Some positive KiwiSaver changes are coming into effect from 1 April 2019 and later in the year. These changes will provide greater options for New Zealanders to see their retirement savings increase over time.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these changes.
Additional Employee Contribution options of 6% and 10% (from 1 April 2019)
Current employee contribution options are 3%, 4% and 8% of gross salary, plus any additional amount that members wish to voluntarily contribute. The additional options of 6% and 10% will make it easier and quicker for people to save for their retirement without necessarily having to make additional voluntary contributions. Note that a contribution rate to KiwiSaver of at least $87.00 a month secures you the maximum government contribution (formerly known as Member Tax Credit) of $521.43 so long as at least $1042.86 contribution is made in the financial year to 30 June.
If you are in employment and wish to increase your contributions rate, simply contact your payroll officer. Alternatively, please contact us and we will be glad to assist.
Ahead of June 30, we will provide a text or email reminder to those still needing to top up their contributions to secure the maximum government contributions.
Over 65s will be able to join KiwiSaver (from 1 July 2019)
People over age 65 will be able to join KiwiSaver, effectively giving them additional, low cost, managed fund choices during their retirement. This is important, as since the launch of KiwiSaver, other non KiwiSaver managed funds have dwindled to a handful of options.
Please note, over 65s will not be eligible to receive Member Tax Credits. If still in employment, employer contributions are no longer mandatory, but the employer can continue contributions on a discretionary basis.
Removal of ‘lock-in ‘period for the over 60’s (from 1 July 2019)
Currently, if someone joins KiwiSaver between the age of 60-64, they are unable to access their funds until they have been in the scheme 5 years (the lock-in period).
Whilst this may seem a restriction, the benefit is that such members are entitled to 5 years of Member Tax Credits (government contributions), equating to a maximum of $2607.15.
From 1st July, the lock-in period will be removed, with funds being accessible from retirement age (65) but without the benefit of Member Tax Credits post retirement age.