WHY? If you’re an employee and put in 3% of your salary, your employer will match it with another 3%. On top of that, the government will give you 50 cents for every dollar you put in – up to $521 each year.
HOW? Make sure you’re contributing at least at least 3% to get your employer’s contribution, and $1043 each year to get the government money. To find out how much you’re currently putting in, check your payslip or go to kiwisaver.govt.nz.
When you put money into KiwiSaver, it is joined by three more flows of money: from your employer, from the government and from the market (where that money is invested). This makes it so much more powerful than just regular saving. You don't have to be working to be in KiwiSaver, although you do need to be living in New Zealand and be eligible to live here indefinitely. Here's how to get the most out of KiwiSaver.
Many of us were opted in automatically at first and never looked into it. If this is you, good news: you may have more in your account than you realised! But you also may not be getting all the government money you could, you may be paying too much tax, or your money may be flowing into a fund that’s entirely wrong for your situation. It definitely pays to check. If you’re not sure who your provider is, you can find out by signing up to myIR Secure Online Services, or by calling Inland Revenue.
Let's work backwards from your goals: if you're saving for a home and/or retirement, how much would you like to have and how soon? Those questions can drive your choices. And if you take a moment to put in your information into our KiwiSaver savings calculator, you can get an idea of what you're on track to achieve. A bit underwhelmed? Try adjusting your contribution rate to see how much difference it makes.
Yes, along with growing a nest egg for retirement, buying a first home is one of the goals that KiwiSaver is made for. Part of the purpose of KiwiSaver is to help us grow assets, and one way is by using it for a first-home withdrawal when you've built up some money in it. The second way is through a KiwiSaver First Home Grant, which could give you as much as $10,000 more for a home. Find out more here.
KiwiSaver funds come in five types, based on the mix of investments they hold. Which one you’re in can make a huge difference to your results. Let’s say you earn $60,000 a year on average over your career – the difference between being in a conservative fund or a growth fund could be close to $133,000 by age 65. But of course the fund you choose has to be the right fit for you.
We’ve put the many KiwiSaver funds into five groups based on how much of the more risky investments they hold, like shares and property.
Depending on how long you are investing for and your attitude towards risk, one type (defensive, conservative, balanced, growth or aggressive) will probably work best for you.
Answer these 3 questions to find the right type of fund for you.
After you've gone through Sorted’s 6 steps, consider lifting your KiwiSaver contributions if you’re able to, to get even more out of it. How much difference could it make? Find out here.
It's so satisfying. You can track your progress using your dashboard – add a task to your checklist, or set a goal with the amount you're aiming for.