KiwiSaver has undergone some significant changes this year. These changes are going to give Kiwis more control over how much they are contributing and are designed to promote more active decisions when it comes to saving for your retirement. These changes also include more options for kiwis over the age of sixty. Let’s take a closer look at these changes and how they are going to affect you.

KiwiSaver Contributions Expand to 6% and 10%

In the beginning of KiwiSaver, the only options were 4%, 8% and whatever amount the member wanted to voluntarily contribute. With the expansion to 3% and now to 6% and 10% any member can save for their retirement as fast as they want or at a pace that suits their financial position without having to make voluntary contributions which can be time-consuming.

An important aspect to take note of: If a member’s monthly contribution rate to KiwiSaver is over $87.00, they will get the maximum government contribution of $43 a month. This can be contributed to $1,043 a year, quite a large amount of money that is being put towards your retirement by the government. Who wouldn’t want to take advantage of that?

Contribution Holiday Changes

What was once known as a “Contributions Holiday”, has had a name change and will now be named “saving suspension”, the purpose of this name change is to remove the positive connotations that are associated with the word “holiday”.

The new maximum time for a contributions holiday has now been reduced from 5 years to just 1 year. However, members will be able to roll the holiday over each year. Members will receive reminders each year making the choice to continue their “saving suspension” a more conscious choice. The aim behind this is to promote conscious decisions about saving for your retirement. Each year members on a saving suspension will have to make the conscious decision on whether they can begin saving again. This way saving for their retirement will be at the forefront of their mind instead of being forgotten about for five years.

More KiwiSaver options for Kiwis over the age of 65

Prior to the change, New Zealanders over the age of 60 get their funds locked in for 5 years before they can withdraw, with the maximum age to join the KiwiSaver scheme being 65.

That has all changed, starting June 1st, 2019 the 65-age limit and lock-in period will be removed. Outside of KiwiSaver, there are very few retirement managed funds. The removal of the age limit is great news for retired Kiwi’s because it gives them another option to manage their retirement funds.  With the 5-year lock-in period gone, anyone will be able to withdraw their funds on their 65th birthday, enabling Kiwi’s to access their retirement funds when they need them.

It is important to remember that Employer and Government contributions stop once you turn 65 as long as you have been a member of KiwiSaver for 5 years or more. If you start your KiwiSaver membership after you have turned 60 the Government and your Employer must contribute until you have been a member for 5 years.

Thanks to the new KiwiSaver changes, saving for your retirement has never been easier or more convenient.

 

The information contained in this article is generic in nature. If you would like more information specific to you, contact our office by calling 03 307 6455 or emailing us at info@myca.co.nz.