Kiwisaver - Christian Kiwisaver Scheme

What is KiwiSaver?

KiwiSaver is a voluntary savings regime, established in 2007, which involves both employer and Government contributions. It is designed (with limited exceptions) for retirement savings.

KiwiSaver enables you to save from your current income to give you a better income when you retire. It also enables you to save more towards a first home purchase.

At your qualifying date (usually age 65) you can withdraw all or some of your savings, but you will have the option to keep your account open and continue investing.  You may be able to make an early withdrawal from your savings in certain limited circumstances, like for a first home purchase.

Your savings are not guaranteed by the Government.

The Government made some changes to KiwiSaver during 2019 and these will provide more options – read more about these changes

 

Joining    

To join it does not matter whether you are working or not. Children can also join. There are three ways to join KiwiSaver:

 

  1. When you start a new job, your employer will automatically enrol you (unless you indicate that you do not want to join – this is called an opt-out).
  2. By telling your employer you want to start making KiwiSaver payments (this is called an opt-in).
  3. By contacting a KiwiSaver scheme and filling out an application form.
Eligibility to join KiwiSaver

To join a KiwiSaver scheme, you must be living or normally living in New Zealand (with some exceptions) and be a New Zealand citizen or have an entitlement to live here permanently. From 1 July 2019, the upper age limit of joining before age 65 has been removed. The 5-year locked-in period has also been removed.

Choosing a scheme

You can join a KiwiSaver scheme of your choice. If you are automatically enrolled or opt-in and don’t make a choice, you will be allocated to the scheme your employer has chosen for its employees (if any) or Inland Revenue will allocate you to a default scheme. If you want to join the Christian KiwiSaver Scheme you can apply directly to us or see if your employer has listed us as their chosen scheme.

Changing your scheme

You can choose to change to another KiwiSaver scheme at any time for any reason. You just need to complete the application form for the new scheme and the rest will be taken care of for you. You can only be in one KiwiSaver scheme at a time.

Saving with KiwiSaver

KiwiSaver is a voluntary savings scheme with additional rewards from the Government. Once you have joined, your savings will generally not be available to you until at least age 65. You may be able to access some or all of your savings before age 65 in limited circumstances, including access for a first home purchase or if you have a serious illness. If you are employed, contributing from your pay and are eligible, there are also compulsory employer contributions.

Contributing

If you’re working, contributions are automatically deducted from your pay at the rate of 3%, 4%, 6%, 8% or 10% (you choose the rate) and sent to Inland Revenue (which then sends them to your KiwiSaver scheme provider). Also, your employer contributes a minimum of 3% of your pay while you contribute and are eligible (tax is taken from this payment). There is good information on your employer’s contribution obligations on the KiwiSaver website.

If you’re self-employed or not working, you can agree with your KiwiSaver scheme provider how much you want to contribute and make payments directly to the Scheme. Christian KiwiSaver Scheme accepts automatic payments or direct debit or one-off lump sum payments.

If you plan to make contributions as part of first home purchase savings you will need to be a member of KiwiSaver for a minimum of three years before you can withdraw funds to purchase a first home.

Government contributions

Every year, from age 18 to 65 and while you mainly live in New Zealand, you can receive money from the Government into your account.

To receive the Government’s contributions all you have to do is contribute to KiwiSaver while eligible. The Government pays 50c for every $1 you pay in, but there is a limit. To get the maximum of $521.43 a year (which equates to $10 a week) from the Government, you need to pay at least $1,042.86 each year. This equates to $20 a week. The Government assesses your eligibility for its contributions as at 30 June each year. It looks only at your contributions during the preceding 12 months and does not include employer contributions or investment returns.  If you join KiwiSaver part-way through a year, you’ll receive the Government’s contributions based on the number of days in that year that you’ve been an eligible member.

Voluntary contributions

You can make additional contributions by voluntary payments. Members do this for a number of reasons including making top-up contributions before 30 June each year to get the maximum annual Government contribution for that year.

What happens if you have more than one job?

If you are auto-enrolled in KiwiSaver then contributions need only be made from the pay you receive from the employer through which you were auto-enrolled (in which case, if eligible, you will also only receive employer contributions from that employer). However, you can opt-in to KiwiSaver with respect to your other jobs as well – in that case, contributions will also be payable by both you and your employer from those other jobs.

If you opt-in to KiwiSaver and have more than one job when you join then you must select at least one job to count for KiwiSaver, and this means contributions must be made from the pay you receive from that job. However, you can also include any of your other jobs as well – in that case, contributions will also be payable by both you, and if you are eligible, your employer from those other jobs.

