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Frequently asked questions about KiwiSaver

In this section we answer some of the most common questions that we get asked. If we don’t answer your question here, please contact us.

 

Can I choose my own KiwiSaver provider?

 

Making MAS your preferred scheme provider

 

What if I don’t want to join?


Are my own KiwiSaver contributions taxed?


Can I transfer money from an overseas super fund to my KiwiSaver account?


Do part-timers qualify for KiwiSaver and the $1,000 kick-start payment?

 

As an employee can I contribute a different amount than 3%, 4% or 8%?


Can I have a KiwiSaver fund alongside my existing superannuation fund?


Do I get the compulsory employer contributions as well as the current employer-subsidised super?


Can I still get the first home subsidy if I buy a house that costs more than the price limit the Government has set?


Can I still take advantage of the first home benefits if I’ve owned a home before but don’t currently own one?


Can an independent contractor join KiwiSaver?


Do I have to contribute regularly to the fund?


What if I go overseas to live?


Are self-employed people entitled to the $1000 kick-start payment?


What happens to the $1000 kick-start payment if I opt out within three months of starting my new job?


Can I have more than one KiwiSaver account?


What happens if I die?

 

What do I need to do?

 

Can I choose my own KiwiSaver provider?

 

Yes, you can choose MAS as your own KiwiSaver provider. If you don’t choose a provider your employer will enrol you with their preferred KiwiSaver provider, if they have one. Or if your employer doesn’t have a preferred provider, Inland Revenue will randomly select a default provider for you.


You can change KiwiSaver providers whenever you like, but you won’t be able to access your money until the later of 65 or 5 years investing.

 

Making MAS your preferred scheme provider

If you want MAS to be your preferred KiwiSaver provider, we can help. By making MAS your KiwiSaver "preferred provider" we can take care of telling your staff about KiwiSaver and how they can get the most from it, leaving you free to focus on managing your practice.

 

What if I don’t want to join?

KiwiSaver isn’t compulsory. If you’ve just started a new job, you can opt out of the scheme between the third and eighth weeks of starting your new job. Your contributions start from your first payday but will be refunded to you if you opt out.

 

Are my own KiwiSaver contributions taxed?

Yes, you are taxed at your normal tax rate. Tax is taken out of your remaining income after your contributions have been deducted from it.

 

Can I transfer money from an overseas super fund to my KiwiSaver account?

This depends on which country your funds are in. For instance, we accept transfers from a UK pension fund if it is registered with the UK tax authorities as a qualifying fund. From 1 July 2013 transfers from Australian compulsory schemes to KiwiSaver are also possible. More information is available here. If you have an overseas pension please call us on 0800 800 627 to check whether you can transfer it to your KiwiSaver fund.

 

Do part-timers qualify for KiwiSaver and the $1000 kick-start payment?

Yes, anyone who’s a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident living here and under the age of 65 qualifies.

 

As an employee can I contribute a different amount than 3%, 4% or 8%?

Not through your workplace. If you want to contribute more to your savings on top of your 3%, 4% or 8% you’ll need to organise this directly with your KiwiSaver provider.

 

Can I have a KiwiSaver fund alongside my existing superannuation fund?

Yes, while you may have only one KiwiSaver fund in your own name at any time, you can have as many regular super funds as you like. Regular superannuation funds can often be held in joint names while KiwiSaver funds can only be held by an individual.

 

Do I get the compulsory employer contributions as well as the current employer-subsidised super?

This is up to your employer, but as long as your employer is contributing at least 3% of your salary, they should be meeting their legal requirements.

 

Can I still get the first home subsidy if I buy a house that costs more than the price limit the Government has set?

You can still withdraw your own contributions. It is unlikely you will qualify for the subsidy. Further rules around the subsidy will be released closer to the time it becomes available.

 

Can I still take advantage of the first home benefits if I’ve owned a home before but don’t currently own one?

It is unlikely you will qualify for the subsidy. However, you be still be able to withdraw your own contributions. See the Housing New Zealand website for more details.

 

Can an independent contractor join KiwiSaver?

Yes, although contractors are treated as self-employed and will not be automatically enrolled by their employer. You can join KiwiSaver by contacting us direct.

 

Do I have to contribute regularly to the fund?

Yes, if you’re working you have to regularly contribute 3%, 4% or 8% of your before-tax salary for at least one year. If you’re not working, the Medical Assurance Society KiwiSaver Plan doesn’t require a minimum regular contribution – you can contribute as much or as little as you like.

 

What if I go overseas to live?

If you’re going permanently you can withdraw your funds, less any matching contributions from the Government, after 12 months of living overseas. Note, changes are set to be made that will mean Members who permanently emigrate to Australia will only be able to transfer to an Australian superannuation fund.

 

Are self-employed people entitled to the $1000 kick-start payment?

Yes, as long as you haven’t already received this payment before.

 

What happens to the $1000 kick-start payment if I opt out within three months of starting my new job?

The kick-start payment only goes into your KiwiSaver account once your account is open. While you may enrol with KiwiSaver at the start of your new job, your contributions within the first three months are held by Inland Revenue, not your KiwiSaver provider. It is only after the three months is up, when Inland Revenue passes your contributions to your chosen KiwiSaver provider that your account will be opened – and the kick-start payment deposited into your account.

 

Can I have more than one KiwiSaver account?

No, but you can contribute to your KiwiSaver account from all your jobs, wherever you’re working.

 

What happens if I die?

Your savings will be paid to your estate.

 

What do I need to do?

To apply now, download the investment statement and follow the relevant instructions. Or, call us on 0800 800 627 or email info@mas.co.nz.

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