KiwiSaver and retirement

KiwiSaver is designed to help Kiwis enjoy a more comfortable and content retirement. Whether you’re planning for your life after work, or you’re already there, here’s all you need to know about maximising your retirement with KiwiSaver.

Don't miss out on your KiwiSaver government contribution.

What stage of your KiwiSaver journey are you at?

No matter whether you’re 25 or 65, the right time to work on your retirement plan is right now. With AMP’s help, you can ensure that you have enough KiwiSaver savings to live comfortably when you retire from full-time work.

I am retired or in the process of retiring

If you are already eligible to access your KiwiSaver retirement savings, or you’re getting close, you’ll need to know all the withdrawal rules. Scroll down to find out:

  • How to withdraw your New Zealand retirement savings.
  • Withdrawal options (regular, lump sum, full withdrawal).
  • How to ensure you’re invested in the right KiwiSaver funds.

I am planning for my retirement

Not yet eligible to withdraw your retirement savings from KiwiSaver? In the meantime, you can manage your KiwiSaver to ensure you have enough savings for a comfortable retirement. Scroll down to find out:

  • What your KiwiSaver balance might look like when you retire.
  • How much money you should aim to save before you retire.
  • Strategies to maximise your retirement savings.

If you are retired or are about to retire

Managing your KiwiSaver only becomes more important after you retire. Here’s what you need to know.

Is everyone eligible to withdraw KiwiSaver after 65?

Yes, if you are at retirement age (65) you are eligible to withdraw funds from your KiwiSaver, though this was not always necessarily the case. If you joined KiwiSaver (or a complying superannuation fund) before 1 July 2019 and were aged between 60–64 at the time, you would have been locked into KiwiSaver for 5 years. Being locked in meant you could not withdraw your funds when you turned 65.

There was previously a requirement for you to be a member for 5 years before you could start making withdrawals, regardless of whether you had reached 65 years old. You are now able to start making withdrawals anytime from age 65, however you should consider the consequences of withdrawing before you have been a member for 5 years.

From 1 April 2020, you can now choose to opt out of the 5-year lock-in period and withdraw your savings any time after you turn 65.

If you opt out of the 5-year lock-in period, you will lose your eligibility for any future government and compulsory employer contributions (although your employer may choose to continue to contribute), which would otherwise continue until the 5-year lock-in period is complete.

What are my withdrawal options when I retire?

As a 65+ year old member you can make complete or partial KiwiSaver withdrawals at any time, without needing to pay any tax to Inland Revenue (IRD). You also don’t have to withdraw at all – it’s up to you whether you keep any or all of your retirement savings in your AMP KiwiSaver Scheme account after you turn 65. Here are your options:

Regular withdrawal: Regular KiwiSaver withdrawals allow you to control how much you spend and use your savings as supplemental retirement income. NZ superannuation forms a separate payment to your KiwiSaver withdrawals, so you can use KiwiSaver to top up your monthly post-retirement income. The money left in your KiwiSaver will continue working for you. Minimum withdrawals may apply.

Lump sum withdrawal: Withdrawing only when you need to ensure the bulk of your retirement savings continue to generate returns.

Full withdrawal: If you choose to withdraw all your money from your AMP KiwiSaver Scheme account, it will be closed once the transfer is complete.

If you choose to keep money with your KiwiSaver provider, your retirement savings may continue to grow. Speaking of which, this is a good opportunity to ensure you’re invested in the right funds - take our KiwiSaver fund quiz to find out.

Find out if your retirement is on track

How the calculator works

The AMP KiwiSaver Scheme Retirement calculator can give you an idea of what level of annual income your AMP KiwiSaver Scheme balance and NZ Super could provide you in your retirement (after fees and taxes). The calculator assumes you will retire from age 65 through to age 90.

The calculator uses your inputs and the ‘Assumptions’ set out in the link below. NZ Super is included in your annual estimated income by default. The calculator has been designed for New Zealand conditions only. This projected annual income is an estimate only.

