Your guide to

maximising KiwiSaver

Whether it’s buying your first home or saving for a comfortable retirement, there are some simple actions you can take today to maximise your KiwiSaver investment and achieve financial freedom come retirement.

 

Join KiwiSaver and reap the rewards.

Here’s just a few of the benefits of KiwiSaver:

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, then 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 (minimum 6 months). It cannot be used to buy an investment property.

First home buyers could also be eligible for additional assistance from the Government through the First Home Grant of up to $10,000. There are some circumstances which also allow previous home owners to withdraw their funds to purchase a new home.

Get a jumpstart on retirement savings

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.

KiwiSaver Contributions

Every extra bit you contribute to your KiwiSaver fund counts. Over time it could mean thousands of dollars more to enjoy in your retirement.

There are three types of contributions:

Yours

You’ve got options:

Employed:

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.

Self-Employed:
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.

Your Employer

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).

Government

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 (minimum 6 months). 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.

Income requirements:
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.

Property Value Requirements: The price cap depends on where in New Zealand you are purchasing.

Existing | older properties:

  • $400,000 – $625,000

New properties:

  • $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.

Resources

 

Choosing the right fund is critical

Your choice of KiwiSaver investment fund can make a big difference to your financial future. The best fund for you is based on how old you are now, 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.

How safe is your KiwiSaver investment?

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 our money that is being invested. 

AdviceFirst is a Financial Advice Provider (FSP23242).