May 25, 2020
Simon O'Neill
All Blogs

Free Money with KiwiSaver

Three million Kiwis have a KiwiSaver account but, last year, only 64% of those Kiwis got some or all of the free bonuses the government hands out every July. So, this June, make sure your KiwiSaver has received the minimum of $1,042.86. Simon explains this and other KiwiSaver developments.

Member Tax Credits

The government will soon be giving all KiwiSaver members a free top-up (called an MTC or Member Tax Credit) of $521.43 if you have contributed $1,042.86 or more towards your KiwiSaver in the 12 months from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020.

If you’re a PAYE employee earning $35k+, contributing the minimum 3% and your employer is doing the same, you’ll see this nice top up from the government in the coming months.

Being self-employed means building into your budget the voluntary contributions needed to meet that $1,042.86 figure before 20 June 2020. That will ensure you get your $521.43 MTC.

To check how much you have contributed this year, login to your myIR (IRD website). If you have not used this service before, you will need to register. Once you are logged in, select KiwiSaver from Accounts and you can view your deductions from salary and wages under Contribution Summary.  

Law change for default funds

A law change, happening in 2021, is for the default KiwiSaver funds to be Balanced Funds instead of the much lower risk Conservative Funds. This is both good and troubling.

It’s good because if you get signed up to KiwiSaver and do nothing about it, given how the Balanced Funds are allocated, there may be a better return over time. However, a Balanced Fund can also be troublesome in volatile times as it introduces more risk. This can be especially troublesome if you’re relying on your KiwiSaver for a specific dollar amount for purchasing your first home.

This all underscores the need to have that all-important conversation around a good set up with the right fund/s, the right tax rate and the right budgeting strategy.

Simon O’Neill is a Registered Financial Adviser with Velocity Financial. No investment decision should be taken based on the information in this blog alone. A disclosure statement is available free of charge upon request.

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