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KiwiSaver Poua he Oranga

Existing superannuation schemes

If you are an employer who already offers access to a registered superannuation scheme you:

  • are no longer able to convert your existing scheme to a KiwiSaver scheme, and
  • may continue the existing scheme unchanged and set up a separate KiwiSaver scheme.

Alternatively you can continue to operate your existing scheme independently of KiwiSaver.

Approval of your existing scheme as a complying superannuation fund

The Financial Markets Authority can approve a registered superannuation scheme as a complying superannuation fund for purposes of the Income Tax Act 2007 if it was registered by 1 July 2007.

For a scheme to be approved as a complying superannuation fund it must have certain membership rules:

  • funds can't be withdrawn until the member reaches the age of eligibility for NZ Super or five years of membership, whichever is the later
  • the scheme must meet the provisions of any enactment that requires a trustee to release funds from the scheme
  • funds go to a member's estate when they pass away.

Compulsory employer contributions

You are required to make compulsory employer contributions to your employee's KiwiSaver account or complying fund. Any employer contributions you make to existing superannuation schemes reduce the amount of compulsory employer contributions you're required to pay as long as you meet certain criteria. These include:

  • the amounts are paid to a scheme registered before 17 May 2007, and
  • you provided employees with access to that scheme before 17 May 2007, and
  • the employee was employed by you:
    • before 1 April 2008 and you have agreed with the employee to contribute to the scheme before that date, or
    • under a collective agreement in force before 17 May 2007, that expires after 1 April 2008, under which you are required to contribute to the scheme, or
    • the employee was employed by you after 1 April 2008 and has an existing scheme through a previous employer (eg SSRSS), under which you are required to contribute to the existing superannuation scheme
  • your employer contributions to that scheme vest in the employee within five years, and
  • contributions are specified superannuation contributions.

Contributions to a registered superannuation scheme which meets these requirements are known as "other contributions". They reduce the amount of compulsory employer contributions you are required to pay even if the scheme does not have similar lock-in rules to complying funds or KiwiSaver schemes.

If your employer's contribution to a registered superannuation scheme is at a rate less than the Compulsory employer contributions (CEC) rate, they will need to pay any difference as a compulsory employer contribution to your KiwiSaver or complying fund scheme.

Calculating employer contributions

Here is the formula to use if you are currently making employer contributions to a registered superannuation scheme:

minimum compulsory employer contribution =
payment of gross salary or wages x compulsory rate
minus other contributions
minus hybrid scheme amounts

"Other contributions" means specified superannuation contributions you make for the employee during the pay period. These include those contributions which meet the above criteria or employer contributions or subsidies for MPs, judicial officers and sworn police.

"Hybrid scheme amount" is the amount calculated by using the following formula:

member's contribution x vesting percentage

"Member's contribution" is the amount of the employee's contribution for the period to which the payment of gross salary or wages relate.

"Vesting percentage" is the percentage of the employee's total contributions to be added to those contributions five years after the employee first becomes a member of the registered superannuation scheme.

Check with your existing scheme to see if your contributions are hybrid scheme amounts.

You do not have to make any additional payment to your employee's KiwiSaver scheme if you are making employer contributions to the registered superannuation scheme at a rate the same as or greater than the compulsory employer contribution rate.


This information doesn't apply to contributions to defined benefit scheme. A defined benefit scheme is a scheme where the benefit does not relate to the investments of the scheme but is based on a formula that includes such things as a member's length of service and final salary.

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