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KiwiSaver - Individual (Self or not employed)


How does KiwiSaver work?

Anybody under the age of 65 can join into a KiwiSaver scheme. They are known as KiwiSaver 'members'. If you are not an employee paying PAYE tax, you are classified as an individual member (Self employed or not employed including children).

Savings are 'locked in' until the date a member reaches New Zealand Superannuation qualification age (currently 65 years) or the date on which they have been a member of a KiwiSaver scheme for a minimum of five years, whichever is later.

Each KiwiSaver scheme provider will determine the amount and frequency with which Members contributions can be made by Direct Debit or cheque (lump sum).The KiwiSaver scheme is related to your IRD number and therefore can automatically follow the member from self employment to employment and back, meaning you only need the one KiwiSaver account over your entire working life.


Children and under 18 year olds

Children can also become members of a KiwiSaver scheme and get the $1000 kick start, but do not qualify for the matching tax credit until they are over 18 years of age. They must have an IRD number - if not, go to the IRD site here and follow the process.

Applications for under 18 year olds must be accompanied by a verified/certified copy of the childs birth certificate. In addition, the parent/legal guardian must provide a verified/certified copy of either their passport, drivers licence, or credit card.

Benefits for self employed or not employed:

  • All KiwiSaver members, over 18 years of age, contributions to KiwiSaver will be matched by a tax credit of up to $10 per week ($521 per year) that will be paid directly into their KiwiSaver scheme account. The Government Tax Credit is paid pro-rata which means if you have been a KiwiSaver member for a portion, say 1 month, you will only get one twelve of the annual Tax Cedit.
  • if aged under 18 then the tax credit when turning 18 is based on the daily pro rata rate.

After three years of saving, some savers that are first home buyers will be eligible for a housing deposit subsidy of $1,000 per year of saving, up to $5,000 in total. Eligibility for the subsidy is determined by the individual's income and house price caps. For further information - see First Home and Mortgage support.

For self employed, Inland Revenue have published a guide which is recommended reading. See Inland Revenue Guide for Self Employed.

How to Join

If you wish to join a KiwiSaver scheme as an Individual, we suggest you Calculate your contribution, determine your Risk Profile which will assist in selecting your funds.

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Q & A

If you have a question, contact us and we will endeavour to answer it. Email us here.


Frequently asked questions will be listed below.

What choices do savers have?

KiwiSaver members will be able to:

  • Choose a KiwiSaver scheme.
  • Choose a contribution rate of the scheme selected (we suggest the minimum rate or more to optimise the government tax credits). They will be taxed on these contributions as with other income.
  • Cease contributions by applying to Inland Revenue for a contributions holiday after a minimum contribution period of 12 months. The contributions holiday will be for a period of up to five years (minimum three months) and can be renewed at the end of the period. If you are not employed, you can cease contributions at any time.
  • Pay additional lump sums or transfer superannuation investments into their KiwiSaver scheme.
  • Select their own KiwiSaver scheme and investment funds and change schemes or investment funds at any time.
  • Only have one KiwiSaver scheme account at any point in time.
Information has been provided to help people make decisions about KiwiSaver by Inland Revenue: see www.ird.govt.nz . It is also available on the sites www.kiwisaver.govt.nz and www.sorted.org.nz

Can I Make withdrawals?
  • Exceptions will be made for some funds to be withdrawn for the purchase of a first home, or significant financial hardship, serious illness and permanent emigration.

For more Q & A see KiwiSaver FAQ