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Don't miss out on your $521

Do you know you could be eligible for free money from the Government?

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What are Government contributions?

Each year the government contributes to your KiwiSaver account if you meet certain eligibility criteria.

Watch our video to get a better understanding of how they work.

Government contributions are simply a payment from the government, calculated annually and paid into your KiwiSaver account.

The maximum Government contribution is $521.43 per year. It is a 50 cent in the dollar match, so you need to contribute $1,042.86 (or just over $20 per week) to receive the maximum $521.43. So if you contribute, they contribute. If you don't, they don't - simple.

Don't worry if you don't contribute enough to receive the full Government contribution amount - it's not all or nothing. For example, if you contribute $500 then you will receive a Government contribution of $250.

And, if you've already contributed enough - you don't have to do anything. Your KiwiSaver scheme provider will claim the Government contribution for you.

To qualify for a Government contribution, you must be:

  • aged 18 or over;
  • living in New Zealand;
  • and not yet eligible for a retirement withdrawal.

Even if you don’t live in New Zealand, you may still qualify if you're in certain groups. You must be:

There are some exceptions

  • Minors (those under 18) don't get a Government contribution - even if they are working and contributing to their KiwiSaver account.
  • If you leave New Zealand to live or work overseas, you will not be eligible for a Government contribution while you're away, even if you keep on contributing to KiwiSaver. You need to let us know if this applies to you.
  • When you become eligible to withdraw from KiwiSaver, you can elect to stay in the Scheme and keep contributing, but you will no longer receive a Government contribution.
  • If you join KiwiSaver part-way through a year (1 July to 30 June), you’ll only receive a Government contribution based on the number of days in the year you’ve been a member.

To receive your full Government contribution entitlement of $521.43, you need to contribute at least $1,042.86 to your KiwiSaver account each year.

The Government contribution year runs from 1 July to 30 June. Even if you don't contribute $1,042.86 over the year, you can get a partial Government contribution payment – as long as you pay in some money before 30 June.

For example, if you contribute $500 to your KiwiSaver account during the course of the year, you'll receive a Government contribution of $250 - so it's not all or nothing.

It's worth noting that, employer contributions, Government contributions and amounts transferred from Australia under the Trans-Tasman retirement savings portability do not count towards eligibility for the Government contribution.

You may already qualify for the full Government contribution if you earn over a certain amount, for example:

  • If you earn $34,762 and make the minimum 3% employee contribution - as a result you would contribute enough across the year to be eligible for the full Government contribution. If you earn more than $34,762 a year and make employee contributions, you shouldn't have to worry - you will likely have contributed enough to get the maximum Government contribution.
  • If you earn $26,072 and make employee contributions of 4%, similar to the example above you would have contributed enough across the year to be eligible for the full Government contribution.

You can make voluntary contributions to make sure you get the full Government contribution. This could apply if you're:

  • Not contributing enough through your salary - remember to be eligible for the maximum Government contribution you need to be earning more than either $26,072 or $34,762 depending on your personal contribution rate.
  • Self-employed
  • Not in paid employment
  • Taking a Savings Suspension

If you can only afford to contribute a small amount to your KiwiSaver account, as long as you're eligible, the government will still give you 50c for every $1 you put in.

So if you only contribute $500 between 1 July and 30 June in any year, you'll still receive a Government contribution of $250.

If you are in a position to contribute more, you can make a voluntary contribution to boost your account to make sure you receive the maximum Government contribution of $521.43.

The easiest way to top up your KiwiSaver account is a bill payment through your internet banking*.

*If you don’t have Internet Banking, contact us questions@kiwiwealth.co.nz for other ways to top up your KiwiSaver account.

Once received, additional voluntary contributions and Government contributions will generally be locked in until you are eligible to make a final withdrawal from your KiwiSaver account. Additional voluntary contributions and Government contributions are subject to the same risks as other contributions to your KiwiSaver account are, such as investment risks, including the possible loss of value.

Want to learn more about Government contributions?

We've got a range of other blogs that can help you get a better understanding of how Government contributions work.

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Have you contributed enough?

As a Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme member there are a number of ways you can top up.

The easiest way to top-up your KiwiSaver account is a bill payment through your internet banking*. If you've already contributed enough - you don't have to do anything. We'll claim the money for you and you should see the Government contribution in your KiwiSaver account by the end of July.

Not sure how you're tracking? Login now and see what contributions you've made to date^.

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*If you don’t have Internet Banking, contact us questions@kiwiwealth.co.nz for other ways to top up your KiwiSaver account.

^This won’t include any future payments to be made or payments not yet passed on to us by your employer via Inland Revenue.

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