If you are a member of KiwiSaver and then take on a new job or an extra job after joining then these will count for KiwiSaver, so contributions will also be payable by both you and your employer from those other jobs.

Withdrawals

You can access your KiwiSaver savings when you reach your qualifying date (this is usually your 65th birthday) and there are also some other limited circumstances where you may be eligible for early withdrawal from your KiwiSaver savings – see below.

Buying your first home

One useful reason to contribute is when you come to buy or build your first home you can withdraw money from your account to go towards the cost of buying your house or land. The money can be applied towards a deposit (subject to conditions) or paid at settlement. This allows you to borrow less from your mortgage provider.

To qualify for a First Home Withdrawal, you must:

  • be 18 years of age or older;
  • have been a KiwiSaver member for at least three years (or at least three years must have passed since Inland Revenue first received a contribution to a KiwiSaver scheme for you);
  • intend to live mostly in the home you’re buying;
  • have never before owned your own property (very limited exceptions apply); and
  • have never before made a withdrawal to buy a first home.

You must leave a minimum balance of $1,000 in your account and you cannot withdraw any amount transferred to KiwiSaver from an Australian superannuation scheme.

If you have owned a property before, and your financial position is considered to be the same as a first home buyer, you may be able to apply to Housing New Zealand to be considered for a withdrawal as a previous home buyer.

You may also qualify for Housing New Zealand’s KiwiSaver HomeStart grant. The eligibility criteria for the HomeStart grant are different to those for the First Home Withdrawal.

Withdrawals from age 65

You can make withdrawals when you reach your qualifying date.

If you joined KiwiSaver before 1 July 2019 (or you have transferred to KiwiSaver from a complying superannuation fund which you joined before 1 July 2019), you must also have been a KiwiSaver and/or a complying superannuation fund member for a combined period of at least five years before you can make withdrawals.

From 1 April 2020, you can choose NZ Super age (currently age 65) as your qualifying date, without the 5-year membership requirement.  However, if you do so, then from NZ Super age (or your election date, if later) you will:

  • be eligible to withdraw your savings, but
  • no longer be eligible for compulsory employer or Government contributions.

After reaching your qualifying date, your options as a Scheme member are:

  1. Keep your Scheme account open
    You do not need to withdraw your savings when you reach your qualifying date.

    You can arrange regular fortnightly or monthly withdrawal amounts or make occasional one-off withdrawals. A $200 minimum applies to each regular withdrawal and a $1,000 minimum applies to a one-off withdrawal. We can change the minimum withdrawal amounts at any time. Also, you have the option to make further contributions to your account (though from your qualifying date you will no longer be eligible for employer or Government contributions).

  2. Close your Scheme account
    You can choose to withdraw all of your savings. You will cease to be a member of the Scheme. You may rejoin KiwiSaver again at a later date.

Withdrawals before age 65

There are a few circumstances where you may be able to withdraw part or all of your savings earlier than your Qualifying Date. These are:

Buying your first home

See above.

In order to access the savings in your Scheme account, you will need to verify your identity and your residential address.

Financial hardship

You can apply to your KiwiSaver scheme to withdraw savings to alleviate significant financial hardship. Significant financial hardship includes significant financial difficulties that arise when you are:

  • unable to meet minimum living expenses;
  • unable to meet mortgage repayments on your family residence, resulting in the mortgagee seeking to enforce the mortgage;
  • modifying your home to meet special needs arising from your or a dependant’s disability;
  • receiving (or needing) medical treatment for an illness or injury to you or a dependant;
  • funding a funeral for a dependent; or
  • funding palliative care for you or a dependent.

If you are a member of our Scheme, you need to fill in the Significant Financial Hardship form and return this form to us with proof of the costs causing hardship and any other supporting documents. The form requires the disclosure of your personal financial information and includes a statutory declaration.

In order to access the savings in your Scheme account, you will need to verify your identity and your residential address.

Serious illness

In the event of serious illness, you can apply to withdraw your savings. Serious Illness means injury, illness or disability that:

  • results in your being totally and permanently unable to engage in work for which you are suited by reason of experience, education or training (or any combination of those things); or
  • poses a serious and imminent risk of death.

If you are a member of our Scheme, you need to fill in the Serious Illness Withdrawal form and return it to us. The form includes a statutory declaration. Your doctor also needs to fill in and return their section of the form (the Medical practitioner’s form) along with supporting documents.

In order to access the savings in your Scheme account, you will need to verify your identity and your residential address.

