Changes to KiwiSaver – what do they mean for you?

Changes to KiwiSaver – what do they mean for you?

The Government has recently proposed some changes to KiwiSaver for next year.

More contribution rates for employees.

At the moment you can contribute at 3%, 4% or 8% of your pay.

From 1 April 2019, it’s intended that you’ll also be able to contribute at 6% and 10% of your pay.

This gets the big tick from us as it gives you more flexibility over the amount you save.

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’ changes its name to ‘savings suspension’.

From 1 April 2019, it’s intended that the maximum period for ‘savings suspensions’ reduces from 5 years to 1 year.

If you want to continue with a savings suspension then you’ll need to apply to Inland Revenue each year to renew it.

These two changes also get the big tick from us. A ‘holiday’ generally means good times, stopping your retirement savings might not be the best thing for you in the long run. During this time members also miss out on the government’s contributions of up to $1,042.86 each year (that’s potentially $5,214.30 over 5 years).

Removing the age 65 restriction on joining

At the moment people over 65 cannot join KiwiSaver. From 1 July 2019, it’s intended that the age 65 restriction on joining is removed and 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 gets another big tick from us. KiwiSaver will be open to all New Zealanders and provide a convenient and cost-effective investment option to just holding your savings in a bank account or on fixed deposit.

From our perspective, it’ll also allow New Zealanders over 65 to join our Christian KiwiSaver Scheme and have access to investment funds invested under an ethical investment policy.

‘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.

What type of investor are you?

What type of investor are you?

Being in the investment fund that best suits you is very important. Not knowing can cost you money if you make decisions that are a reaction to investment markets (e.g. a negative return) rather than a change in your personal circumstances or your feelings about risk.

Changes in the investment markets don’t change your investor type, changes in your personal circumstances are what influences your investor type.

You can also have more than one investor type (this can also be called your ‘investor profile’) depending on your personal investment goals. Confused? The Sorted website has some good information on it to explain how you can work this out and decide which type of Fund may best suit you. You can sign up on the Sorted site and save your personalised findings.

Sorted also has a personality quiz where you can find out if you’re a money maestro, practical domestic, authentic dreamer, money mechanic or one of the 12 other types.

Keep in mind that your investor type is not a description of you (people who are adrenaline junkies can be conservative where their money is concerned!). Your investor type is a measure of your financial circumstances, your personality, the timeframe you have to invest, and most importantly, how much risk you feel comfortable taking or can afford to take. The higher the returns you chase, the more you need to accept risk and run the chance that your investments will fluctuate in value or lose value.

Sorted has suggested the following attributes for various investor types.

We offer three distinct investment funds within the Christian KiwiSaver Scheme – the Income Fund, Balanced Fund and Growth Fund. This gives our members access to a good range of investment options, according to their particular circumstances. Members can invest in more than one of these Funds.  This means each member can fashion an investment selection that suits the type of investor they are, and it can be changed at any time in the future.

Changes in the investment markets don’t change your investor type, changes in your personal circumstance are what influences your investor profile/type.

 

 

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.