Most Kiwis can join and benefit from KiwiSaver. You don’t need to be working to join, but you do need to be: 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.
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%, 6%, 8% or 10%.
If you are in paid employment and between the age of 18 and 65 you will be eligible for:
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 Savings Suspension).
You can apply to Inland Revenue for a Savings Suspension after you have been contributing to the scheme for 12 months.
If you are currently employed and not yet a KiwiSaver member, you have two options for joining KiwiSaver:
If you start a new job:
You will be considered self-employed or not employed when you join KiwiSaver if you are one or some of the following:
If you are a self-employed/not employed KiwiSaver member you will be eligible for a Government Contribution of up to $521 per year. (Note that the availability of Government Contributions are set by legislation and could be changed or suspended at any time).
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.
If you receive weekly compensation payments from ACC you can either make voluntary contributions, or contact ACC and arrange to have a 3%, 4%, 6%, 8% or 10% KiwiSaver contribution taken from your payments. If you do this, you will have to qualify and apply for a Savings Suspension 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.
KiwiSaver can be a great first investment for your children. Opening an account on their behalf can give them a nest-egg that is locked away to help set them up for later in life (it can only be withdrawn for a first-home deposit, retirement or under exceptional circumstances).
To get the most out of it, make sure you contribute regularly on their behalf so it grows over time (because children aren’t eligible for any Government Contributions, and employers don’t have to make contributions for under-18s, so the only contributions to their account are those that you make, or which come out of their wages).
For an investment that can be withdrawn at any time with less restrictions, a Kiwi Wealth Managed Fund may be a great alternative.
If you're under 18 years old, you will be considered a "minor" when you join KiwiSaver.
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
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.
If you are a KiwiSaver member under 18 and in paid employment (with income subject to PAYE) you must contribute 3%, 4%, 6%, 8% or 10% through your employer, unless you are on a Savings Suspension.
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. Generally, voluntary contributions are the only source of contributions to a child’s account.
If you are under 18 you will not receive:
Read more on our KiwiSaver for children page.
You can join KiwiSaver any time. 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.
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 Government Contribution of up to $10 per week ($521 per year) until you are eligible to withdraw.
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 Government Contributions are set by legislation and could be changed or suspended at any time.
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 if you joined before 1 July 2019. This means that if you join when you are 64, you would not be able to withdraw your money until you are 69." If you joined on or after 1 July 2019 you will be eligible to withdraw when you turn 65.
Find out more on our KiwiSaver and retirement page.