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Transfer to the Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme
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Who is KiwiSaver for?

Most Kiwis can join and benefit from KiwiSaver. You don’t need to be working to join, but you do need to be: under 65 years old; a New Zealand citizen or entitled to live in New Zealand permanently; and living, or normally living, in New Zealand. If you’re working overseas for a Kiwi company or the New Zealand Government, you might still be able to join.

In this section we explain the contribution rates, options and rules for KiwiSaver members of all ages and stages:

Employees aged between 18 and 65


Membership definition

If any of your income is subject to PAYE, when you join KiwiSaver you will be considered an employee, and contributions will be deducted from your gross salary or wage. You can choose to contribute 3%, 4% or 8%.

More on how employees can make contributions.

 
Benefits

If you are in paid employment and between the age of 18 and 65 you will be eligible for:

  • A member tax credit of up to $521 per year. (Note that the availability of member tax credits are set by legislation and could be changed or suspended at any time).
  • Employer contributions of at least 3% of your gross salary or wage.


Exclusions and exemptions

Some employers may be exempt from making KiwiSaver contributions if they are already contributing to another superannuation scheme for their employees. This does not mean you cannot join KiwiSaver. It just means your employer doesn't have to contribute to your account, even though you do (unless you are on a contributions holiday).

You can apply to Inland Revenue for a contributions holiday after you have been contributing to the scheme for 12 months.


How employees join KiwiSaver

If you are currently employed and not yet a KiwiSaver member, you have two options for joining KiwiSaver:

  • If you know which KiwiSaver provider you want to go with, you can join them directly by filling out their application form. Our application form is here.
  • If you don't mind who your KiwiSaver provider is, fill in an Inland Revenue KS2 form and give it to your employer. You will either be allocated to your employer's chosen provider or to one of the government-chosen default providers. Don‘t worry, it‘s not a life sentence. You can change providers whenever you like.

If you start a new job:

  • In most cases your new employer is required to automatically enrol you into KiwiSaver.
  • You can apply to opt out after your 13th day in your new job, but that option expires after your 8th week of employment.
  • If you don’t opt out, you have three months in which to choose your KiwiSaver provider, otherwise you will be allocated to a default provider – either your employer‘s chosen provider or one of the government-chosen default providers. You can still change providers whenever you like.

More on how employees can make contributions.

Self-employed and not employed (aged under 65)


Membership definition

You will be considered self-employed or not employed when you join KiwiSaver if you are one or some of the following:

  • Self-employed, i.e. none of your work income is subject to PAYE deductions
  • Retired
  • Between jobs
  • Not working
  • Receiving government benefits as your main source of income
  • Receiving ACC payments
  • On parental leave and not receiving pay from an employer


Benefit

If you are a self-employed/not employed KiwiSaver member you will be eligible for a member tax credit of up to $521 per year. (Note that the availability of member tax credits are set by legislation and could be changed or suspended at any time).

How self-employed/not-employed people join KiwiSaver

You can join directly with your preferred KiwiSaver provider by filling out their application form. Our application form is here.


How self-employed/not employed people make contributions

If you are a Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme member you are not required to make contributions to your KiwiSaver account but you can make voluntary payments.

Note that some KiwiSaver providers require all members to make a minimum contribution, regardless of whether they are employed or not.

More on how to make voluntary contributions.

If you receive weekly compensation payments from ACC you can either make voluntary contributions, or contact ACC and arrange to have a 3%, 4% or 8% KiwiSaver contribution taken from your payments. If you do this, you will have to qualify and apply for a contributions holiday if you want those payments to cease. ACC does not pay an employer contribution.

Find out more about KiwiSaver for people on ACC.

If you receive parental leave payments from Inland Revenue and you wish to have KiwiSaver payments deducted from them, you will need to contact Inland Revenue to arrange this.

Find out more about what happens to contributions when you go on leave.

 

Under 18s (working or not working)


Membership definition

If you're under 18 years old, you will be considered a "minor" when you join KiwiSaver.


How under 18s join

If the applicant is 16 or 17 the applicant and one of the applicant's legal guardians* must sign the application form.

If the applicant is under 16, all of the applicant's legal guardians* must sign the application form on their behalf.

*Parents are legal guardians

Our application form is here.

If you are under the age of 18 in paid employment you cannot join KiwiSaver through your employer. You can only join through a KiwiSaver provider, as detailed above.

Contribution rates for under 18s

If you are a KiwiSaver member under 18 and in paid employment (with income subject to PAYE) you must contribute 3%, 4%, or 8% through your employer, unless you are on a contributions holiday.

If you are a Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme member under the age of 18 and not working, you are not required to make contributions, but you can choose to make voluntary payments. Note that some other KiwiSaver providers require all members to make a minimum contribution, regardless of their age.


Exclusions and exemptions

If you are under 18 you will not receive:

  • The member tax credit of up to $10 per week ($521 per year), even if you are in paid employment.
  • Employer contributions. Employers are not required to contribute to your KiwiSaver account if you are under 18, but they may choose to.
  • If you are under 18 and in paid employment you can apply to Inland Revenue for a contributions holiday after you have been contributing to KiwiSaver for 12 months.

Read more on our KiwiSaver for children page.

60s and pushing 60s


Membership definition

You can join KiwiSaver any time before your 65th birthday. It doesn’t matter if you are retired already, not employed or on a benefit. If you are over 60 but still employed, please see the employee section for information on how KiwiSaver operates for you.


Benefits

What‘s the point of KiwiSaver for over 60s? If you can afford to pay $20 per week into your KiwiSaver account, you will be able to take full advantage of the government contributions. You will get a member tax credit of up to $10 per week ($521 per year) until you are eligible to withdraw. Member tax credits don't necessarily stop when you are 65 - they stop when you are eligible to withdraw from KiwiSaver, which is either at age 65 or 5 years after you join, whichever is the latest.

So if you joined at age 60 and contributed $20 a week for five years (a total of $5,200), you would be eligible for approximately $2,600 of government contributions over the five years you are a member.

Note that the availability of member tax credits are set by legislation and could be changed or suspended at any time.

 


How over 60s join and contribute to KiwiSaver


Withdrawal for over 60s

Most KiwiSaver members will be able to withdraw from their account when they turn 65, but you must be a member for a minimum of five years before you are eligible to withdraw. This means that if you join when you are 64, you would not be able to withdraw your money until you are 69.

Find out more on our KiwiSaver and retirement page.