KiwiSaver Guide


In New Zealand the KiwiSaver scheme is a scheme in which a person voluntarily pays a portion of their gross income into a retirement savings fund that can be used either for retirement or for a deposit on a first home purchase.

Any person that starts new employment will be automatically enrolled into the KiwiSaver scheme and will have to fill out the opt-out form if they wish to not contribute.

Payment of the KiwiSaver payments is sent to the IRD along with the persons PAYE contributions. This is usually done by the person’s employer.

At this point the options for contribution are 3%, 4% or 8% of their gross pay which can be matched at any level by the employer. Employers are mandated to contribute 3% as a minimum however it is not uncommon to find employers that offer the higher rates.

EXAMPLE ONE:

Let’s look at an example of an employee who has a gross salary of $100,000.00 NZD per year. This salary was chosen as it is easier to see the relative percentages of the deductions for each facet of the calculation in the workings process.

  1. All gross income is eligible to be have the KiwiSaver rate applied to it.

    At 3% of gross income KiwiSaver contribution level
    $100,000.00 * 03.00% (0.03) = $3,000.00

    At 4% of gross income Kiwisaver contribution level
    $100,000.00 * 04.00% (0.04) = $4,000.00

    At 8% of gross income KiwiSaver contribution level
    $100,000.00 * 08.00% (0.08) = $8,000.00

EXAMPLE TWO:

Now let’s look at an example of an employee who has a gross salary of $55,000.00 NZD per year.

  1. All gross income is eligible to be have the KiwiSaver rate applied to it.

    At 3% of gross income KiwiSaver contribution level
    $55,000.00 * 03.00% (0.03) = $1,650.00

    At 4% of gross income Kiwisaver contribution level
    $55,000.00 * 04.00% (0.04) = $2,200.00

    At 8% of gross income KiwiSaver contribution level
    $55,000.00 * 08.00% (0.08) = $4,400.00

The biggest benefit of KiwiSaver is that it allows the employee to save over time to take advantage of both fund managers investment gains as well as compound interest gains over time. Because of this the employee could see a significant multiplier effect over time due to the interest paid on interest paid.