Helping New Zealanders maximise their KiwiSaver investment
There are some simple actions you can take today to maximise your KiwiSaver investment to fast track your first home deposit or achieve financial freedom in retirement.
· The benefits of KiwiSaver including recent changes, contributions, and savings tips
· KiwiSaver for first home buyers
· Why selecting the right fund is critical
· What to consider when choosing a KiwiSaver provider
At AdviceFirst we’re passionate about financial education and helping New Zealanders realise a better financial future. We are a homegrown business founded in 2008, with a team of 100 staff around the country specialising in KiwiSaver, wealth management, insurance, employee benefits and business consultancy.
Join KiwiSaver and reap the rewards.
Here’s just a few of the benefits of KiwiSaver:
Employer & Government contributions
Every year the Government contributes up to $521 to eligible KiwiSaver accounts. To get the full amount of $521 you must have contributed at least $1,042.86 in the period 1 July to 30 June (the KiwiSaver year).
Own your first home faster
KiwiSaver can be used towards a first home deposit. The earlier someone joins and contributes to KiwiSaver the larger the amount they will have saved towards their first home deposit. If you’ve never owned a home before and you’ve been in KiwiSaver for at least three years, you can withdraw your funds to use towards a deposit on your new home. However, a $1,000.00 balance must remain in your KiwiSaver account; you must intend to live in the property for a minimum of 6 months. And it cannot be used to buy an investment property.
First home buyers could also be eligible for additional assistance of up to $10,000 from the Government through the First Home Grant. There are some circumstances which also allow previous home owners to withdraw their funds to purchase a new home.
Live your best life in retirement
Every bit saved now will help you enjoy your ideal retirement lifestyle. When you turn 65 you can access your funds but you don’t need to withdraw them all at once. You can leave some invested and continue to contribute.
Learning how to maximise your KiwiSaver investment now could mean tens of thousands of additional dollars in retirement.
There are three types of contributions:
You’ve got options:
You can contribute 3%, 4%, 6%, 8% or 10% of your gross (before tax) wage or salary and make additional voluntary contributions.
You’ll need to contribute a minimum of 3% for the first 12 months of membership.
You can make voluntary contributions. You will need to contribute $21 per week for 12 months between 1 July and June 30 to qualify for the FREE Government Contribution.
If you’re 18 or over and contributing at least 3% of your salary or wages to your KiwiSaver account, your employer is also required to put in a minimum of 3% of your before tax pay (less employers superannuation contribution tax).
For every $1 you contribute to your KiwiSaver account from 1 July to the following 30 June, the government will match it by 50 cents, up to a maximum of $521.43 per year. You must be at least 18 to qualify.
First home withdrawal
If you have been a member of KiwiSaver for at least 3 years and do not currently own a home you may be eligible to withdraw all of your savings. However, a $1,000.00 balance must remain in your KiwiSaver account.
You must intend to live in the property for a minimum of 6 months and it cannot be used to buy an investment property.
First home grant
If you’re a first-time home buyer or a previous homeowner and you’ve been making regular KiwiSaver contributions for 3 – 5 years, you may be eligible for a First Home Grant of up to $10,000. You apply for the grant through Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities.
To be eligible for a First Home Grant you must:
· be over 18
· have earned less than the income caps in the last 12 months
· not currently own any property
· have been contributing at least the minimum amount to KiwiSaver (or complying fund or exempt employer scheme) for 3 years or more
· agree to live in your new house for at least 6 months.
· make sure the house or land you want to buy meets the property requirements as is within the regional house price caps.
In the 12 months before you apply, you must have earned:
· $95,000 or less before tax for a single buyer
· $150,000 or less before tax for 2 or more buyers.
Price cap restrictions
The price cap depends on where in New Zealand you are purchasing.
Existing | older properties:
· $400,000 – $625,000
· $500,000 – $700,000
How much is the First Home Grant?
You could be eligible for up to:
· $5,000 towards an older existing home, or
· $10,000 if you are building or purchasing a newly built home.
A couple could potentially qualify for up to $20,000 towards their first home.
First Home Buyers Guide – settled.govt.nz/first-home-buyers
Mortgage Calculator – sorted.org.nz/tools/mortgage
First Home Grant – kaingaora.govt.nz
First Home Grant House Price Caps – kaingaora.govt.nz/home-ownership/first-home-grant/check-property-criteria/
First Home Loan & Kainga Whenua Loans – https://kaingaora.govt.nz/home-ownership/first-home-grant/
KiwiBuild – kiwibuild.govt.nz
Why choosing the right fund is critical?
When you’re picking a KiwiSaver fund you want to base your decision on more than just what a friend, your bank or company tells you. The best fund for you is based on your personal circumstances; age, when you want to withdraw your money (for retirement or first home), your attitude to risk and the type of lifestyle you want to enjoy come retirement. KiwiSaver is a long-term investment. Making the right fund choices now will help you achieve your financial goals
How safe is your KiwiSaver investment
All investments carry some degree of risk. KiwiSaver is heavily regulated by the government. Regardless of who you select as your provider your money is managed and distributed by an independent trust separate from the provider. This provides more security and peace of mind around your money that is being invested.
The impact of market volatility
It’s important to remember that financial market movements, up and down, are common. While downturns don’t last forever it can be unsettling when you see your investment balance point downwards.
When this happens, it can be tempting to make changes to your investment account, but that’s not always the best idea.
At AdviceFirst we design your investment portfolio, which includes your KiwiSaver savings, around your goals and the market volatility is an expected part of that design.
KiwiSaver is a long-term investment
For the majority of our lives KiwSaver is a long-term investment.
Short-Term Investment: If you are looking to withdraw funds from your KiwiSaver account within the next 3-5 years, you may want to consider a more conservative approach.
Long-Term Investment: Growth funds come with higher risk but better long-term returns.
Click here to view assumptions
We have used certain assumptions in this calculator which play an important part in the final results shown to you on this page. These assumptions are set by the Financial Markets Authority and the government. The key assumptions are as follows: Inflation is 2% p.a. Salary growth is 3.5%. Retirement Age is 65. Age at which weekly payments cease is 90. Investment returns after fees and taxes for Defensive 1.5%, Conservative 2.5%, Balanced 3.5%, Growth 4.5%, Aggressive 5.5%.
The rates of return are after tax of 28% (the highest PIR for KiwiSaver members) and average fees for the fund type. Investment returns post-retirement 2.5%. Weekly payments are calculated in real terms as a current dollar amount. More details here: https://www.fma.govt.nz/investors/resources/kiwisaver-projections/
These figures only relate to KiwiSaver and do not take into account any other retirement savings or income you may have or be entitled to. These figures are estimates only. They are calculated based on your current balance, contribution rate, fund choice, and an assumed rate of investment returns based on your selected fund type.
Your weekly amount figure is based on a life expectancy of 90 and does not include your New Zealand Superannuation entitlements.
Your KiwiSaver account returns are subject to investment and other risks (including potential losses). No returns are guaranteed or assured and returns can at times be negative, particularly given the length of the investment period shown in the illustration. Past performance is not necessarily an indicator of future performance and returns over different periods may differ.
How much could you save?
What to consider when choosing a KiwiSaver provider?
There are approximately 30 KiwiSaver providers in the market. When choosing a provider there is a lot to consider including which one fits best with your financial goals and values.
Which of the following features are most important to you?
Access to a financial adviser
Performance after fees
Socially responsible funds
Mobile app and online access
Money management tools
Regular communication and update