Here are the top 5 things we think you should know to make sure you're KiwiSaver savvy:
1. It can work for you — even if you aren't working
Even if you are not working or self-employed you can still join and take advantage of certain benefits. If you can afford to contribute the equivalent of $20 per week ($1,042.86 per year) then the government will contribute up to $10 per week ($521.43 per year) each KiwiSaver year. Note this applies to members between 18 and 65.
2. Being in the right fund matters
Even a small increase in the average annual return on your savings can make a significant difference to the value of those savings when you retire — so one of the most important decisions you can make is how you want your savings invested.
3. Your KiwiSaver money is yours
Although we manage your investment, when you contribute to your KiwiSaver we never touch your actual money. Instead it is held in trust by an independent custodian in your name. Fisher Funds uses New Zealand’s oldest trust company Trustees Executors for this purpose and they’ve been in the business of keeping Kiwis’ money safe from prying hands since 1881! Members can also have peace of mind that if they were to pass away their funds will form part of their estate.
4. It might be more flexible than you thought
You can make lump sum payments at any time. If you're worried that your circumstances might change and you can't afford to continue contributing, then relax: KiwiSaver has a savings suspension. Although you don't pay for this, be aware the cost of such a suspension can be high in the long term and may significantly impact your retirement lifestyle because you miss out on the powerful effect of compounding returns.
5. Access KiwiSaver for your first home or retirement
KiwiSaver has been designed as a retirement tool meaning you can access your savings at age 65. You have a number of options available to you at this time. Learn more about using KiwiSaver in retirement . You may also be eligible to use your KiwiSaver to help you buy your first home.