KiwiSaver is a voluntary retirement savings scheme available to residents of New Zealand. As with all schemes like this in nature there are various levers that you can pull to maximise your returns to get the most from KiwiSaver while collecting tax benefits.
You can follow these steps:
Start contributing early:
The earlier you start contributing to KiwiSaver, the longer your investments have to grow. Even small contributions over a long period can make a significant difference.
Choose the right fund:
KiwiSaver offers a range of funds with different risk profiles. Consider your risk tolerance and investment goals when selecting a fund. Generally, higher-risk funds offer the potential for higher returns, but they also come with increased volatility.
Contribute the maximum amount:
Regularly contribute the maximum allowed by KiwiSaver, which is currently 3% to 8% of your gross salary or wages. By contributing more, you take advantage of the employer contribution and maximize the growth potential of your savings.
Take advantage of employer contributions:
Your employer is required to contribute a minimum of 3% of your gross salary or wages to your KiwiSaver account. Some employers may offer additional contributions, so be sure to check if you are eligible for any matching or voluntary employer contributions.
Consider additional voluntary contributions:
You can make voluntary contributions to your KiwiSaver account to accelerate your savings growth. These contributions can be one-off or regular payments, and you can adjust them as your financial situation allows.
Monitor and review your fund performance:
Keep track of how your chosen KiwiSaver fund is performing. Periodically review the fund's performance and compare it to other funds to ensure it aligns with your investment objectives.
Take advantage of government contributions:
The New Zealand government provides a member tax credit (MTC) to eligible KiwiSaver members. The MTC is calculated based on your contributions, with a maximum of $521.43 per year. To receive the full MTC, you need to contribute at least $1,042.86 during the tax year.
Consider a first home withdrawal:
KiwiSaver offers the option to withdraw funds for the purchase of your first home. This can be a beneficial way to utilize your savings while taking advantage of potential growth and tax benefits. If you are not sure how to do this, or if you are in a position to afford a property get in touch with the team at Money Compare. Our dedicated mortgage advisor partners have helped hundreds of people into property and if you are paying regular rent and have a KiwiSaver balance you may be surprised at the options that are available to buy your first home. There is nothing to lose by having someone check over your situation, see what you could do now and also see if there are behaviors you can change to maximise your chance of securing home loan lending in the near future. If that is of interest, you can get in touch with the mortgage team here.
Understand tax benefits:
Contributions to KiwiSaver are made from your after-tax income, which means you don't pay tax on the money you contribute. Additionally, investment earnings within your KiwiSaver account are taxed at a lower rate compared to other investments.
Seek financial advice:
If you have specific financial goals or require personalized advice, consider consulting a specialist KiwiSaver financial advisor who can provide guidance based on your individual circumstances. Here at MoneyCompare we are partnered with National Capital, leading KiwiSaver advice firm who offer a free service to help - simply click below and complete their KiwSaver healthcheck.
Remember, investing involves risks, and the value of your KiwiSaver account can go up or down depending on market conditions. It's important to do your research, understand your risk tolerance, and make informed decisions to maximize the potential returns and tax benefits from your KiwiSaver investment.