Frequently asked questions

 

I'm not currently in KiwiSaver can I still join?

As long as you’re a New Zealand resident (and are living or normally living in New Zealand) you're entitled to join KiwiSaver.

Why should I sign up to KiwiSaver?

KiwiSaver is a long-term savings scheme designed to help you increase your overall financial independence - particularly in retirement. It's a great way to save for your future because in addition to your own savings, you can get a Government contribution of up to $521.43 each year, plus contributions from your employer up until eligibility age for NZ Super - currently age 65.

How much will I have saved by retirement age?

This will depend upon a number of factors such as your salary or wage, how much you choose to contribute, how early you sign up, whether you make any early withdrawals, and the long-term performance of the KiwiSaver fund you invest in. This is why it's always recommended that you talk to someone who specialises in KiwiSaver who can help you maximize its benefits.

Can I stop my contributions at any point?

If you’re a salary or wage earner and part of your salary or wages is being automatically paid to your KiwiSaver account, after 12 months membership of a KiwiSaver scheme you’re entitled to take a savings suspension. You can start your contributions again whenever you wish. If you’re not a salary or wage earner, you can make contributions to your KiwiSaver account whenever you wish.

Can I withdraw my funds at any time apart from retirement?

If you’re buying your first home, move permanently overseas (excluding Australia), or suffer significant financial hardship or serious illness, you may be entitled to withdraw some or all of your KiwiSaver savings prior to retirement. Contact us to learn more about the eligibility criteria involved.

Can I switch my KiwiSaver provider after I have signed up?

Yes, anyone can switch their KiwiSaver provider at any time. However, you can only belong to one KiwiSaver scheme at any time. We can help you with this – just call us on 03 470 1030 and ask for Jackie Mackle or John Lewis.

How long does it take to transfer my KiwiSaver account from another provider?

Your previous provider has up to 35 days to transfer your KiwiSaver account to your new provider once they receive notification advising them that you wish to change providers.

How do I know that I’ve successfully been enrolled in KiwiSaver or have successfully changed providers?

Either way you’ll receive a confirmation letter notifying that you’ve been enrolled in the new KiwiSaver scheme you’ve selected.

I’m opening a new account, what proof of identity do I need to provide?

You'll need to provide a certified copy of an Identity Document with your Application Form such as a:

New Zealand Driver Licence; or
New Zealand Passport; or
New Zealand Firearms Licence

and an address verification dated within the last three months such as a:

Bank Statement; or
Utility Bill (i.e Sky, Electricity, Water); or
Letter from a New Zealand Government department letter (eg IRD)

If investing on behalf of a minor, you’ll need to provide certified copies of the birth certificate of the minor and identity documentation for the guardians as per above.

How much can I contribute?

You’re able to contribute 3%, 4%, 6%, 8% or 10% of your salary or wages to your KiwiSaver scheme and you can deposit additional money at any time to boost your overall savings.
Please note that these additional contributions can't be withdrawn until you’re 65 except in cases such as suffering significant financial hardship or serious illness, emigrating or buying a first home (terms and conditions apply).

How can I change the amount I contribute?

When you begin a new job or sign up to KiwiSaver, the default contribution by your employer is set to 3% of your before tax pay. However, you can choose whether you want to contribute 3%, 4%, 6%, 8% or 10% of your salary to your KiwiSaver account.

If you’re a salary or wage earner and you receive a pay increase, your KiwiSaver contributions will automatically increase to reflect the increase in your salary or wage. If you want to change the amount that you contribute to your KiwiSaver account you need to notify your employer in writing.

You can do this by writing a letter to your employer, indicating your new rate (3%, 4%, 6%, 8% or 10%) or by filling in a KiwiSaver deduction form (KS2 - available on the IRD website or from us) and giving it to your employer.

Can I transfer between the funds offered by my existing KiwiSaver provider?

Yes you can do this and, depending upon the KiwiSaver provider you’re with, there’s usually no fee charged for doing so.

Can I view my KiwiSaver account online?

Yes - you should be able to view your account online to check balances, transactions, make changes and view your details.

If you have any problems in accessing your account or with passwords just ring Jackie Mackle at Altus on 03 470 1030 or email her on jackie@altusfs.co.nz and she'll help you get this sorted.

What is the Government contribution?

Currently the government will pay 50 cents (up to a maximum of $521.43 per year) for every dollar of contributions that you make into your KiwiSaver account. This is called a government contribution.

To maximize this contribution from the government you need to be contributing at least $1,042.86 each year. The KiwiSaver financial year runs from 1 July to 30 June and it’s the contributions you make in that period that are used for this calculation. The IRD will normally pay this government contribution into your KiwiSaver account in July or August each year.

The eligibility to receive the government contribution ceases at the age of 65 or five years after joining KiwiSaver eg, if someone joins at 62 they'll be eligible to receive the government contribution until they’re 67.

What happens to my contributions if I change jobs?

Nothing. You'll continue to remain with your existing KiwiSaver provider meaning there's nothing you have to do unless you decide to move to a new provider.

What are the circumstances for early withdrawal from KiwiSaver?

KiwiSaver members may be able to withdraw all or part of their KiwiSaver savings early if they’re suffering significant financial hardship or serious illness, emigrating or buying a first home (terms and conditions do apply). An Application form must be completed and supporting documentation must be provided in order for these applications to be processed and approved by the Trustee of your KiwiSaver scheme.

 

Significant financial hardship

If you're unable to meet minimum living expenses, you may be eligible to withdraw all or part of your contributions plus your employer’s contributions but can't withdraw the $1,000 kick-start you received or any government contribution.

 

Serious illness

In the case of serious or terminal illness or permanent disability affecting your ability to work, you may be eligible to withdraw all or part of your contributions including your employer's contributions, the $1,000 kick-start if you received one and any government contribution.

 

Permanent emigration (not Australia)

Subject to providing satisfactory proof of having been living overseas for at least one year, you're able to withdraw your contributions, your employer's contributions and your $1,000 kick-start if you received one. You can't withdraw any government contributions, these are returned to the IRD once the withdrawal has been processed.
For more information visit
http://www.kiwisaver.govt.nz

 

First home purchase

If you have been in KiwiSaver for at least 3 years you may be able to use your savings to help buy your first property. Contact John for more details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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