Kiwisaver is a Government based savings initiative to help set you up for your retirement.  It is open to all New Zealand citizens and people entitled to be in New Zealand indefinitely, up to 65 years old. 

Most members will build up their savings through regular contributions from their pay at their chosen rate of 2%, 4% or 8% of their gross wage.   You will be automatically enrolled if you’re aged from 18 to 64 years when you start a new job.   If you have been automatically enrolled, you can choose to opt out of the scheme within your first 8 weeks of employment.  Visit the KiwiSaver website for more information about how you do this.

Exceptions to automatic enrolement are if you:-

v  Are under 18 years old;

v  Are a casual agricultural worker or election day worker;

v  Are a private domestic worker and you pay your own PAYE;

v  Are a causal employee who receives holiday pay with your wages;

v  Are on paid parental leave or ACC;

v  Only receive scheduler payments (formally withholding payments);

v  Aren’t required to have PAYE deductions made from your salary and wages.

KiwiSaver schemes are managed by private sector companies called KiwiSaver providers.  You can choose which KiwiSaver provider to invest your money with.  

If you’re self-employed or not working, you agree with your KiwiSaver provider how much you want to contribute, and make payments directly to them.

As an employer you are required to:-

v  Give new employees and other existing staff who are interested an Employee Information pack (KS3);

v  Pass employees’ details to IRD to enable them to be enrolled;

v  Deduct contributions from employees’ gross salary and pay these to IRD through the PAYE system.

There are a range of membership benefits:-

v  A $1,000 kick-start paid into your account, by the Government, when you first join;

v  Regular contributions from your employer;

v  An annual member tax credit paid by the Government;

v  Some people may also be eligible for help with the deposit on their first home.

All KiwiSaver savings are generally locked in until you become 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).  Exceptions to this may be:-

v  Buying your first home;

v  Moving overseas permanently;

v  Suffering significant financial hardship; or

v  Seriously ill.

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