A fierce storm (Mark 4:35)

A fierce storm (Mark 4:35)

It is typical for investments to go through changes, much like the fierce waters the disciples experienced in Mark 4:35 before Jesus calmed the storm. These different changes could be exciting, but can also cause a little uncertainty.

KiwiSaver is a savings scheme designed to help set you up for your retirement, as well as provide other member benefits such as helping you purchase your first home if you are eligible. For most people KiwiSaver is a long-term investment or a product you can invest in even after retirement.

It is important that whatever weather event you are experiencing, you focus on the long-term goals you have for your KiwiSaver. Remembering these goals may help avoid making snap decisions. It may also be useful not to look at your balance daily, bearing in mind that KiwiSaver is a long-term investment.

Some of the goals you have for your KiwiSaver may have been the initial reason you chose the type of fund you are currently invested in (based on your risk tolerance). Understanding the reason you chose that fund  may help determine whether your fund is still right for you.

In the past, we have written articles about KiwiSaver that may help inform you regardless of what weather event you are in:
• Different KiwiSaver scenarios for different life stages
• What is ‘investment risk’?
• Quick tips for your KiwiSaver

Here at Christian KiwiSaver Scheme we strive to help you feel supported as you think about your financial wellbeing. If you require professional financial advice for your situation, we always recommend you speak with an Authorised Financial Advisor.

Make sure you are on track to receive free Government Contributions

Are you on track to receive the KiwiSaver government contributions?

This is a friendly reminder that you may qualify for KiwiSaver government contributions of up to $521.43 towards your KiwiSaver. Every year the Government makes contributions to the accounts of eligible KiwiSaver members. The KiwiSaver government contribution is designed to help you save for your retirement. These contributions are usually credited to members’ accounts in early July.

How much can I get?

If you are eligible, you can receive up to $521.43 credited to your KiwiSaver account by contributing enough before 30 June 2022. The Government will contribute 50c for every $1 you contribute to you KiwiSaver account, up to the maximum amount of $521.43. To get the maximum government contribution amount, you need to contribute at least $1,042.86 each year to your KiwiSaver account. This equates to just over $20 a week. Here are some examples of how this works:

Your personal contributions KiwiSaver government contribution
Weekly Annual Annual
Over $20 Over $1,042.86 $521.43 Max
$20 $1,040.00 $520.00
$15 $780.00 $390.00
$10 $520.00 $260.00

 

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

If you want to receive the maximum KiwiSaver government contribution amount for the year then you can make a top-up contribution. This needs to be done before 30 June 2022.

Who is eligible for the KiwiSaver government contributions?

Usually, the Government will credit the government contributions 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 KiwiSaver government contribution 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, regular payments, or lump-sum payments. More detailed information about eligibility is available on the Inland Revenue website.

Not sure about your personal situation?

Here at Christian KiwiSaver Scheme we want you to feel supported as you think about your financial wellbeing. You can log on to your member section of our website to access your personal information and see how much you have contributed for the year if you are not sure. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Quick tips for your KiwiSaver

Quick tips for your KiwiSaver

It’s that time of year where holidays are well and truly over and it feels like life is fully getting back into the swing of things. Before the year gets ahead of you, we thought we’d send you a friendly annual reminder to check on your KiwiSaver. It won’t take long and we’ve made these tips as quick and easy as possible!

 

Check if your Fund is still right for you

We have three Funds here at Christian KiwiSaver Scheme to choose from. If you are satisfied with the type of fund you’re in, great! If you want to find out more about all our Funds and are seeking for a more conservative or aggressive option, then click here.

If you have a KiwiSaver, then that means that you are an investor (yes, you read that right!). If you are interested to find out what type of investor you are, one tool we suggest to look at is the Investor Kickstarter tool on the Sorted website which you can find if you click here. If you require financial advice we always recommend talking to a financial advisor.

 

Think about your contributions

KiwiSaver is a great savings scheme to help set you up for your retirement or to purchase your first home. Whether those things are just around the corner or still too far away to think about, it’s always good to be aware of how much you are contributing to your KiwiSaver.

  • If you are employed, maybe think about whether your contribution rate is correct for you. If you are unsure what your contribution rate is then you can check that with your employer. The default contribution rate is 3% if you don’t choose a higher rate. Click here for more information about KiwiSaver contribution rates.
  • Did you know you can make payments into your KiwiSaver account? You can contact us at any time to make voluntary contributions towards your KiwiSaver.

 

Are you on track to get extra money for free?

If you put in $1042.86 and are between the ages of 18 and 65, the Government may contribute up to $521.43 to your KiwiSaver account. For more information, click here.

 

Check your tax rate

Is your PIR tax rate correct? If you are on the wrong tax rate you may be paying too much or too little tax. Click here for a very quick guide on calculating your PIR tax rate. It should take you less than a couple of minutes!

 

Make sure your contact details are up-to-date

If you’ve moved home, changed your email or lucky enough to have received a brand new phone for Christmas (and changed your number), don’t forget to let us know. Make sure your details are correct so you get current and important information from us regarding your KiwiSaver investment. You can update your contact details by sending us a quick email or phone call.

