Getting the most out of your account
You could get more from your KiwiSaver account by choosing to increase your contribution rate, picking the best fund for your needs, or learning how to make sure you’re entitled to the government contribution each year.
Your level of contribution will have a significant impact on your future savings, whether it’s 3%, 4%, 6%, 8%, or 10% of your before-tax pay, or any voluntary contributions you make. Over time, a higher contribution rate will make a big difference to the overall value of your KiwiSaver account, so it’s important to make changes when you can, big or small.
Changes you could make
- Review and change your contribution rate, which you can adjust by:
- emailing or writing a letter to your employer to let them know your preferred contribution rate
- giving your employer a completed Inland Revenue KiwiSaver deduction form
- notifying Inland Revenue through myIR secure online services
- notifying your scheme provider. If you are a BNZ KiwiSaver Scheme member, you can change your contribution rate in Internet Banking or the BNZ app.
- If you’re not employed or are self-employed, you can set your own level and frequency of contributions.
- Make additional voluntary contributions at any time through Internet Banking or by setting up a direct debit/automatic payment.
- If you earn Flybuys on your everyday spending, you can turn those into additional BNZ KiwiSaver Scheme contributions.
The earlier you start investing, the greater the growth potential of your KiwiSaver account. Over time, investment returns will add to your own, your employer and any government contributions you receive. These gains will keep adding to your pot of money. It’s called compounding returns, and it’s one of the most powerful forces at play.
Use our calculator to see the impact of starting to save earlier, for example if you compare saving 3% of a $35,000 p.a. salary at the age of 25 versus starting at the age of 50 and contributing 8% of a $100,000 p.a. salary.
Make sure you’re in the right fund
Making sure you’re in the right fund is just as important to the growth of your KiwiSaver account as making regular contributions. You need to choose a fund that suits both your attitude to risk and your investment timeframe.
Each of the eight BNZ KiwiSaver Scheme funds invest in a different mix of growth and income assets, providing a different level of risk and return.
If your circumstances change, you should reevaluate your fund choice using our guide to BNZ KiwiSaver Scheme funds.
Use our KiwiSaver calculator to review your fund choice and work out how much you could have by the time you’re 65.
Annual government contribution
The annual government contribution to your KiwiSaver savings was previously called the Member Tax Credit.
How it works
If you qualify for the government contribution, you’ll receive 50 cents for every dollar you contribute to your KiwiSaver account, up to a maximum government contribution of $521.43.
For example, if you’re eligible for the government contribution and you put at least $1,042.86 in to your KiwiSaver account annually between 1 July – 30 June, the Government will contribute the maximum of $521.43.
To be eligible, you must be:
- 18 years or older
- not yet eligible for retirement withdrawals
- mainly living in New Zealand.
If you don’t meet the eligibility requirements for the full year (1 July - 30 June), the maximum amount you can get will be based on the time you were eligible for it, and the level of your own contributions.
You should receive the government contribution as a lump sum, paid into your KiwiSaver account around July/August each year.
For more information on the government contribution, or whether you qualify, visit the Government’s KiwiSaver website.