KiwiSaver is an easy way to save for your retirement

KiwiSaver is a long-term savings initiative designed to help you save for retirement. Watch our video to find out what KiwiSaver is all about.

What are the main benefits?

KiwiSaver’s main benefits are that it helps you save for retirement and could help you buy your first home. As well as your savings, you may also receive:

What do I contribute?

The contributions you must make to KiwiSaver depend on your personal situation.

I'm employed/self-employed

If you're employed you must contribute at least 3% of your before-tax pay each pay day.

If you're self-employed and PAYE is deducted from your income you must contribute at least 3% of your before-tax pay each pay day.  You must also pay an employer contribution of 3% to your KiwiSaver account.

If you're self-employed and don't deduct PAYE from your income you can contribute at any time and for any amount.

Contributions holiday

You can apply to stop contributions from your pay if you need to - but not until at least 12 months after your first KiwiSaver contribution is paid to Inland Revenue.

I have an existing superannuation scheme

If you're already in another superannuation scheme, it's important you talk to your employer before joining KiwiSaver.  Joining KiwiSaver may affect the contributions you and your employer make to your existing superannuation scheme.

I'm not employed

You can contribute any time and for any amount.

Find out more about your contribution options if you’re:

When can you withdraw your savings?

You can withdraw savings from your KiwiSaver account when you’re 65 and you’ve been a member of KiwiSaver (or a complying superannuation fund) for at least five years. In limited circumstances, you may be able to withdraw some, or all, of your savings early.

Can I choose where my money is invested?

A KiwiSaver scheme will have a range of funds for you to choose from. Most funds invest in a variety of asset classes, including cash and cash equivalents, fixed interest, equities (shares) and listed property. They may also invest in alternative assets, such as private equity. The main asset classes can be grouped into two categories, as shown below.

Income and Growth Assets

What are my risks?

KiwiSaver is an investment and like any investment, it involves taking some risks.

The level of risk will vary depending on the fund your savings are invested in, as each fund is exposed to different levels and types of risk. Growth assets are likely to experience larger movements in value compared to income assets. However, they are also expected to achieve higher investment returns over the long term. This concept is the 'risk/return' relationship.

Diversified, or multi-sector funds invest in a different mix of growth assets and income assets. Depending on the mix of assets, each fund has a different risk/return profile. You need to decide how these risks apply to your personal circumstances. In very general terms:

  • if you’re seeking higher returns, you need to be willing to accept more risk
  • if you’re seeking lower risk, you need to be willing to accept lower returns.

How do I get help in deciding what to invest in?

Investment decisions are very important and they often have long-term consequences. That’s why it’s important to read all documents carefully, ask questions and seek advice before committing yourself.

You can find more information about the risks involved in the product disclosure statement for the relevant KiwiSaver scheme.

Watch our video to find out more about the differences between savings accounts and KiwiSaver, and managing your risk.

 The fine print Hide
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