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/ KiwiSaver

Most Kiwis believe it's important to save money for their long-term future. But, as many of us know, saving is often easier said than done.

As specialists in KiwiSaver and retirement planning, Rede Advisers can help you get the most out of retirement savings schemes and ensure that they fit into your overall plans.  


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 KiwiSaver to help New Zealanders financially prepare for retirement, with the management of KiwiSaver investments supplied by professional managers.

It's an easy way to save, with your contributions deducted directly from your gross salary or wages at a rate of either 3%, 4%, 6%, 8% or 10%. You can also make voluntary contributions if you are not receiving a salary (e.g. if you are self-employed or for your children / grandchildren).

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.

You are also be entitled to a matching employer contribution of 3%.

The following chart shows the flows of contributions into your KiwiSaver investment:

KiwiSaver Breakdown

 

Your KiwiSaver investment is managed separate from your employer and the Government, with Inland Revenue acting as the collection agent for contributions, paying them to your KiwiSaver provider.   

As these funds are intended for your retirement, your savings are generally "locked in." You can access your savings when you qualify for New Zealand Superannuation (currently 65).

 

You can withdraw your money earlier in certain circumstances, including:

- for the purchase of a first home

- serious financial hardship

- serious terminal illness

- permanent emigration

Starting KiwiSaver as early as you can could make a big difference to your quality of life later on. Joining KiwiSaver is easy, through automatic enrolment when starting a new job, or by opting in and choosing to join.  As your KiwiSaver balance grows, the importance of choosing the right manager, in the right investment mix and making the appropriate level of contributions becomes more important.  

 

Why Join KiwiSaver?

Whether you are already saving or you are about to start, the government helps you save for your future by providing a number of benefits as a KiwiSaver member. It's designed to be hassle-free so it's easy to maintain a regular savings habit to provide the lifestyle that you desire in retirement.

Here are some of the key features and benefits:

  • The Government will match your contributions with up to $10 per week ($521.43 p.a.) providing you contribute $20 per week ($1,042.86 per year).
  • Minimum contribution of 3% if you are on PAYE or no minimums if you are self-employed, not working or a child.  If you are aged over 18 and self-employed, you can (should) make voluntary contributions.
  • Compulsory matching employer contributions of 3% of salary, less employer superannuation contribution tax (ESCT).
  • After contributing for 3 years, you could withdraw both your contributions and those of your employer and most of the Government contributions, to use towards the purchase of a first home.
  • You may also be eligible for a tax free, first home buyers deposit subsidy from Housing NZ of up to $1,000 for each year of contribution to a maximum of $5,000 (after five years).
  • You can transfer Australian Superannuation savings to your New Zealand KiwiSaver.

 

With the significant benefits that the government has put in place for KiwiSaver members, over 2.5 million New Zealanders are already benefiting from KiwiSaver. If you haven't joined KiwiSaver, or wish to review your existing KiwiSaver savings, please contact us today.

 

Trans-Tasman Portability of Superannuation

On 1 July 2013 the KiwiSaver Act 2006 was amended to allow the transfer of retirement savings from Australia to New Zealand (and vice versa). The new arrangements allow a person who has retirement savings in both Australia and New Zealand to consolidate them in one account in their current country of residence.

Key features of the transfer arrangements:

  • Retirement savings may only be transferred between an Australian complying superannuation fund and a KiwiSaver scheme by a member permanently emigrating to New Zealand or Australia.
  • A member must transfer the full amount of their savings. This will include all Government contributions received by KiwiSaver members.
  • Retirement savings transferred to New Zealand or Australia cannot be subsequently transferred to a third country's foreign superannuation scheme or withdrawn.
  • The Arrangement is voluntary for members and for superannuation schemes. Scheme providers need to ensure that transferred savings are separately identifiable within the account established in the host country.  Therefore, not all Australian schemes and KiwiSaver providers will allow transfers.

Retirement savings transferred to KiwiSaver from Australia:

  • can be withdrawn when a member reaches the age of 60 as long as they meet the Australian scheme's retirement rules.  (KiwiSaver funds transferred to Australia must still wait until the member reaches 65 years of age);
  • cannot be withdrawn for the purchase of a first home;
  • may be withdrawn in the event of serious illness or financial hardship;
  • do not count as contributions when calculating the annual Government member tax credits - these are based on your NZ contributions in any particular year;
  • are not subject to any entry or exit taxes between the two countries.  KiwiSaver providers may charge a fee, however no fee will be charged by our preferred scheme, Booster KiwiSaver (previously Grosvenor).

If you have been employed in Australia at any time since 1992 and have an Australian Superannuation Scheme, then you can now transfer this to your KiwiSaver scheme in New Zealand.  We can assist with this transfer, including locating any "lost Super" if you are unsure where your funds are held, and discussing the pros and cons of transferring funds. 

 

Disclosure of Interests:

Michael Shears is an appointed member of the Booster Adviser Investment Committee, which reviews the performance of Booster's investment management, provides feedback on reporting and new initiatives.