Read more: What we have assumed when calculating your KiwiSaver savings

Estimate of your annual retirement income:

(including NZ Super)

If you are in the process of planning for retirement

Here’s all the information you’ll need to ensure a well-funded future retirement with KiwiSaver.

How much do I need to retire?

According to Massey University, a single retiree who lives a frugal city life – minimal entertainment, travel and luxuries – in a home they own needs around $826 per week.

If you want to enjoy a more comfortable retirement with a few luxuries, you should aim for approximately $1,163 a week.

Remember that currently everyone over 65 gets New Zealand superannuation, regardless of what they’re earning, which will supplement your KiwiSaver. With New Zealand life expectancy increasing, working longer, say until you’re 70, can also give a real bump to your savings.

What is my projected KiwiSaver balance at age 65?

What amount of savings may you have by the time you retire? Find out in a matter of clicks with our simple KiwiSaver calculator, which projects your potential future balance, and tells you the rate you’ll need to contribute to try to meet your goals. You can easily adjust the numbers to understand the difference every small change can make.

How to maximise your KiwiSaver savings for retirement

When the time comes to access your retirement savings, you’ll want yours to be as healthy as possible. Here are a few ways you may grow your KiwiSaver balance, whether before, during or after you turn 65.

Invest in the right KiwiSaver funds 

KiwiSaver is a flexible investment, and the right KiwiSaver investment option for you will change as you move through life: from higher risk growth funds when retirement is a long way away, to lower risk conservative funds as you near 65. AMP can take care of this for you – by signing up to the AMP Lifesteps investment plan, your level of KiwiSaver growth assets are automatically reduced as you age.

Alternatively, you can compare AMP KiwiSaver funds to find a mix which suits your situation and savings goals. At AMP we also recommend you seek financial advice from a professional financial adviser when planning your retirement.

Make regular voluntary contributions

You could consider increasing your contribution rate: how much you’re putting into your KiwiSaver account. If you’re putting the minimum 3% of your income into your KiwiSaver account, just boosting that to 4%, 6%, 8% or 10% may make a huge difference.

You can also make lump-sum voluntary KiwiSaver contributions: if you get a bonus, win a bit on Lotto, or are left an inheritance, put it into your KiwiSaver account, where it will be invested on your behalf.

Capitalise on the KiwiSaver government contribution

For every dollar you put into your KiwiSaver account, the government will contribute 50c (up to $521.43 per year). This makes contributing an effective way to build your savings pre-retirement – but only up until the age of 65, when the government contributions will cease. 

Check your compulsory employer contributions

If you are an employee who earns a PAYE wage or salary, your employer is obliged to make compulsory contributions to your KiwiSaver account at a minimum rate of 3%. Some employers may contribute more in certain circumstances or as an employment perk.

The compulsory employer contribution only applies to 18-65 year olds, however – once you turn 65, and gain eligibility to access your retirement savings, your employer can choose to stop contributing.

Need help with KiwiSaver? Let's talk

Perhaps it’s your first time dealing with KiwiSaver. Perhaps you want more info on how you can get your retirement savings working for you. Our team of KiwiSaver experts is always on hand to offer guidance on how to secure your future – get in touch today.

Call 0800 AMP KIWI (0800 267 5494), Mon-Fri 9-5.

Book a consultation - we'll get in touch at a time that suits you.

Email us - get in touch at kiwisaver@amp.co.nz

We recommend speaking to a financial adviser when looking for financial advice. By speaking with a financial adviser, you can find out - how your plan is working (or not) for you, and they can provide guidance on some suggested changes if needed.

As an AMP KiwiSaver Scheme customer you have access to financial advice whenever you need it which can be obtained either through AMP or an external Adviser. The financial advice that can be provided by an internal AMP Adviser is limited to AMP products, whereas an external Adviser may be able to advise you on a broader range of financial matters.

Make the most of your KiwiSaver

Check out the videos below to get KiwiSaver guidance from our KiwiSaver and retirement experts.