What is KiwiSaver?
KiwiSaver is a work-based savings scheme which is voluntary to join, but compulsory for employers to facilitate. The government created the framework for the KiwiSaver initiative to help New Zealanders financially prepare for retirement, with the management of KiwiSaver investments being supplied by professional managers.
If you have been automatically enrolled in KiwiSaver you have eight weeks from starting your new job to decide if you want to remain a member of KiwiSaver or opt out.
From 1 April 2013, you will also be entitled to a matching employer contribution of 3%.
As you are preparing for your retirement, your savings are generally "locked in." You can access your savings when you qualify for New Zealand Superannuation (currently 65) or after five years membership, whichever is later. You may be able to withdraw your money earlier in certain circumstances.
KiwiSaver currently offers a number of benefits* including:
- an annual Member Tax Credit contribution of 50 cents for every dollar you save, up to a maximum of $521.43 (if eligible)
- compulsory contributions from your employer (if eligible)
- help with buying a first home - visit the Housing New Zealand website
* Not all KiwiSaver members will be entitled to receive these benefits and these benefits will change from time to time.
Your employer and Government contributions work with your own contributions to boost your savings. That's why KiwiSaver may be more effective than a regular savings plan in helping you meet your retirement savings goals.
KiwiSaver and first home buyer benefits
Once you have been a member of a KiwiSaver scheme for three years, you may be able to withdraw your contributions and your employer's contributions to help you buy your first home. You may also be entitled to a home purchase subsidy from Housing New Zealand (up to a maximum $10,000). Conditions apply to both benefits.
Read more about first home buyer benefits here.
Who can join KiwiSaver
You can join KiwiSaver if you're:
- below the qualifying age for New Zealand superannuation (currently age 65)
- living or normally living in New Zealand (with some exceptions)
- a New Zealand citizen, or entitled to live in New Zealand indefinitely.
If you're starting a new job and you're over 18, generally you'll be automatically enrolled in a default KiwiSaver scheme, if you're eligible. You then have from week two until week eight to decide if you want to remain in KiwiSaver or opt out.
Did you know?
KiwiSaver is not just for those who are employed. Even if you're not working or self-employed, you can still contribute to KiwiSaver and enjoy some of the benefits it offers.
Want to know more? Contact Us for more information.
+64 3 943 4108
196 St Asaph Street
PO Box 5507 Papanui
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