Top 10 KiwiSaver tips

Our top 10 tips on making KiwiSaver work for you.

1. Apply and enrol for KiwiSaver

Sometimes, the hardest part is joining.  Most people are automatically enrolled in KiwiSaver but about 1 in 5 aren’t because they’re contractors, self-employed, or have chosen not to. If you’re not sure if you have a KiwiSaver account you can check with Inland Revenue (they can tell you what contributions have been received from you and your employer and what scheme you are a member of so you can get in touch with your provider).

You can always join when you want to by signing up directly with a KiwiSaver provider (and you can change your KiwiSaver provider anytime).

2. Choose the right fund 

KiwiSaver is more than just a fancy savings account, it's a managed investment scheme which means you need to make sure you are in the best fund, for you. To do this it’s a good idea to think about what kind of journey you want to take and what you want your destination to look like when you get there. A higher risk generally means higher potential returns over time, but more ups and downs along the way. Here at AMP we have a range of funds to choose from, we also have this KiwiSaver fund finder tool to help you choose which fund or funds you want to be invested in. If all of this sounds like too much of a headache, you can choose the Lifesteps programme.

3. Contribute, regularly

Regular KiwiSaver contributions from you and your employer plus investment returns (the money earned on your savings), will continue to build your nest egg. A little contribution, often, will go a long way at retirement. As your balance grows, so will your investment earnings, and before you know it, you will have a nice little nest egg.

4. Get extra money for free

If you’re between the ages of 18 and 65, and you put in $1,042.86 each year (about $20 a week), you may be eligible for the government contribution of $521.43. The cut off date for this is the 30 June. Learn more about government contributions to KiwiSaver and find out the eligibility criteria.

5. Time in the market beats timing the market


If you keep investing regularly over a long period of time, short-term drops in the markets won’t have as much impact on your overall investments. So instead of worrying about when to buy and/or sell based on market conditions, keeping to a regular savings/investment strategy will help to smooth the journey.

AMP KiwiSaver Calculator

Your adventure awaits! Click to play with the new AMP KiwiSaver calculator to get your first home or retirement journey underway.

6. Check your tax rate

Having the correct tax rate for your KiwiSaver account is important. If you’re on the wrong tax rate for your KiwiSaver account, you could be paying too much tax or not enough. Calculate your Prescribed Investor Rate (PIR) now.

7. Decide what level of fees you’re willing to pay to get the expertise and service you want

All KiwiSaver providers will charge you fees for managing your money – these fees cover things like paying investment managers for their expertise and decision making to invest and grow your money, the services you receive as a client, and running costs.

To find out what you’re being charged take a look at your KiwiSaver scheme’s Product Disclosure Statements – here's AMP’s.

8. Decide if you want to put your money where your values are


Ethics are personal. There’s no absolute right or wrong answer as to which investments are ethically acceptable, and which investments are not. People value different things - that’s why we've got funds from a range of New Zealand’s leading fund managers and it's why we've partnered with BlackRock to make sure our AMP-branded funds¹ are sustainably invested. It means that you can pick and choose what kind of investment you want. Find out about the sustainable investing with AMP.

9. Make sure you can access help when you need it


Each KiwiSaver provider has its own level of customer service, communication, online tools, and access to expert advisers and fund managers. It’s important you’re with a provider who gives you what you want. Here at AMP, we have a team of people who can help you from simple requests to concise financial advice. We feel it’s important that you have a provider who is there to give you the help and guidance that you need.  

10. Don't forget about it – check in every so often


It’s good to check in on your account every once in a while, but we don’t recommend checking in every day, as markets will rise and fall and it can be a bit scary watching your investment move up and down.

With MyAMP, you can change your funds and see your balance and your personal rate of return for your investment, as well as accessing other tools and services.