Are you confused about whether you should join KiwiSaver? Read our concise overview below, and make your decision today.
What is KiwiSaver?
It is a voluntary, long term savings plan that helps you to prepare for your retirement. You will be eligible to receive these funds when you turn 65, or five years after you join the plan – whichever is the later. So for most people, this will mean that they will receive the funds when they turn 65. KiwiSaver is separate to NZ Superannuation, so you will still be eligible to receive a government pension if you join KiwiSaver.
Should you Join?
The attraction of KiwiSaver is that you get lots of incentives if you join. In fact, you get two other parties – the NZ government via IRD and your employer — giving you free money!! Where else could you get a deal like that?
The incentives that you get from government include:
• A tax free $1,000 deposit as a kick start
• A tax credit of up to $1,042.86 each year paid into your account
• A Fee Subsidy of $20 twice a year, to help cover the cost of the fees charged by your scheme provider
• A First Home deposit subsidy (if you qualify). Broadly speaking, you will get a $1,000 subsidy for each year you have been contributing (after a minimum of 3 years), up to a maximum of $5,000. Note that if you are a couple, you may be eligible for a subsidy of $10,000. Conditions apply regarding levels of household income and the price of the house.
In addition to government incentives, your employer will contribute 1% of the value of your salary or wages as from 1 April 2008, and this will increase by 1% per year until it reaches a maximum of 4% in 2011. This money comes from your employer’s pocket, not yours.
Who can Join?
KiwiSaver is not just for employees – the self employed, homemakers, and even children can sign up! In fact, anyone who is a New Zealand Citizen, aged under 65 years and normally living in New Zealand can join.
Finding more Info.
If you would like to learn more about KiwiSaver, there are two excellent websites you can consult:
www.consumersaver.org.nz which has independent advice about KiwiSaver provided for you by Consumer NZ; and
www.kiwisaver.govt.nz the official KiwiSaver website provided by government.