But first, what's a contribution?
A contribution is a fancy way of describing a deposit of money into your KiwiSaver account. Contributions are invested in investment markets to earn you a rate of return, so that your money grows over time.
The great thing about KiwiSaver is that you can decide to have a regular contribution come out of your before-tax pay, automatically. You just need to decide how much you want to contribute.
If you are an employee and you didn't decide on a contribution rate when you first joined KiwiSaver, you'll automatically be on the lowest rate of 3%. If you are focused on growing your personal wealth over the long-term, you may decide on a higher contribution rate of 4%, 6%, 8% or 10%, as higher contribution rates can make a big difference to the size of your retirement nest egg.
If you aren't working or are self-employed, you can also make contributions.
Anyone can make lump sum top-ups through regular or one-off payments, at any time.
A contribution from your employer too - sweet!
If you are an employee, your employer usually pays 3% of your before-tax pay into your KiwiSaver account, although some employers choose to pay more than 3%. That's on top of your own contributions.
To qualify for a contribution from your employer, you need to be making regular contributions through your salary or wages, be between 18 and 65 years of age and meet eligibility criteria.
A nice little boost from the government
The Government will pay 50 cents for every dollar you put in (up to a maximum contribution of $521.43 each year) provided you:
- Are 18 years of age or over but under 65 years.
- Have been in KiwiSaver for 12 months
- Live mainly in New Zealand
- Contribute at least $1,042.86 a year (from 1 July to 30 June), which is about $20 a week.
If you contribute less than $1,042.86 a year, you'll get a partial government contribution. Only your contributions will count towards the government's contribution, not your employer's contributions.
If you live overseas, you won't be eligible for the government's contribution.
If you are eligible, you don't have to do a thing. We'll make the claim on your behalf.
How to find out how much you contributed in the year to 30 June?
To find out how much you've paid in the current KiwiSaver year, you'll need to visit My IR on the IRD website.
If you are self-employed or not working?
KiwiSaver lets you make contributions as you earn income. To receive the Government benefit of $521.43 per year, you need to contribute at least $1,042.86 in the year to 30 June. This can be a lump sum or regular payments.
How your savings can grow with KiwiSaver
Your contribution is the first step in unlocking contributions from the government and your employer.
All contributions are then invested to generate an investment return. Compounding occurs when your investment returns get reinvested, basically, the returns created also earn a return.
Your KiwiSaver investment grows from these sources:
* If eligible.
You're in the driver's seat
Want to make changes to your KiwiSaver contribution rate or investment option? No problem.
We make it easy for you to make changes to your KiwiSaver investment, because we get that life and your needs change with time.
You can manage your contributions by:
- Changing your contribution rate
You can change your contribution rate as personal circumstances and goals change. For example, if you are wanting to buy or build your first home you could decide to ramp up your contribution.
- Changing your investment
Choose a different investment option by logging into your Aurora account.
- Lump sum payments
You can make a lump sum payment or complete an automatic payment form by logging into your Aurora account at anytime.
Before making any changes, we encourage you to read the PDS and speak with a friendly Aurora financial adviser.
Want help figuring out how much to contribute?
The regular contributions that you make throughout your life are an investment in your future and can have a huge impact on whether you have enough money to meet your retirement goals.
Want to figure out how much you want to contribute? Here are four things you can do:
- Use our KiwiSaver Calculator to see how increasing your contribution, for example, to 10% of your wage or salary, can make a big difference to your wealth by the time you retire.
- Review your income and expenses, as well as your future wealth and retirement goals. Calculate whether you can contribute more than the 3% minimum.
- Consider making a one-off lump sum contribution if you receive a bonus or inheritance.
- Talk to one of our expert advisers.
This information is provided in a general nature only and should not be construed as or relied on as financial advice. This is not a recommendation to invest in a particular financial product or class of financial products. You should seek financial advice specific to your circumstances from a Financial Adviser before making any investment decisions.
Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. The value of your investment may go up and down.