What is KiwiSaver?

KiwiSaver is a really easy way to get saving for your retirement. But how exactly does it work?
Get KiwiSaver savvy with our guide to KiwiSaver.
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What is KiwiSaver?

KiwiSaver was set up to help New Zealanders save for their retirement.

It's a long-term investment savings account, designed to give your money time to grow.

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The basics

Your KiwiSaver account is an investment account. You save money into your account on a regular basis through contributions. You can choose the type of investment fund that your money gets invested in, such as a Conservative, Balanced or Growth fund.

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The foundations

Over time, the value of your money will increase. Regular contributions from you, plus investment returns, will continue to build your nest egg. The sooner you start contributing to your KiwiSaver account, the quicker you'll start to build up some serious savings. Every little bit makes a difference.

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The good stuff

When you reach retirement age, you can access your KiwiSaver savings. But, sometimes life has other plans. So, you can withdraw some or all of your money early in certain circumstances: if you want to use your savings as a deposit for your first home, or if you are facing significant financial hardship or serious illness.

How it all works

It's easier than you think to get your money moving.

Once you start paying into your KiwiSaver account, you'll start to see your balance growing. If you're in paid employment, your employer contributes as well*. Contribute a minimum amount each year, and you'll also get a government contribution!

That's it. Easy as.

  • If you’re in paid employment, your contributions are made automatically from your wages. You can choose to contribute 3%, 4%, 6%, 8% or 10% of your pay (before tax).
  • If you’re over 18, your employer also contributes at least 3% to your KiwiSaver. There’s a few exceptions to this: if you’re under 18, over 65, you’re on a savings suspension or your employer is paying into a super scheme for you.
  • If you’re self-employed, you can still contribute to KiwiSaver.
  • You can make extra payments into your KiwiSaver account at any time - either with a regular direct debit, or one-off payments. You can do this online or in your mybooster account.
  • As long as you regularly contribute to your KiwiSaver account, the government also chips in each year until you become eligible to take your money out as a retirement benefit.
  • From age 18, for every $1 you contribute, the government will put in 50c - up to $521.43 each year!
  • To receive the full $521.43, the minimum annual contribution you need to make is $1042.86.

Small steps to smarter saving

The earlier you can start saving for your retirement, the better. You'll be in a much stronger financial position if you contribute regular amounts for longer, even if it's just a small amount each time. 

Over time, your KiwiSaver money makes money. It starts to grow. That money stays invested, and the money that it makes is invested again... over and over again... and you don't have to do anything except keep contributing. 

The longer your money stays invested, the harder your money works for you!