KiwiSaver is a work-based savings scheme that makes it easier for New Zealanders to save for their future. It’s easier to save because your money is put into a KiwiSaver scheme – straight from your pay-packet.
Please note: if you want to join your children up – those under 18 who join KiwiSaver voluntarily, will receive the $1,000 tax-free start-up contribution from the Government plus $40 p.a. contribution towards any fees. Furthermore, there are no minimum annual contributions. Voluntary contributions can be made by parents, grandparents etc. and can be used by the child as part of their deposit on their first house when they are older. This is a great way to give your kids a start in life.
- KiwiSaver contributions are either 4% or 8% of an employee’s gross salary/wages.
Subject to limited exceptions, contributions are ‘locked in’ until the qualification age for NZ Super (currently 65) or until you have been a member of a KiwiSaver scheme for at least five years, whichever is the later.
Withdrawals are permitted in special circumstances for example purchasing a first home, significant financial hardship, serious illness and permanent emigration.
Features of Kiwi Saver
- Savers receive a one-off Government kick-start of $1,000 and a fee subsidy of $40 a year
- Savers receive a tax credit to match their savings, up to $20 per week (approximately $1,040 a year)
- From 1 April 2009, the Government requires that employers match employees’ contributions by a minimum of 2%
- After three years’ KiwiSaver membership, savers can apply to withdraw their contributions to buy a first home (excluding the kick-start of $1,000 and any tax credits received). The Government will also contribute up to $1,000 for every year of saving, up to $5,000. Savers must meet certain criteria to be eligible.
- Possibility to divert up to 50% of your contributions to repay your mortgage quicker (while still receiving the Govt. & employer contributions) after 12 months savings.
- KiwiSaver schemes which become Portfolio Investment Entities (PIE), will have a reduced top tax rate of 30% from 1 April 2008 (vs 33% or 39% for individuals earning over $38,000 and $60,000 p.a. respectively). – please contact your financial adviser to ensure your KiwiSaver provider offers these benefits