I joined KiwiSaver only very recently, can I still access my funds now that I’m 65?
Within the past couple of years, there have been a few changes for those aged 60-64 who wanted to join KiwiSaver for the first time.
One of those changes was a lock-in period of 5 years – if you joined KiwiSaver before 1 July 2019 and were aged between 60-64, you would have been locked into KiwiSaver for 5 years. This meant that you actually couldn’t withdraw your KiwiSaver funds when you turned 65.
Updates to this were made in April last year that now allow you to withdraw your funds when you turn 65 by opting out of KiwiSaver anytime after you turn 65, or you can keep your funds for the full 5 year term and withdraw them after that.
I’ve turned 65 and I’m still contributing to my KiwiSaver – will I keep receiving the Government Contribution every year?
Unfortunately once you reach the age of 65, you won’t receive the Government Contribution unless you joined KiwiSaver before 1 July 2019 AND have been a member for less than 5 years.
An important thing to note here is that if you are still working, it’s likely that you will also not receive the employer contributions. Some employers do continue to pay a 3% contribution, however they are not obliged to.
If you joined KiwiSaver before 1 July 2019 and were aged 60-64 at the time, you will still receive compulsory employer contributions for 5 years, or until you make your first retirement withdrawal.
Can I withdraw all of my KiwiSaver contributions when I turn 65? Should I?
When you turn 65, you can access all of your KiwiSaver funds at any time. Although taking out all of your savings as soon as you’re eligible might seem like an appealing idea, it’s important to know your options.
Withdrawing all of your savings
As it’s your money, you can absolutely use it how you please once you turn 65, but if you do decide to withdraw all of your savings, you’ll need to close your KiwiSaver account and you won’t be able to open another one in future.
Leaving your savings in your KiwiSaver account
There is a common misconception that once you turn 65, you have to withdraw all of your KiwiSaver savings and reinvest them in a term deposit or other savings account. This isn’t true – you can keep your savings in your KiwiSaver account and it’s often a lower cost option compared to other managed funds.
If you’re still working, even just part time, this could be a good option as you’ll still be contributing to your savings. If you are planning on leaving your savings in your KiwiSaver account, it’s a good idea to have a chat with a financial adviser to discuss what fund type options are available for you.
Withdrawing some of your savings
This one’s a good compromise – you can still use your money how you like, but you can also keep some savings tucked away for a rainy day. Some providers can offer you regular automatic withdrawal amounts which might be helpful if you’d like to have a bit of extra cash every week without draining your account.
If you’re not sure about how to manage your KiwiSaver funds once you’ve turned 65, come and have a chat with one of our friendly advisers today.
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