‘Free’ contributions from the Government

‘Free’ contributions from the Government

Every year the Government makes contributions to the accounts of eligible KiwiSaver members, up to $521.43 each. These contributions are usually credited to members’ accounts in early July. In 2018 the Government paid $753 million in contributions to KiwiSaver members. Did you get your share of that? Make sure you receive your $521.43 this year by contributing enough before 30 June 2019.

How much can I get?

The Government pays 50c for every $1 you pay in, but there is a limit. The Government’s money is credited to your KiwiSaver account. To get the maximum amount of $521.43 from the Government, you need to pay at least $1,042.86 each year. This equates to $20 a week. Here are some examples of how this works:

Your personal contributions Money from Government
Weekly Annual Annual
Over $20 Over $1,042.86 $521.43 max
$20 $1,042.86 $521.43 max
$15 $781.14 $390.57
$10 $521.43 $260.71
$5 $260.71 $130.35

If you are an employee and earn $34,762 p.a. or more, and contribute the minimum 3% of your pay to KiwiSaver then you’ll qualify for the maximum without having to do anything else.

If you want to receive the maximum amount for the year ending 30 June 2019 year then you can make a top-up contribution if you wish to do so. But this needs to be done before the end of June 2019.

Who can get this free Government money?

The Government will make an annual payment into your KiwiSaver account as long as you:

  1. have made personal contributions to your KiwiSaver account during the year;
  2. are aged between 18 and 65*; and
  3. were resident mainly in New Zealand.

*Eligibility for the Government’s money can extend beyond 65 if you have not been in KiwiSaver for 5 years; in which case it ceases after 5 years membership.

You can make personal contributions to your KiwiSaver account by deductions from your pay, or regular payments, or lump sum payments.

Not sure about your personal situation

You are welcome to contact us to check on your situation, or you can log on to your member section of the Christian KiwiSaver Scheme website to access your personal information.

Christmas message

Christmas message

Greetings and peace in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

At the end of another busy year, it is my pleasure and delight to wish you all a holy and blessed Christmas. This is a holy time in the Church’s year when we pause to celebrate the birth of Jesus over 2000 years ago. Jesus was born in a stable in the town of Bethlehem in very humble circumstances, and the first to offer their worship were shepherds who responded to a message from an angel who told them the Good News that a Saviour was born, the Messiah, the Lord.

People have all sorts of ways of keeping in touch with this. Some people go on tours to the Holy Land to visit Bethlehem. They come back with nativity scenes, figures of Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus which they set up in their living rooms. Some bring back other reminders of the Holy Land; water from the Jordan River, or a stone that might be incorporated into a church building. Christians have been making these kinds of pilgrimages for centuries and bringing back reminders of the story to help make it a present reality for us today.

Bethlehem today is a very different place from that depicted in our carols and Christmas cards. It is surrounded by a wall designed to keep Palestinian people out of Israel. It has frequently been caught up in the violence of conflict in that part of the world. Modern-day Bethlehem is a reminder that the world is ridden with division and violence, where injustice, misuse of power and violence abound, and where those who are powerless are expected to be submissive to those with power. This reflects the way many people of the world think the Church should be as well; compelled into submission.

This is not the way of God. Jesus is the fullness of God revealed to us in a whole human life. He comes in vulnerability, as a helpless child, to be alongside us and to share our humanity. He invites us to follow him. He never attempts to force us to follow, but he comes as the fullness of God’s grace and love to win us over. He shows us that the God we worship and that Christians believe in refuses to come in force, but in humility and in love.

The carol, “O little town of Bethlehem” has this line in the first verse: “the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” God is aware of the messiness of life and comes to be alongside us on our journey. God comes to dispel the darkness that we face, to be with us as we cope with the messiness of life and the difficulties we find ourselves in. God comes to open up a future laden with hope that is beyond our imagination; a future where there is justice and love. In short, God comes to give us a taste heaven. This Christmas, give your hopes and your fears to God. For Jesus is born to bring love into the world. He is with us and alongside us, working for love, peace and hope, that these gifts may be received in our hearts and in the hearts of every human being, so that all may know God’s love.

Once again, may you and yours have a holy and blessed Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

The Very Reverend Lawrence Kimberley
Board Chair

Time – the asset money can’t buy

Time – the asset money can’t buy

When it comes to investing young people have a huge advantage: TIME. Time – you can never get it back. It’s the asset money can’t buy. The sooner savings begin, the sooner compound interest can start and its ‘magic’ needs time.

Being in KiwiSaver gives a practical way for parents to talk to their children about money, about budgeting, about investing for the future, about learning to appreciate that saving is a slow process. Appreciating the difference extra contributions make. Appreciating that there is no such thing as a free lunch and so fees are charged. Great news, from 1 January 2019 we’re not going to be deducting fees for members under age 18.

Getting young people into regular savings and investment habits will help with setting them on a path to a secure financial future. You can help with this in your role as a parent, grandparent, older sibling, godparent.

Savings and investments are for many purposes. Saving to spend on something specific like a holiday, a car. Saving for future events such as tertiary study. Saving for the just in case event. Saving for the longer term and that is where KiwiSaver fits in.

KiwiSaver can work well if young people are invested in the right investment fund, and regular contributions are made. Once they reach 18 then there are the other benefits of the Government contributions and once they start work, employer contributions.

Investing in a KiwiSaver scheme also provides younger members with an opportunity to understand how market-linked investments work through the diversification of asset classes (shares, property, fixed interest etc.) and that, while investment returns can go up and down, over time they generally grow.

KiwiSaver is a great option to consider for longer-term saving. Christian KiwiSaver Scheme provides the opportunity to belong to a scheme that cares about how investment returns are made.

