KiwiSaver is a voluntary savings initiative to help you with your long-term saving for retirement or to assist you purchasing a first home. It's a hassle-free way to regularly invest, and several great benefits make KiwiSaver a “must-have” component of any wealth creation plan. The key benefits are:
- Annual Government-funded tax credits up to a maximum of $521 per year, subject to member contributions
- Regular contributions from your employer
- You can withdraw your funds to put toward the purchase of a first home, subject to conditions
- Many people are also eligible for additional funding toward the deposit on their first home
Choosing your provider
Most New Zealanders give little thought to which KiwiSaver Scheme they’re in, often staying in a default scheme or simply sticking with their bank scheme so they can see their scheme when they log in to online banking. Most often, we advise people to not check their KiwiSaver balance regularly, such as when they log in to online banking, and instead keep in mind that KiwiSaver is a long-term investment which will occasionally go down in value – unlike a bank savings account it may be displayed next to.
Crucially, not making an active choice about which KiwiSaver Scheme you use could cost you tens of thousands of dollars before you reach retirement in higher fees, underperformance, or both. While there are no guarantees about future performance, choosing your own provider ensures you can make the most of KiwiSaver by investing in a scheme which:
- Is well-managed
- Has low fees
- Is well-invested
- Is invested ethically and responsibly
- Has a solid track record of strong performance
As we’re not a fund manager and aren’t owned by a KiwiSaver provider (unlike some financial advice firms!) we work with a variety of KiwiSaver Schemes and can compare the performance of nearly all of them. This means that we can check your existing investment without bias and, depending on your personal circumstances, can find an alternative that suits you.
Strict withdrawal criteria mean that your KiwiSaver investment will generally be inaccessible until:
- You're eligible for New Zealand Superannuation, or
- you buy your first home, or
- a limited range of other criteria are met. Call us for more details.
While KiwiSaver has some great benefits, making a minimum contribution a “no brainer”, the stringent withdrawal criteria above means that most people shouldn’t invest more than the minimum into KiwiSaver. Instead, as a complement to KiwiSaver, it’s nearly always a great idea to have other investments which can be more easily accessed. This is where an Authorised Financial Adviser can advise you on the best options, meaning you can stay flexible and achieve your financial goals.
KiwiSaver for first home buyers
If you’ve been a member of KiwiSaver for three years, you may be eligible to withdraw some of your KiwiSaver savings to put toward purchasing your first home. Learn more about buying your first home, including what may be available to you through KiwiSaver and the KiwiSaver Home Start Grant.
For a free and no-obligation consultation with an Authorised Financial Adviser about topics such as how your current KiwiSaver Scheme investment compares, buying your first home, investing in more flexible investments than KiwiSaver, and/or how you can best prepare for retirement, call 0508 MILESTONE (0508 645 378) or leave your details and enquiry below.