KiwiSaver in a nutshell
What is KiwiSaver?
KiwiSaver is a voluntary retirement savings scheme designed to help all New Zealanders save for their future. KiwiSaver is managed by the IRD with independent KiwiSaver providers running the savings schemes. At 31st March 2020, more than 3 million Kiwis had over $64 billion invested in KiwiSaver, estimated to grow to $200b by 2030.
How does it work?
There are around 30 KiwiSaver scheme providers and over 280 different funds to choose from, to cater for everyone’s different needs. The KiwiSaver providers invest their members’ KiwiSaver funds to make a greater return on the savings for their retirement.
Most members build up their savings through regular contributions from their pay. If you’re saving through your work, and you’re between the ages of 18 and 65, your employer must contribute too, with a minimum of 3% of your before-tax pay. Employers pay the employee deductions and employer contributions to the IRD with the rest of their payroll deductions like tax.
Which KiwiSaver fund am I in?
If you can’t remember your current KiwiSaver fund , you can contact IRD on 0800 549472 or login to myIR.
Can I choose which fund to join?
You are free to choose which KiwiSaver fund you invest in. Your bank may recommend you invest in their KiwiSaver scheme, and your employer may recommend a scheme, but ultimately the decision is up to you, based on your individual needs and values. If you do not choose a scheme, the IRD will allocate you to your employer's chosen scheme or to one of their default schemes. Your KiwiSaver fund does not need to be with your bank.
What happens when I change KiwiSaver?
To change KiwiSaver providers, all you need to do is to complete an application form for the new fund. They will then tell Inland Revenue and arrange for your funds to be transferred, which typically takes around 10 working days. Your new fund provider will notify you when your funds have been transferred. It’s that easy!
Note that two providers charge a transfer fee to move out of their scheme: Aon ($35) and Booster ($30).
I’m not working, can I still join KiwiSaver?
If you're not working, you can still have a KiwiSaver fund, and can make KiwiSaver contributions directly through a scheme provider.
What’s the government contribution?
If you’re contributing to a KiwiSaver scheme the government will contribute 50 cents for every dollar you save, up to $521.43 each year. To get it all you must have contributed at least $1042.86 in the period 1 July to 30 June. Note, those under 18 and over 65 are not eligible for the government contribution.
Can I use KiwiSaver to buy a house?
Whilst the main purpose of KiwiSaver is to help New Zealanders save for their retirement, members can also use KiwiSaver to contribute towards buying their first home.
What can I do on the Mindful Money website?
Check what harmful investments are in your KiwiSaver using our Fund Checker.
Find an ethical fund that fits your values and investment needs using our Fund Finder.
There’s lots more general information about KiwiSaver on the KiwiSaver website.
If you have other questions that we haven’t answered, please feel free to contact us using the LiveChat on the bottom right of the website, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.