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Government contributions

The government contributes to your KiwiSaver account each year, if you meet certain conditions. 

What is a government contribution?

From 1 July 2011, the government pays 50 cents for every dollar you contribute to your KiwiSaver account each year, up to $521.43.

This means that you must contribute $1,042.86 annually to get the full government contribution of $521.43.

Government contributions are not counted for tax purposes.

Who can get a government contribution?

To qualify for a government contriubtion, you must be:

  • aged 18 or over
  • living in New Zealand
  • not yet eligible for a retirement withdrawal, currently reaching the age of 65.

Even if you don’t live in New Zealand, you may still qualify if you're in certain groups. You must be:

Get your government contribution

To receive your full government contribution of $521.43, you need to contribute at least $1,042.86 to your KiwiSaver account each year. The contribution year runs from 1 July to 30 June.

Even if you don't contribute $1,042.86 over the year, you're still eligible to get some government contribution – as long as you pay in some money before 30 June.

Top up to get your government contribution

Use direct debit to make a one-off or repeat payments into your Booster KiwiSaver account. It's one of the quickest ways to contribute any extra money you need to get your government contribution.

You can set up a direct debit payment using the direct debit tool in your online Booster account.

Or you can use online banking. Most banks already have our details set up so you can use the bill payment service in your internet banking.

Follow the same process as setting up a bill payment for a utility bill, such as a phone bill. You don’t need to enter our bank account number.

What counts towards your government contribution?

Only employee or voluntary contributions count towards getting your full government contribution entitlement.

Other types of contributions don't count. These are:

  • employer contributions
  • government contributions
  • transfers from Australian complying superannuation schemes.

Note that you'll be entitled to a lower government contribution than the full amount of $1,042.86 if one or more of the following is true. If you:

  • joined KiwiSaver part-way through the year
  • qualified for a government contribution for only part of the year
  • contributed less than $1,042.86 during the year.

This is because your entitlement is based on the number of days in the year that you are eligible.

Check if you've qualified already

You may already qualify for the full government contribution if your annual salary is either:

  • $34,762 or more and you make employee contributions of at least 3%
  • $26,072 or more and you make employee contributions of at least 4%.

You may need to make voluntary contributions to make sure you get all of your government contribution if you're:

  • not contributing at least this much for the full year (1 July to 30 June)
  • self-employed
  • not in paid employment.

To make sure you contribute enough to get the full government contribution each year, you can set up a direct debit to make regular payments into your Booster KiwiSaver Scheme account.

Check your status

You can check your government contribution entitlement by logging into mybooster and going to ‘My KiwiSaver overview’.

There you’ll be able to see our estimate of:

  • the amount of government contribution you qualify for
  • how close you are to achieving it, based on the contributions we’ve received from you to date.

Our records

Please remember that our records may not include:

  • contributions that Inland Revenue haven't sent to us yet
  • future voluntary contributions you may have set up
  • any amount you’ve transferred from another KiwiSaver scheme provider.

You should bear this in mind when making any top-up payment.

If you’ve never logged into your online account before, it’s easy to register for online access

When you get your government contribution

We claim your government contribution from Inland Revenue on your behalf in early July each year.

We usually get government contribution payments from Inland Revenue and apply them to your KiwiSaver account by mid- to late-July.

Is 'government contribution' the same as 'member tax credit'?

A government contribution is exactly the same as a member tax credit!

'Member tax credit' was the previous term used for 'government contribution'. However, the old term didn't really make much sense and could cause confusion for KiwiSaver members.

So, the government decided to start using 'government contribution' instead. This makes it much easier to understand exactly what it is, and the benefit for you!

$1,000 kick-start

If you joined KiwiSaver before 2pm, Thursday 21 May 2015, you were entitled to receive the $1,000 kick-start. This was a one-off government contribution to your KiwiSaver account.

The 2015 Budget removed this so anyone enrolling in KiwiSaver on or after 2pm, 21 May 2015 no longer gets the kick-start payment.