KiwiSaver – the start of your lifetime savings
KiwiSaver is a way that you can start to save for your retirement.
That sounds like a long way off, but KiwiSaver has other advantages that you may want to up long before retirement.
KiwiSaver designed to be hassle-free so it's easy to maintain a regular savings pattern. Each payday you can have a percentage (3%, 4% or 8%) of your pay deducted, before you get it. These contributions will be saved for you until you're eligible for NZ Super.
How do you join KiwiSaver?
If you're under 18 you have to join KiwiSaver directly with a scheme provider - you won't be automatically enrolled. If you're 16 or 17 you'll need one or your legal guardians to co-sign your application form. If you're under 16 you'll need the consent of both guardians.
In most cases, you'll be automatically enrolled in KiwiSaver by your employer when you start a new job. This means contributions will start to be deducted from your pay on your first payday and will continue unless you choose to opt out of the scheme (within 8 weeks).
How does it work?
Each payday your contribution is deducted from your pay by your employer and sent via Inland Revenue to your KiwiSaver account. If you choose to join, contributions are deducted from your pay at the rate of either 3%, 4% or 8% (you choose the rate) and invested for you in a KiwiSaver scheme.
KiwiSaver schemes are managed by private sector companies called KiwiSaver providers. You can choose which KiwiSaver provider to invest your money with.
KiwiSaver is not guaranteed by the Government. This means you make your investment choices in a KiwiSaver scheme at your own risk.
When you can get your money?
Your KiwiSaver savings will generally be locked in until:
- you're eligible for NZ Super (currently 65), or
- you've been a member for at least 5 years (if you joined over the age of 60).
You may be able to make an early withdrawal of part (or all) of your savings if you're:
- buying your first home
- moving overseas permanently
- suffering significant financial hardship
- seriously ill.