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KiwiSaver Poua he Oranga

Working with KiwiSaver members

KiwiSaver members may need to contact you to:

  • join your scheme
  • make voluntary contributions
  • check their KiwiSaver balance
  • update their personal details
  • access their funds.

Joining your scheme directly

Existing employees can join KiwiSaver either through their employer or by contacting you directly. Self-employed people, beneficiaries and people under 18 can only join by contracting directly with you.

Contribution rate

For members who earn salary or wages, the minimum contribution is 3% of their before-tax pay. They can choose to save 4%, 6%, 8% or 10% instead, and can switch between these rates. Members who contract with you directly and who do not earn salary or wages need to agree their contribution rate with you. If they go on to earn salary and wages they will then have contributions deducted from their pay.

Voluntary contributions

People who don't have contributions automatically deducted, such as self-employed people, can make regular contributions, at a rate agreed with you.

Employees can choose to contribute more than 10%, although amounts above this are not covered by the government guarantee.

Employees can also make one-off lump sum contributions directly to you or through Inland Revenue as a voluntary contribution in addition to their usual salary or wage deductions.

People on an income-tested benefit will not have KiwiSaver contributions deducted from their benefit. They can choose to make voluntary contributions to Inland Revenue or direct to you.

KiwiSaver members who receive weekly compensation from ACC will be able to choose whether to have KiwiSaver contributions deducted from their payments.

Accessing funds

Generally, KiwiSaver members can't access their savings until they're 65. 

There are special circumstances when they may be able to make an early withdrawal. These include:

  • a one-off withdrawal to help with the purchase of their first home, after they've been with KiwiSaver for three years
  • significant financial hardship
  • serious illness
  • to pay income tax or student loan obligations arising due to a transfer of an interest in a foreign superannuation scheme to an interest in a KiwiSaver scheme.

If a member withdraws all of their accumulated contributions, excluding the government contributions, their account remains open for future contributions.

A member ceases to be a member when their accounts have a nil balance and you give notice that their membership is terminated. This can occur when:

  • a member is eligible to access their savings and receives a lump sum or regular withdrawals
  • a member moves permanently overseas, to a country other than Australia and applies for a withdrawal or transfer of their savings to a foreign superannuation scheme. They can apply for this after 12 months of living overseas. In these cases the member won’t receive the Government contribution
  • all funds have been transferred to an Australian complying superannuation scheme. This can’t be done if the member’s savings are held in a complying superannuation fund
  • funds have been withdrawn due to a court order
  • a KiwiSaver member dies before they’re eligible to withdraw their savings. The savings will be paid to their estate.