How does KiwiSaver work?
KiwiSaver is a voluntary savings scheme set up by the government to help New Zealanders to save for their retirement.
You can choose to contribute 3%, 4%, 6%, 8% or 10% of your gross (before tax) wage or salary to our KiwiSaver account. Your employer has to contribute as well – at least 3% of your gross salary. Along with KiwiSaver employer contributions, there’s an annual government contribution as well. These are known as Member Tax Credits.
What we do
We are completely independent of all KiwiSaver providers so we can so we can match you with the scheme that best meets your needs from both an investment and tax perspective. Our independent analysis will ensure your KiwiSaver investments work towards providing you with the best possible long term outcome.
Who can join KiwiSaver?
To join KiwiSaver you don’t have to be employed, but you do have to be a New Zealand citizen, or entitled to live in New Zealand indefinitely or living or normally living in New Zealand.
How to join KiwiSaver?
There are three ways to join KiwiSaver:
- Automatic enrolment when starting a new job - Opting in through your employer
- Opting in through a KiwiSaver provider
- We’ll also update you with a report for your accountant on the exact liability following the transfer based on the exchange rate of the day. You needn’t go anywhere else.
KiwiSaver is a voluntary, work-based savings initiative to help you with your long- term saving for retirement. It’s designed to be hassle-free so it’s easy to maintain a regular savings pattern.
There are a range of membership benefits to encourage you to get saving. Because of the benefits it offers, the question of signing up to KiwiSaver is less ‘why’ and more ‘why not?’
- KiwiSaver contributions come out of your pay before you see it. This makes saving easy.
- If employed, your employer has to contribute at least 3% of your gross wage or salary into your KiwiSaver account. That’s on top of your own contributions.
- The government pays into your KiwiSaver account as well – an annual government contribution (if you are a contributing member aged 18 or over) of up to $521
- As well as saving for retirement, you can also use KiwiSaver for buying your first home through a KiwiSaver HomeStart grant and home purchase withdrawal
- If you change jobs or leave the workforce your KiwiSaver account moves with you
- If you experience hardship it is possible to access the funds in your account early
- It is generally a lower-cost option to invest in managed funds
Saving for a first home with KiwiSaver
When buying your first home you may be able to make a one-off withdrawal of most of your KiwiSaver savings – as long as you’ve been a contributing KiwiSaver member for at least three years. You also may even qualify if you have owned property previously.
In addition to a KiwiSaver savings withdrawal, there’s also the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant. If eligible, the government may also give you up to $5,000 towards buying an older, existing home, or up to $10,000 towards buying a new home or land to build a new home on.
Saving for retirement with KiwiSaver
If using KiwiSaver to save for retirement, you can’t touch your money until the age you get (NZ Super) which is currently 65. Note that KiwiSaver is open to those over 65 to join as well.
Choosing a KiwiSaver fund
You can choose the KiwiSaver scheme your savings are invested with or let your employer or the Government choose one for us. KiwiSaver schemes are run by ‘providers’ like banks and investment companies and typically have a number of funds to choose from.
Each fund has a different mix of things it invests in – such as bank deposits, bonds, shares and property. We recommend you seek professional advise from one of our licensed advisors.