Enjoy After retirement By Contributing with Kiwisaver Scheme

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KiwiSaver is a voluntary based savings scheme set up by the government to help New Zealanders to save for their retirement. You can choose to contribute 3%, 4% or 8% of your gross (before tax) wage or salary to your KiwiSaver account. Your employer has to contribute as well – at least 3% of your gross salary. Along with KiwiSaver employer contributions, there's an annual KiwiSaver government contribution.

Your funds are invested on your behalf by the KiwiSaver provider of your choice. To be able to join KiwiSaver you don't have to be employed, but you do have to be:

  • A New Zealand citizen, or entitled to live in New Zealand indefinitely.
  • Living or normally living in New Zealand.
  • Under the age of eligibility for NZ Super (which is currently 65 years).

The benefits of being with KiwiSaver are

  • Your KiwiSaver contributions come out of your pay before you see it. This makes saving easy.
  • If employed, your employer has to contribute at least 3% of your gross wage or salary into your KiwiSaver account. That’s on top of your own contributions.
  • The government pays into your KiwiSaver account as well – an annual ‘member tax credit’ (if you are a contributing member aged 18 or over) of up to $521.
  • If you change jobs or leave the workforce your KiwiSaver account moves with you.
  • If you experience hardship it is possible to access the funds in our account.

When buying your first home you may be able to make a one-off withdrawal of some of your KiwiSaver savings – as long as you’ve been a contributing KiwiSaver member for at least three years. You also may even qualify if you have owned property previously.

In addition to a KiwiSaver savings withdrawal, there’s also the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant. If eligible, the government may also give you up to $5,000 towards buying an older, existing home, or up to $10,000 towards buying a new home or land to build a new home on.

If using KiwiSaver to save for retirement, you can’t touch your money until the age you get New Zealand Superannuation (NZ Super) which is currently 65. If between 60 and 64 years old when joining, you can’t touch the money for 5 years.

You can choose the KiwiSaver scheme your savings are invested with or let your employer or the government choose one for you. KiwiSaver schemes are run by ‘providers’ like banks and investment companies and typically have a number of funds to choose from.

Each fund has a different mix of things it invests in – such as bank deposits, bonds, shares and property.

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