KiwiSaver Changes Bring New Options

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KiwiSaver members now have a wider choice of contribution options. As of 1 April, you can put in 6% or 10% of your pay as well as choosing from the current options of 3%, 4% and 8%. There are good reasons why you could consider increasing your percentage contribution. If you work part time and your earnings are low, you may need to increase your contribution rate to 10% to ensure that you put at least $1,042 into your KiwiSaver account. You will then get the maximum tax credit without having to top up your account. If you are close to being able to withdraw your funds from KiwiSaver, either to buy a first home or because you are nearing the age of retirement, increasing the rate of contribution to KiwiSaver is another option for saving and investing. Unless you are likely to meet these criteria soon, it may be better to use unlocked investment products to add to your savings.

Whereas previously you could suspend KiwiSaver contributions for up to five years, the suspension period will now be one year.

For people over the age of 65, the good news is that from 1 July, 2019 you can open a KiwiSaver account and use it as a means of managing money for retirement. KiwiSaver is a great option for investing money that is not needed immediately. You can set funds aside in KiwiSaver to be used in the latter period of retirement when you might need to cover health costs, to pay for someone to take care of you, or to move into a retirement village. If you don’t have medical insurance, you can keep some funds in KiwiSaver as a backstop to cover the cost of surgery and specialist care so as to get off hospital waiting lists.

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