Permanent emigration

If you move permanently to Australia, you may be able to transfer your savings to a qualifying Australian scheme that agrees to accept the transfer. We cannot pay your savings directly to you. Please contact us for more information or visit the KiwiSaver website.

If you have emigrated to anywhere other than Australia, you may apply for a withdrawal not less than one year after the date of your permanent emigration from New Zealand. If you are a member of our Scheme, you need to fill in and return the Permanent Emigration Withdrawal Excluding Australia form with documentary evidence of your overseas residential address (e.g. utility bills, bank statements) and the date you left New Zealand (e.g. airline tickets, passport stamp). 

In order to access the savings in your Scheme account, you will need to verify your identity and your residential address.

Death

On death, we will pay the savings in your Scheme account to the executors or administrators of your estate (on application by them). If your balance is less than a set amount (currently $15,000) and other conditions are met, we are able to pay your balance direct to a person such as a surviving partner.

Please contact us for the withdrawal form.

When you withdraw

There are forms available to help you withdraw your money from our Scheme in the Documents section.

Making changes

As life changes it is worth reviewing your retirement savings requirements – how much you are saving, and whether your savings are invested mindfully. There are some changes you can make to your KiwiSaver account – you can transfer to another KiwiSaver scheme, change the fund(s) your savings are invested in and change the amount you save.

Transferring

We often put off changing our financial arrangements because of the hassle or because we might think that our employer has to do something to make the change for us. When it comes to changing KiwiSaver schemes this is not the case. If you want to join our Scheme then you simply read the Product Disclosure Statement to see if you are eligible and whether our Scheme is right for you, complete our application form and we will handle the rest.

It is worth checking with your current provider to understand whether there will be any transfer fees.

Changing the amount you save

Most people save the default percentage of their pay, which is 3% – however, you can choose to contribute at a higher percentage. If you’re working, contributions are deducted from your pay at the rate of 3%, 4%, 6%, 8% or 10%. Changing from (say) 3% to 4% can make a significant difference when you come to withdraw your savings. Work out how much difference making greater contributions can make using the Sorted Calculator.

Voluntary payments

You can make voluntary additional contributions at any time. There is no upper limit on voluntary contributions to our Scheme.

Taking a savings break

A saving suspension is where you take a break from making payments into your KiwiSaver account. You can do this once you have been in KiwiSaver for more than 12 months. For more information visit the KiwiSaver website.

Changing investment funds

The Christian KiwiSaver Scheme offers you three investment options – the Growth Fund, the Balanced Fund and the Income Fund. You can change your Fund selection at any time. You will need to send us a completed Change of investment choice form.

Are you in the right type of fund for you?

To determine what’s right for you, consider: How long is it until you need the money? Would you be able to stick it out if your balance dropped a bit from time to time? Do you have other savings?

To help you clarify your attitude to risk, you can seek financial advice or work out your risk profile at Sorted.

Enjoying 65+

Life doesn’t stop when we reach age 65. In fact, all those years you have saved give you choices at or after age 65 for your KiwiSaver savings. For many, it is hard to predict how long we will need our savings to continue to work for us. The good news is you don’t have to make a quick decision – there are many choices. Here are a few ways our current members manage their KiwiSaver savings at this time.

You choose the best option based on your lifestyle, your savings, and the best way to maximise your savings for the future.

Keeping your account open

Reaching age 65 does not mean members have to close their KiwiSaver scheme account. Many Christian KiwiSaver Scheme members are keeping their accounts open after age 65 and this also allows them the option to add further savings.

 

Other partial withdrawals

Occasional one-off withdrawals are another way to add to your retirement income.  Members can leave their savings invested in Christian KiwiSaver Scheme after reaching age 65 and make a withdrawal at times when they need a cash injection. A $1,000 minimum applies to a one-off withdrawal. Members can also add further savings at any time.

 

Regular partial withdrawals

Regular withdrawals allow members to top up their retirement income while leaving the remaining balance in the Christian KiwiSaver Scheme to keep working for them. You can arrange regular fortnightly or monthly withdrawal amounts from your Christian KiwiSaver Scheme account.  A $200 minimum applies to each regular withdrawal.  We can change the minimum withdrawal amounts at any time.

 

Full withdrawals

As the name suggests, this is where members take all their savings out of their Christian KiwiSaver Scheme account. This ends their membership in KiwiSaver. You can rejoin KiwiSaver at a later date.

