New Zealand Law
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You have a fundamental problem in that the Limitation Act says that any claims for negligence must be bought within six years of the act of negligence. When did you discover that the money had been withdrawn?
There can be an exception in cases of fraud, but I think it is unlikely that you would have a cause of action against Merrill Lynch in fraud because the fraud was apparently committed by the person who withdrew the money. Do you know who that person was?
The other question I should ask, is was this pension based in New Zealand and was the money withdrawn in New Zealand? This would be necessary in order to bring a case in a New Zealand court if you were not out of time