KiwiSaver is a great way to invest for the future you, whether you’re going to use it for your first home or not until retirement. But there’s more to it than you might think. Are you in the right type of fund for you? Are you paying too much in fees? How do you withdraw it?

Is it bad to be in a KiwiSaver default fund?

Not at all. In fact, since 1 December, there have been more advantages to staying in one than there were before: they exclude investments in fossil fuels and illegal weapons, cost significantly less than other funds, have a balanced investment mix (instead of conservative), and offer a high level of service to their members. But since balanced funds are not right for everyone, default funds won't be either. To make your choice of whether to be in a default fund, first find out which type of KiwiSaver fund will work best for you.

Should I be putting more or less money into KiwiSaver now? 

Since KiwiSaver is not a savings account, but rather an investment account that goes up and down in value, this is a good question to ask. Is it worth putting more in? Beyond making sure you put in enough to get your employer and government contributions, which make KiwiSaver a no-brainer, how much you contribute is up to you. To help you decide, you can easily estimate how much you’re on track to achieve in KiwiSaver. If you are a bit underwhelmed by your projected results, you have two levers to change it – your contributions and the type of fund you’re in. Those are the two KiwiSaver settings you can change to boost your future results.  

I'm self-employed. Is KiwiSaver a good idea?

Independent earners can still get the government's contribution as well as returns from your money being invested in KiwiSaver. So even though it's primarily designed for employees, independent earners can still get a fair bit out of KiwiSaver, although it would be great if KiwiSaver worked a bit better for those of us who are self-employed. Here are some helpful considerations when you're self-employed

How does KiwiSaver work?

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). That makes it so much more powerful than just regular saving. Employees are automatically opted into KiwiSaver, and money is generally available at age 65 (earlier for a first home). You don't have to be an employee, or even in paid work to be in it, 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

Which KiwiSaver fund is best?

Everyone needs to choose which fund to be in, so which is the best fund for you? It's important to pick your fund based on important criteria (not just because it's a familiar brand or something). If you didn’t actively choose a fund when you started in KiwiSaver, the government did this for you by putting you into one of nine “default” funds. This was to get you started, until you got around to making a choice yourself. But how do you pick one? 

Watch Video

How can I use KiwiSaver for my first home?

KiwiSaver can really give you a boost into your first whare. It’s a great way to help you save up a deposit. Here's what you need to know.

Learn more about KiwiSaver

Still wondering about KiwiSaver? We’ve put together some resources to help answer your questions.

Still wondering?

If you’d like to discuss your own situation (even anonymously) or need further advice, contact MoneyTalks.

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