Optimise your KiwiSaver: remember the $521 government contribution

Date: 15th June 2021

Are you optimising your KiwiSaver contributions?

A reminder that the government contributes 50c for every $1 you contribute to your KiwiSaver retirement fund, up to $1042.86. This means if you put in $1042, you’ll get a government contribution of $521!

Putting $521 each year into a growth fund that returns 9% annually will generate roughly $70,000 over 30 years. That’s money you haven’t had to save or earn.

Make sure your contributions are up to date by 30 June so you don’t miss out on this year’s government contribution.

Getting the maximum government contribution

The maximum government contribution is $521.43. To get it all you must save to contribute at least $1042.86 of your own money between 1 July to 30 June each year. Employer contributions, past government contributions and funds moved from Australian retirement schemes do not count towards the $1,042.86.

You can contribute through:

  • salary and wage deductions
  • payments to Inland Revenue*
  • payments to your scheme provider.

You can make a voluntary additional contribution to reach $1,042.86 as long as it is made by 30 June – remember to allow for processing time (ideally you should make sure your money is transferred by 24 June).

You do not need to do anything to claim this contribution because your KiwiSaver provider will do this for you.

*Voluntary payments can be made at any time via Internet Banking by selecting “KSS” tax type (KiwiSaver member account) and including the KiwiSaver member’s IRD number as reference.

Find out if you’re an eligible KiwiSaver member 

Getting some of the government contribution

Even if you have not saved the full amount, you still get 50 cents for every dollar you put in between 1 July and 30 June.

You will not get the full contribution if:

  • you turn 18 part-way through the year
  • you join part-way through the year
  • you no longer meet the eligibility criteria.

If you join, turn 18 or reach the age of eligibility to stop contributing part-way through the year, the government contribution is based on how many days in the year you’ve been a member.

What if you’re self-employed?

There are two main selling points for KiwiSaver if you’re self-employed.

  • The first is the Government contribution, as mentioned above, receive up to $521.43 each year.
  • The second benefit of KiwiSaver is that fees are low, usually lower than other types of funds. The free money and the low fees mean it’s worthwhile for most self-employed people to contribute to KiwiSaver.

More about Kiwisaver (IRD)



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