Whether you’re buying your first home or saving for a comfortable retirement, there are some simple actions you can take today to get the most out of your KiwiSaver investment.
Join KiwiSaver and reap the rewards.
Here’s just a few of the benefits of KiwiSaver:
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.
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:
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.
How much could you save?
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.
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
$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-calculator
- 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 – kaingaora.govt.nz
- KiwiBuild – kiwibuild.govt.nz
Why choosing an appropriate fund is critical?
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, the assets of all the KiwiSaver schemes are held in trust, meaning the assets are not directly owned by the provider itself. This provides more security and peace of mind around your money that is being invested.
The impact of market volatility
When this happens, it can be tempting to make changes to your investment account, but that’s not always a good idea.
At AdviceFirst we design your investment portfolio, which includes your KiwiSaver savings, around your goals, and 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.
Our KiwiSaver Approved Provider List
There are many KiwiSaver providers out there. When choosing a provider there is a lot to consider including which one fits best with your financial goals and values.
At AdviceFirst, we are committed to providing a range of funds and investment strategies through our Approved Provider List (APL). This list has been thoroughly researched by expert third parties, including the largest index investment manager in the world, BlackRock and Morningstar. Our APL is reviewed and updated annually. It currently includes Milford, Fisher Funds, Booster, AMP, OneAnswer and Generate.
Our advisers can help you set up your KiwiSaver account to get your savings on track. For a no cost, no obligation review of your KiwiSaver plans, contact our team by calling 0800 438 238, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or click the button below.