Take a look at what fund you’re in
Many of us have no idea what fund we’re in, and that might be because we got popped into a default fund automatically when we first started. There are a few different types of funds available, so you’ll need to do a bit of research and figure out how much risk you’re willing to take and how long your money will be in that fund (i.e. if you’re likely to be withdrawing some of your KiwiSaver for a first home soon, you might want to be in a lower risk fund). Typically, in the long term, aggressive funds have the highest risk but highest return, and conservative funds have lower risk but likely lower returns.
Check out your contributions
The available contribution rates are currently 3%, 4%, 6%, 8%, and 10%. You can pick any of these rates to come out of your earnings, but if you’re earning quite a lot more than you were when you first started with KiwiSaver, you might want to look at increasing your contribution rate. Your employer will also match your contributions at a minimum of 3%. If you’d like to see how much more you can add to your KiwiSaver by increasing your contribution rate, check out our handy calculator.
Find out what tax rate you’re using
Because you pay tax on the money you earn from your KiwiSaver investment, it’s important that you’ve got the right tax rate, or PIR (Prescribed Investor Rate). Depending on your taxable income over the last couple of years, your PIR will be either 10.5%, 17.5% or 28%. If you don’t have the correct PIR, you could either be paying more than you need to (which isn’t refundable), or not enough, which will mean you’ll need to pay more to make up the difference at the end of the tax year.
Make sure you get those Member Tax Credits
Every year, for those eligible, the government contributes 50 cents for each dollar contributed up to a maximum of $521.43. To make sure you receive this, you need to be contributing at least $1,042.86 each year from 1 July to 30 June, be 18 years or older, and be living mainly in New Zealand. If you’re self-employed, you’ll need to make sure you manually contribute at least that amount to your KiwiSaver before the year’s end.
Now that you’ve ticked off all of the above, you’re in control! If you’re still confused or you need to have a chat about your KiwiSaver, get in touch with us and we’ll provide further information!
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