We’ve put together a quick guide to joining Kiwisaver to help you get started.
– Who is Eligible to Join?
You can join Kiwisaver if you are a New Zealand citizen, or entitled to live in New Zealand indefinitely,
You live or normally live in New Zealand.
You can be either self-employed or an employee.
You can even join if you are under 18.
Benefits include the Annual Government Contribution
KiwiSaver benefits include the annual Government contribution which is also known as a member tax credit and the KiwiSaver first-home withdrawal which can help you buy your first home. Therefore, it is well worth signing up for.
To collect the full-year contribution from the government, you’ll need to contribute at the minimum of $1,042.86 between 1 July and 30 June each year and meet the eligibility criteria.
You can get the annual Government contribution from the age of 18 up until you’re eligible to make a KiwiSaver retirement withdrawal as long as you reside mainly in New Zealand. The government will contribute 50c to every dollar you put in up to a maximum of $521.43 each year to your KiwiSaver account.
If you’re an employee and elect to join Kiwisaver, your employer must make employer contributions. The contribution is equal to a minimum of 3% of your before-tax pay.
Withdrawing Savings to Buy Your First Home
You may be able to withdraw most of your savings to buy your first home however, you will need to leave a balance of $1,000 in your account.
You must have been a member for at least 3 years. Note that not all scheme providers allow withdrawals for your first home.
If you are not purchasing your first home, you may still be able to withdraw funds however, Housing New Zealand will need to determine if you are in the same situation as a first home buyer before you can proceed.
Kiwisaver First Home Grant
You could also be entitled to the Kiwisaver First Home Grant. If you’ve been making frequent payments to your KiwiSaver account, you may be entitled to the Kiwisaver First Home Grant through Housing New Zealand.
Note that if you’ve previously owned a home you may still qualify for the First Home Grant if as above, Housing New Zealand decides you’re in the same financial situation as a first-time buyer.
Choosing a Scheme Provider
You’ll need to choose a scheme provider and apply directly to them. Click here for a list of registered providers.
The scheme provider will notify Inland Revenue that you’ve joined KiwiSaver.
There’s a wide range of schemes and investment funds you can choose from so be sure to do your research before you choose a scheme and find out how they’ll invest your money.
For help in making your decision, you can go to www.sorted.org.nz. This is the Commission for Financial Capability’s website and it provides free, independent information about money matters, including KiwiSaver.
For more information about KiwiSaver go to www.kiwisaver.govt.nz
If you would like to speak to an accounting professional for further advice, give us a call either at our Auckland or Tauranga offices and we’ll be happy to help.
Phone: 64 9 534 4382
Email: [email protected]
Address: 69 Ridge Road, Howick, AKL
Phone: 64 7 576 2194
Email: [email protected]
Address: 23 Myres Street, Tauranga