Withdrawing and making changes

You can access your KiwiSaver savings when you reach your qualifying age (usually your 65th birthday) and there are also some limited circumstances where you may be eligible for an earlier withdrawal.

Making Changes

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 IRD 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?

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.

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, changing the fund(s) your savings are invested in and changing the amount you save.

Withdrawals

Withdrawals from age 65

You can make withdrawals when you reach your qualifying age.

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 age, 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.

You have several options when you reach your qualifying age, these include:

  1. Keeping your savings in your KiwiSaver account
  2. Make lump sum withdrawals at any time
  3. Setup a regular withdrawal
  4. Withdraw all your savings

Buying your first home

You may be eligible to withdraw some of your KiwiSaver towards the purchase of your first home. We have put together a list to help you understand if you may be able to use your KiwiSaver savings to get on the property ladder.

Other withdrawals options 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 age. These are:

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 ilness

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.

You can join the Scheme in a few steps

Discover more about the Christian KiwiSaver Scheme

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