this, you must transfer them from UniSaver to a KiwiSaver scheme before emigrating. You need to think this through carefully. Remember that, if you are not living or don’t normally live in New Zealand, you cannot join KiwiSaver.
You will be required to provide evidence of your permanent emigration.
Call the helpline for further details of the information required. If you are considering this option, you should obtain professional advice.
An earlier withdrawal from your locked accounts may be available if we are reasonably satisfied that you are suffering from a serious illness as defined in the KiwiSaver Act 2006. Serious illness is defined in the Act as an injury, illness or disability that:
- results in you being totally and permanently unable to engage in work for which you are suited by reason of experience, education or training or any combination of those things, or
- poses a serious and imminent risk of death.
You can use the Medical withdrawal form.
Transfers between universities
No benefit is payable if you leave in order to start service with another participating employer in UniSaver (for example, if you left the University of Canterbury for a position at Victoria University of Wellington). Your membership of UniSaver continues unbroken.
Complete the Change of employer form and send it to Mercer in order to make sure that you receive employer contributions from your new employer.
Note that the Auckland University of Technology is not a participant in UniSaver.
Transfers to other superannuation schemes
Under the following circumstances, you can transfer all or part of your remaining account balances (excluding your locked account balances) to another superannuation scheme.
We will pay your benefit to another registered superannuation scheme or KiwiSaver scheme when you leave at your written request. This needs to be approved by us and the trustee of the scheme you wish to transfer to. Your locked account balances can only be transferred to another complying superannuation fund or KiwiSaver scheme.
If you leave your employer to work for an overseas university or to work for a research facility (in each case, as defined in the trust deed), you can request that the full balances in your member standard and employer standard accounts (excluding any amounts in your locked accounts), adjusted for interest, be transferred to a superannuation scheme to which the overseas university or research facility contributes instead of being paid your leaving service benefit.