FAQs - Joining KiwiSaver
Who can join Kiwisaver?
Most New Zealanders can join KiwiSaver even if you are not working. You must be living or normally living in New Zealand and be a New Zealand citizen (or entitled to permanent residence).
Are there any Government incentives to be gained by enrolling in KiwiSaver?
Yes there is! For every $1 you save into your KiwiSaver account, the Government will contribute $0.50, up to $521.43 each KiwiSaver year – provided that you are 18 or older, not yet entitled to withdraw for retirement and mainly living in New Zealand.
When can I access my KiwiSaver funds?
If an employee does not opt out of KiwiSaver after the first eight weeks of employment, their savings are locked in until the employee reaches the age of 65.
If you joined KiwiSaver (or a complying fund) before 1 July 2019, a 5 year minimum membership requirement applies if you were aged 60 or over when you joined. From 1 April 2020 you can opt out of this requirement, and if you are aged 65 or over make a partial or full withdrawal. If you choose to make a partial withdrawal after 1 April 2020 you must opt out of the 5 year membership requirement and will forego your right to compulsory employer contributions and the Government contribution.
There are some exceptions - early withdrawals may be permitted for first home purchase, significant financial hardship, serious illness, death, or permanent emigration (terms and conditions apply).
What does it mean if I joined before 1 July 2019 and was aged 60 or over when I joined?
A 5 year minimum membership requirement applies. During the 5 year minimum membership period you are entitled to the Government contribution, and compulsory employer contributions if you are contributing from your wages or salary. From 1 April 2020 you can opt out of this requirement and if you are aged 65 or over make a partial or full withdrawal, however if you do so you will forego your entitlement to the Government contribution and compulsory employer contributions.
What does it mean if I joined after 1 July 2019 and was aged 60 or over when I joined?
You are eligible to make a retirement withdrawal once you’ve reached the age of 65. The 5 year minimum membership requirement does not apply. Up until the age of 65 you are entitled to the Government contribution, and compulsory employer contributions if you are contributing from your wages or salary.
How easy is it to change KiwiSaver provider?
Changing providers is really easy. Just complete our application form and return it with the relevant proof of identity and residential address. We then update Inland Revenue and your ongoing contributions will be immediately redirected to us. We then contact your current provider and arrange for the funds they have to be transferred to us. They have 35 days to pass the funds to us once we have sent them a request. We do not charge a fee for our transfer service (you may wish to check if your current KiwiSaver provider charges an exit fee) and basically once you've sent the application form to us we take care of the rest on your behalf - easy!
Likewise, if you wanted to transfer from the Fisher Funds TWO KiwiSaver Scheme you would just complete the form for another provider. Before you did this we would encourage you to give us a call so we can discuss your account and situation in more detail.
Is there a minimum contribution to join KiwiSaver?
There is no minimum initial investment and the Scheme does not have a minimum ongoing annual contribution, unless you are employed in which case the minimum contribution is 3% of your gross salary or wages.
How is my employer notified to make KiwiSaver deductions for me?
If you were not automatically enrolled into KiwiSaver by your employer then once we have received and processed your application form we will forward these details to Inland Revenue. Inland Revenue will then send your employer a letter advising that you have joined a KiwiSaver scheme and to begin making deductions, if not already doing so.
This notification process may take some time so to avoid any potential delays we recommend that you advise your employer you have joined KiwiSaver, how much you want to contribute and when you want your contributions to commence.