 

 

There you have it! That was our quick guide to make sure your KiwiSaver is set up the way you expect for the year ahead. It’s usually good to check on these tips at least annually to make sure that your KiwiSaver appropriately reflects your current situation and is working towards your goals. If you have any questions, please email us at info@christiankiwisaver.nz or call us on 0508 738 473. We will be happy to help!

Understanding the Income Fund

Understanding the Income Fund

In a previous article we discussed what we mean by investment risk in a general sense. You can read that article again here. Understanding how much risk you are willing to take is usually a good way to figure out which KiwiSaver fund is right for you.

We continue this series of helping you get to know your KiwiSaver better. Let’s now look at our Income Fund.

This Fund invests in cash, term deposits, NZ bonds, overseas bonds and mortgages. Traditionally, this type of fund has been seen to be a lower risk investment with lower long-term returns.

The Income Fund is usually suited for members who need access to their money fairly soon or for those who prefer a somewhat consistent performance (rather than “bigger” increases/decreases in performance).

There are factors which affect the performance of this Fund which include:

  • Interest rates: This is the chance that changes in interest rates will affect an investment’s value. In the case of bonds, an increase in interest rates mean that the capital value of the bond will decrease.
  • Inflation: This is the chance that if returns are below the inflation rate, meaning the “purchasing power” of the money will decline.
  • Foreign exchange rates: This is the chance that the movement of the NZ dollar against other currencies will affect an investment’s value.
  • Costs: This is the chance that the cost of managing an investment could significantly affect the return from the investment.
  • Solvency/default: This is the chance that the financial institution or borrower is unable to repay some or all of the investment.

While the Income Fund is our lowest risk option, it does not mean that it is immune to negative returns. There can be occasions when a negative return is produced, particularly around interest rate changes. Historically, negative returns for the Income Fund happen less frequently than with the higher risk funds.

For more information about our Income Fund you can read more here. If you have specific financial questions or need financial advice, we encourage you to seek out a financial advisor.

Keep an eye out on our future newsletters as we continue to unpack your questions about KiwiSaver and help you get to know more about your investment.

What is ‘investment risk’?

What is ‘investment risk’?

For many investors “risk” is a scary word when it refers to their investments. A couple of sayings in the investment world are “no investment is without risk” and “investors who take on more risk expect to receive a higher level of return over time”. But what is risk in terms of your investments?

Investment risk is perhaps better called investment uncertainty. Put another way, risk is the chance that an investment’s actual outcome will differ from an expected outcome. The more likely it is that we can predict the future value of the investment, the lower the investment uncertainty (or the lower the risk).

Investments in income assets, like term deposits and bonds, are typically lower risk. We have a pretty good idea what the value will be when the investment matures.

In comparison, investments in growth assets, like shares in companies and property, are higher risk due to the uncertainty of knowing what the future value will be. The several funds within a KiwiSaver Scheme will usually consist of a mixture of these income and/or growth assets.

Here at Christian KiwiSaver Scheme, we have 3 funds for you to choose from: Income Fund, Balanced Fund and Growth Fund. The difference between these funds is the different mix of these investment assets e.g. The Income Fund is made up of only income assets, whereas the Growth Fund is made up of mostly growth assets.

You can choose which Fund – or which mix of funds – is right for you depending on what level your tolerance for risk is. For instance, you may decide to choose a fund that has smaller highs and lows, or you may decide you want a fund with potentially big highs and lows which you can tolerate over a longer time period.

Over the next few newsletters we will be covering more content such as this. We have received many great questions from our members trying to get to know their KiwiSaver better. We hope we can support your financial wellbeing by helping you understand more about your investment.

Your annual KiwiSaver check up

Your annual KiwiSaver check up

Like almost anything of value we own, your KiwiSaver account needs a little love and attention now and then. Let’s call it a health check. It won’t take long, and your KiwiSaver account will love you for it.

Look at it as a “do-it-yourself Warrant of Fitness”. We suggest it be done annually; perhaps at the beginning of each year or when you receive your annual member statement.

  1. Is your investment profile suitable for your current situation?

This is about where your funds are invested. Is your choice of investment funds too conservative, too aggressive or just right?

The Sorted website has a useful tool to help you called Investor Kickstarter at www.sorted.org.nz/tools/investor-kickstarter. You answer a few questions and it provides a guide to what type of investor you are, a typical investment mix for your type and what sorts of returns you could expect.

  1. Are you contributing enough?

If you can afford it, should you increase your contribution rate or make extra voluntary contributions?

If you have suspended making contributions, is it time to recommence contributing?

The Sorted website has another useful tool to help you with these questions, the KiwiSaver Savings Calculator www.sorted.org.nz/tools/kiwisaver-savings-calculator. You answer a few questions and it provides a guide on how big your balance could be at age 65 and how much you could get per week in retirement. Try different contribution rates to see the impact on your future savings.

  1. Is your Personal Investor Rate (PIR) correct?

You don’t want to have too much tax taken from your KiwiSaver earnings or too little and face a tax bill by having the wrong PIR rate. Your PIR is based on your income. If that changes, so might your PIR. We have a handy guide to help you with calculating your PIR on the scheme’s website www.christiankiwisaver.nz/documents.

If these three items are in good order, your KiwiSaver account should be running well.

Our staff are happy to help you with any questions you have on this.