Making KiwiSaver contributions
If you're employed, your contributions to KiwiSaver are made automatically from your pay. You can also make voluntary contributions.
The savings in your KiwiSaver grow from contributions by:
- you — usually automatically, if you're employed or by making voluntary contributions
- your employer, and
- the government — if you meet the criteria and save at least $1042.86 a year.
If you're employed, you can choose to contribute 3%, 4% or 8% of your before-tax pay. The default amount is 3%.
Your before-tax pay includes things like:
It doesn't include:
- redundancy payments
- overseas accommodation, living expenses and allowances
- some types of grants, pensions and benefits.
If you're getting or making other government payments
Your KiwiSaver contributions may be different if you:
- are on a benefit
- receive ACC payments
- get Job Support scheme payments
- are taking paid parental leave, or
- get another entitlement, for example Weekly Compensation if you're a veteran.
If one of these situations applies to you, contact your KiwiSaver provider to ask about making contributions.
Your KiwiSaver contributions are not affected if you:
- have a student loan
- are paying back a tax debt
- are making or getting child support payments, or
- receive Working for Families Tax Credits.
Your employer's contributions
Your employer must contribute an amount equal to 3% of your pay to your KiwiSaver, if you're:
- aged between 18 and 65
- not on leave without pay
- not taking a contributions holiday, and
- your employer isn't making payments into another eligible superannuation scheme for you.
Your employer can also choose to make voluntary contributions to your KiwiSaver or to contribute more than 3%.
You'll make voluntary contributions if you're:
- a contractor
- not working, or
- receiving a benefit.
Your provider may:
- have a minimum amount you need to contribute each year, or
- ask you to pay at specific times like monthly or quarterly.
You can also make a voluntary contribution if you're employed but want to add some extra money to your KiwiSaver.
You can make voluntary contributions at any time directly to your KiwiSaver provider or to IRD.
Making voluntary contributions through IRD
If you pay IRD, use the 'pay tax' option in your internet banking. You need to include:
- your IRD number
- tax type 'KSS'
- period '0'.
The government contributes up to $521.43 each year to your KiwiSaver if:
- you're over 18
- not yet eligible to withdraw your KiwiSaver savings, and
- live mainly in New Zealand.
To get the full amount, you must pay in at least $1042.86 in the 12 months to 30 June each year, either through automatic or voluntary contributions.
If you contribute less than $1042.86, you'll get 50 cents for every dollar you contribute up to the maximum payment of $521.43.
The government contribution, called a Member Tax Credit, is paid into your KiwiSaver account in July or August each year. Your provider claims the payment on your behalf and it usually takes about 2 weeks to show up in your account.
If you join KiwiSaver or turn 18 part way through the year, the amount you get is worked out according to the length of time you've been eligible to receive it.
Tracking your savings
Because KiwiSaver contributions are made through your pay, IRD collects the money and passes it to your provider. You can use their online service, My KiwiSaver to see all the contributions they've received on your behalf.
My KiwiSaver only shows your contributions once they've been processed from your employer's payroll report — this can take up to 3 months.
My KiwiSaver doesn't show you:
- any voluntary contributions made directly to your KiwiSaver provider
- the return on your investment (the money your savings have earned or lost)
- your overall KiwiSaver account balance.
Your provider might have their own system that can show you these details.