 

Transferring to Christian KiwiSaver Scheme

There is no age limit for transferring between KiwiSaver providers. Transferring to the Christian KiwiSaver Scheme means you’ll be joining a KiwiSaver scheme where we believe HOW MUCH you make is very important but we also believe HOW a return is made is important too. We have founded our ethical investment policy firmly on Christian values so we won’t invest in things we think are inconsistent with a Christian worldview. The transfer process is easy and we do most of the work for you.

If you want to join our Scheme then you simply read the Product Disclosure Statement to see if you are eligible and whether our Scheme is right for you, complete our application form and we will handle the rest.

Children's future

“Do small things with great love” 

                                              ~Mother Teresa.

The earlier savings start, the better for long-term savings.

The gift of compound returns

You don’t have to be working to join KiwiSaver – your child/ren or grandchild/ren can join a KiwiSaver scheme, so long as the parents sign the application form for those under age 18 (and one parent co-signs the application form for those aged 16 or 17). This could be the ideal gift for that young person who has outgrown play toys. Regular monetary gifts over many years will make a difference.

Three reasons for children to join KiwiSaver:

Regular savings habit

Getting young people into regular saving and investment habits will help with setting them on a path to a secure financial future. Contributions from family and friends are an ideal gift.

Teaching life lessons

Share your life lessons on budgeting, investing, savings and financial knowledge with your children. Teach them early. Small steps and practical experiences make a difference.

Time

Young people have a huge advantage: Time. The sooner saving begins, the sooner compound interest (investment return re-invested) can start and its ‘magic’ needs time.

There are many options available to encourage young people into a regular savings habit. KiwiSaver is an ideal option for longer term savings as the savings are generally locked in until retirement age other than some limited earlier withdrawal circumstances like buying their first home. Please note they won’t be able to withdraw money from their KiwiSaver account to pay for study, for holidays etc. They’ll need to have other forms of savings for these things.

You may be able to use most of your KiwiSaver savings to help you purchase your first home and this is often what younger members, or members with a young family, join us to achieve.

Watching their savings grow

While under 18s don’t get the free Government contributions to KiwiSaver and employers are not required to make contributions – they will have the opportunity to watch their KiwiSaver money grow. 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. Members of the Christian KiwiSaver Scheme who are under age 18 are not charged fees.

Making contributions is easy

Making contributions to your children’s or grandchildren’s Christian KiwiSaver Scheme account is easy. You simply deposit the funds into Anglican Financial Care’s bank account with their membership number as a reference. There is also no minimum contribution amount to worry about.

How children join

The online application option is not available for applicants under age 18. Please complete the application form at the back of the Product Disclosure Statement and post this to us. 

Give your employees a Christian option

Join our community of Christian employers who have chosen the Christian KiwiSaver Scheme as their employer chosen KiwiSaver scheme.

We believe how much a member makes is important but we believe how a return is made is important too. By choosing our Scheme as your employer chosen KiwiSaver scheme you give your employees access to a KiwiSaver scheme with an ethical investment policy that we believe reflects Christian values. This is an option if your primary activities are in our opinion Christian mission and/or ministry.

Three great reasons to join other ethically minded Christian employers:

#1

Give your employees a Christian option

The opportunity to belong to a KiwiSaver scheme that is ethical at heart, notably our:

  • Care when dealing with others
  • Ethical stance on investment
  • Financial stewardship.

#2

Residential mortgage lending

Members of the Christian KiwiSaver Scheme are eligible for residential mortgage lending from Anglican Financial Care.

Lending criteria applies, more details on angfincare.nz.

#3

Group life and income protection insurance

Your organisation is eligible to join and participate in a group insurance plan offered by us. Death and income protection benefits are available for permanent employees. More details are on angfincare.nz.

Contact us to discuss your options.

All Christian organisations can apply by completing the application form

Being a Chosen Employer

Some of your employees may not be eligible to join our Scheme in any other way.  Our Scheme is open to employees of organisations whose primary activities are in our opinion Christian mission or ministry. This includes employees of charitable entities associated with or operating in the Christian Church, or of other entities which we approve as having a Christian special character.

You are not responsible for the performance of your chosen scheme.

If a new employee does not choose a KiwiSaver scheme for themselves, then they will be allocated to your chosen scheme. If you do not have a chosen scheme, then they will be randomly allocated to a default provider by Inland Revenue.

To help you with meeting your employer obligations under the KiwiSaver legislation, Inland Revenue has a KiwiSaver Employer Guide (KS4). More information can be found on Inland Revenue’s website.

Please feel free to call us on 0508 738 473 if you have any questions about choosing Christian KiwiSaver Scheme for your employees.