Setting up a KiwiSaver account for your child is a great way to give them a head start when it comes to their financial future. By contributing to your child’s KiwiSaver until they can contribute for themselves, you’re helping to grow their wealth and teach them great financial habits. So how can under-18s join KiwiSaver? And if they’re working, does their employer contribute too? We’ve got answers to some common FAQs about KiwiSaver for under-18s.
Does it cost to set up KiwiSaver for my child?
KiwiSaver is free for parents to set up for their children, they will just need to be allocated an IRD number. Obviously younger children won’t be making contributions from a salary, so you’ll need to contribute on their behalf to build up their savings.
How do under-18s join KiwiSaver?
If your child is under 16, both parents or guardians must sign the application form on their behalf. If your child is 16 or 17, they must sign the form alongside their parents or guardians.
Note that if your child is under 18 and is in paid employment, they can’t join KiwiSaver through their employer, only through a KiwiSaver provider.
Can I change my child’s KiwiSaver fund and scheme later on?
Absolutely. There are a variety of different fund types and schemes available, and what’s right for them when they are young may not be what’s right for them when they get older. It’s a good idea to teach your children about these different fund types so that when they are able, they can choose for themselves. If you’re not sure yourself about what funds and schemes are available, a Haven adviser can provide you with this information to help you decide.
If my child is working, does their employer contribute too?
If your child is under 18 and in paid employment, their employer isn’t required to contribute to their KiwiSaver account until they turn 18. Some may choose to, but it’s ultimately up to the employer.
Do under-18s receive the Government Contribution?
Unfortunately no, children aged under 18 are not entitled to receive the Government Contribution.
What fees will my child’s KiwiSaver account have?
The fees for your child’s KiwiSaver account will depend entirely on which provider they are with, and what fund they are in. It’s a good idea to do some research on the providers available as some offer fees-free KiwiSaver accounts for under 18s. If your child is not in a fees-free or low fees account and they aren’t contributing much, the fees could eat away at their savings pretty quickly.
If my child is working, can they apply for a Savings Suspension?
If your child is under 18 and in paid employment, they can apply for a Savings Suspension (previously a Contribution Holiday) after they have been contributing to their KiwiSaver account for 12 months.
If you have any other questions about setting up KiwiSaver for your child, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team. Our advisers are able to provide you with generalised KiwiSaver advice to help you decide what is best for the financial future of your child.