How KiwiSaver works

How KiwiSaver works, the benefits of joining and when you can use your savings.

You can join KiwiSaver if you are a New Zealand citizen (or if you are entitled to live in New Zealand indefinitely) and you normally live in New Zealand. There are some circumstances where you can withdraw your savings early, like for your first home or for serious illness.

Saving for retirement: we all know we should do it and the earlier the better, but it can feel almost impossible! That's where KiwiSaver comes in.

It's designed to make it easy to save and grow your savings too. Here's how it works.


Want to see more? Check out these helpful videos .

What are some of the benefits of KiwiSaver?

Government contribution

As long as you are eligible, for every dollar you put into KiwiSaver the Government will put in 50 cents, up to $521.43 each year.

Employer contribution

If you are employed and contributing part of your pay to KiwiSaver, your employer also generally has to contribute at least 3% of your before-tax pay.

First home

If you have been a KiwiSaver member for at least three years then you may be able to withdraw your savings for your first home.

4 things you need to know about KiwiSaver

Making contributions

You save money into your account on a regular basis.
If you are working you can choose contributions of 3%, 4%, 6%, 8% or 10% of your before tax pay or you can make lump sum deposits.
Find out how contributions work.

Getting to retirement age

You become eligible to withdraw your savings when you reach your qualifying age (currently age 65*). Try the retirement calculator here.

Be sure to start early

Over time, your balance will grow from your contributions plus investment returns (the money earned on your savings) so the sooner you start contributing the quicker your savings will build.
Try the KiwiSaver calculator to see how much you could save.

Employer contributions

If you are working, your employer has to contribute at least 3% of your before-tax pay.

AMP Guide: your risk appetite


You seek some growth but are cautious. You’re willing to accept low or lower returns to achieve this objective.

Conservative funds can change less over time.


You seek medium to high returns from your investment and are prepared to accept some fluctuations in the value of your investment to achieve this.

Balanced funds can have moderate changes.


You want high returns from your investment over the long term and are prepared to accept potentially significant fluctuations in the value of your investment to achieve this.

Growth funds can change more over time.

When can you withdraw?

You can withdraw some or all of your savings when you reach your qualifying date, generally age 65*.

You can also withdraw some of your savings once you have been a member for 3 years to help buy your first home.

Early withdrawals might be possible if you experience serious illness, significant financial hardship or if you move overseas. 

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Get your KiwiSaver account sorted today

Find out more about the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme here.

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Video: Is buying a home worth it?

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It can be a bit daunting changing KiwiSaver providers. If you are thinking about changing, here are a few tips we can give you.  

  • The first question you should ask yourself is: “When am I going to need my money?” For most of us KiwiSaver is a long game. The secret to grow your KiwiSaver balance is to be in the fund or funds with the provider that suits your needs.

  • When it comes to choosing the fund or funds with a new KiwiSaver provider, take a look at the features that are offered to you. KiwiSaver members choose which type of fund or funds they put their money into. Some funds are considered higher risk, which generally means higher potential returns over time, but with more ups and downs along the way and a great possibility of a negative return. Others are considered lower risk, which typically deliver more consistent returns yet lower returns. it’s important to be in a fund with a provider that suits your needs.
  • It’s more than just about the fees and returns.  It’s also worth checking out the online tools, mobile apps, advice and regular communication updates you might get from a different KiwiSaver provider.

  • Seeking financial advice is a great way to keep on top of your KiwiSaver savings plan, particularly if you are thinking about changing providers. By getting advice you will find out - how your plan is working (or not) for you, and make some suggested changes, if needed. For any questions or to get advice with your financial planning, call us on 0800 267 5494.
Important information

* Qualifying date means: If you first join KiwiSaver on or after 1 July 2019, your qualifying age is when you reach NZ Super age (currently 65), unless you have transferred to KiwiSaver from a complying superannuation fund which you joined before 1 July 2019, in which case your qualifying age will be the later of NZ Super age and 5 years after you joined that fund.
If you joined before 1 July 2019, your qualifying date is the later of:
- age 65; or
- five years after you first joined a KiwiSaver scheme or, if you transferred to KiwiSaver from a complying superannuation fund, five years after you joined that fund.From 1 April 2020, if you joined prior to 1 July 2019 and your qualifying date is later than age 65, you can instead choose age 65 as your qualifying date. If you do so then from age 65, or from the date of that election if later, you will lose your eligibility for any future Government and compulsory employer contributions (though your employer may choose to continue contributing).

AMP Wealth Management New Zealand Limited is the issuer and manager of the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme (the 'Scheme'). The Supervisor of the Scheme is The New Zealand Guardian Trust Company Limited.

For more information, download a copy of the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme Product Disclosure Statement and Fund Update Booklet, which have been lodged on the Scheme's offers register entry at

While care has been taken to supply information on this website and within the chatbot tool that is accurate, no entity or person gives any warranty of reliability or accuracy, or accepts any responsibility arising in any way including from any error or omission. The content provided is intended to be used as information only and does not constitute financial advice, unless otherwise specified. Before acting on any of the results provided, we recommend that you seek advice which takes your individual circumstances into account.