All New Zealand residents and people entitled to live here permanently up to the age of 65 are eligible for KiwiSaver. All new eligible employees must be automatically enrolled in KiwiSaver. However there are some employees who are exempt from automatic enrolment. These include:
Those under 18 years of age
Casual agricultural workers or Election Day workers
Private domestic workers
Casual and temporary employees employed under a contract of service that is 28 days or less
Employees who are automatically enrolled can opt out but must do so within a specified time (from the end of week 2 of their employment to the end of week 8) by filing the prescribed from (KS10).
All eligible existing employees can join the scheme at any time they wish by notifying their employer.
There are 3 employee contributions rates, being 3%, 4% or 8%. The employee can elect the rate at which they want their contributions deducted. If an employee does not elect a rate then the default rate of 3% will be used by the employer for contribution deductions made.
Compulsory Employer Contributions From 1 April 2008 it became compulsory for employers to contribute to their eligible employees' KiwiSaver scheme unless the employer is already paying into another registered superannuation scheme for the employee. This minimum compulsory contribution rose to 3% from 1 April 2013.
Employer contributions are subject to Employer Superannuation Contribution Tax (ESCT) on a progressive scale based on the employees' marginal tax rate.
Government Assistance The government also:
Pays annual member tax credit (for those 18 and over) of up to $521.43 (effective from 1 July 2011)
Funds first home deposit subsidy through Housing NZ if the relevant criteria are met
Prior to 21 May 2015, the government made a $1,000 'kick-start' contribution.
Note: There is no Crown guarantee of KiwiSaver schemes or investment products of KiwiSaver schemes.