What is KiwiSaver and is it worth joining?

You may have heard of KiwiSaver. It is a workplace savings scheme set up in New Zealand. The primary goal is to support Kiwis’ retirement, but there there are other benefits too. If you’re starting a new job soon you may be wondering — should I join KiwiSaver?

What is KiwiSaver?

Most would agree that having a savings plan is important. KiwiSaver is a work-based savings initiative designed to help with this. In addition, it’s simple and hassle-free and can support financial goals. There can be purchasing your first home or long term savings for retirement. Finally, it is voluntary which means you don’t have to join. However there are several benefits that make KiwiSaver worth joining.

Benefits

  • Regular contributions from your pay at work
  • Regular contributions from your employer
  • NZ Government pays an annual member tax credit
  • May be used as deposit for buying first home (eligibility applies, see below)
  • Contributions come out of your pay before you receive it, which makes saving easier
  • You can sometimes access your KiwiSaver in situations of financial hardship
  • If you change jobs your KiwiSaver comes with you

Where does the money go?

A small percentage of your income (3, 4 or 8%) is deducted from your earnings as you work. Your employer also contributes a minimum of 3%. These funds are then added to your KiwiSaver investment. The KiwiSaver schemes are managed by companies called KiwiSaver providers. The great thing is you have a choice on which provider you invest your funds with and how much risk you are prepared to take with your investment.

If you’re self-employed or not working, you can manually make payments to your KiwiSaver. Many providers allow you to do this via your bank.

Like any investment, it’s important to receive qualified advice from authorised financial advisors (AFAs). Many KiwiSaver providers offer access to an AFA for free.

KiwiSaver is not Government backed or guaranteed.

Please note: this article does not constitute personalised advice and is to provide general factual information about Kiwisaver. Please speak with an Auhorised Financial Advisor (AFA) for personalised advice. This article is not intended to be financial advice (nor a substitute for financial advice). No responsibility or liability is accepted by Queenstown Jobs to anyone who relies on the information contained in this article.


Employment Tips, Money

Leave a Reply