Changes to KiwiSaver – what do they mean for you?

Changes to KiwiSaver – what do they mean for you?

The Government has made some changes to KiwiSaver that include:

  • Introducing more contribution rate options for employees (from 1 April 2019)
  • Reducing the maximum period for ‘contribution holidays’ (from 1 April 2019)
  • Allowing people over 65 to join (from 1 July 2019).
More contribution rates for employees.

From 1 April 2019, it’s intended that you’ll also be able to contribute at 3%, 4%, 6%, 8% and 10% of your pay. 6% and 10% rates are the new options. Perhaps review your level of contributions when you receive a pay increase, it’s a great time to take the opportunity to save a little more.

Savings suspension timeframe reduces

‘Contribution holiday’ is now called ‘savings suspension’ and the maximum period for savings suspensions reduces from 5 years to 1 year. You need to apply directly to Inland Revenue each year to renew a savings suspension.

If you’re not making personal contributions to your KiwiSaver then you may also be missing out on the government’s contributions of up to $521.43 each year. That can add up to a lot over time, e.g. potentially $5,214.30 over 5 years. See the above article to check out how to qualify for the ‘free’ Government money.

Removing the age 65 restriction on joining

From 1 July 2019, the age 65 restriction on joining is removed and this group of New Zealanders (and permanent residents) will be able to join a KiwiSaver. The 5-year lock-in period on joining is also removed. There is no change to the age at which you qualify to withdraw your KiwiSaver savings, this remains age 65.

This provides a convenient and cost-effective investment option to just holding all your savings in a bank account or on fixed deposit.

Tell your friends and family about Christian KiwiSaver Scheme. They may be interested in joining and investing in a KiwiSaver scheme that is invested under an ethical investment policy and Christian values

KiwiSaver gives the self-employed great options

KiwiSaver gives the self-employed great options

If you’re self-employed then KiwiSaver provides a handy and cost-effective option to save for retirement. If you know someone who is self-employed then tell them, your friends and your family about Christian KiwiSaver Scheme, a KiwiSaver scheme for Christians that reflects Christian values and is founded on ethical and responsible investment principles. Send them a link to this article.

You don’t have to be in paid employment to join, it’s open to:

  • workers who are self-employed
  • those not in paid employment
  • students
  • children.

Self-employed people have great options:

  • They can choose the amount they save in KiwiSaver
  • They can make contributions on a regular basis or lump sum payments every so often
  • They choose their KiwiSaver scheme (pick ours!)
  • They are entitled to the government’s annual contribution of up to $1,042.86
  • They are entitled to all of the other KiwiSaver benefits.

It’s never too late or too early to start but the earlier saving starts the better off the saver is likely to be. Saving a little over a long time has proven to be a really good option.

Are you missing out on the free KiwiSaver money?

Are you missing out on the free KiwiSaver money?

Every year there are some KiwiSaver members, including members of the Christian KiwiSaver Scheme, missing out on receiving the Government’s free KiwiSaver money. That is like flushing money down the drain!

The Government paid $697 million, yes that’s $697 million, to KiwiSaver members accounts in 2017. Of this just under $0.5 million was paid to Christian KiwiSaver Scheme members. Did you get your share of this? Do you know how much you can get?

How much can I get?

The Government pays 50c for every $1 you pay in, but there is a limit. The Government’s money is credited to your KiwiSaver account. To get the maximum amount of $521.43 from the Government, you need to pay at least $1,042.86 each year. This equates to $20 a week. Here are some examples of how this works:

Your personal contributions Money from Government
Weekly Annual Annual
Over $20 Over $1,042.86 $521.43 max
$20 $1,042.86 $521.43 max
$15 $781.14 $390.57
$10 $521.43 $260.71
$5 $260.71 $130.35

If you are an employee and earn $34,762 p.a. or more, and contribute the minimum 3% of your pay to KiwiSaver then you’ll qualify for the maximum without having to do anything else.

If you want to receive the maximum amount for the year ending 30 June 2018 year then you can make a top-up contribution if you wish to do so. But this needs to be done before the end of June 2018.

Who can get this free money?

The Government will make an annual payment into your KiwiSaver account as long as you:

  1. have made personal contributions to your KiwiSaver account during the year;
  2. are aged between 18 and 65*; and
  3. were resident mainly in New Zealand.

*Eligibility for the Government’s money can extend beyond 65 if you have not been in KiwiSaver for five years; in which case it ceases after five years membership.

You can make personal contributions to your KiwiSaver account by deductions from your pay, or regular payments, or lump sum payments.

Do I need to be employed?

No, you don’t have to be in paid employment to get the free Government money. You just need to meet the three conditions above. If you’re not sure about your personal situation, contact us on 0508 738 473.

How does the money get into my KiwiSaver account?

In July each year, we claim the Government money (called a ‘member tax credit’ contribution) from the Government on behalf of every Christian KiwiSaver Scheme member who is eligible. The claim is based on the amount of personal contributions paid over the 12 months ending 30 June.

Not sure about your personal situation

You are welcome to contact us to check on your situation, or you can log-in to your member section of the Christian KiwiSaver Scheme website to access your personal information.

Is it worth contributing to get this free money?

In our opinion yes.

Once this free money from the Government is in your account it is then invested on your behalf. Small amounts can add up to a lot over time – see the example in the table below:

EXAMPLE
1 year After 5 years After 10 years After 20 years
Personal contributions 1,042.86 5,214.30 10,428.60 20,857.20
Money from Government 521.43 max 2,607.15 5,214.30 10,428.60
Total $1,464.29 $7,821.45 $15,642.90 $31,285.80