Many self-employed or shareholders are so busy running their business they forget to look after themselves. Saving and planning for retirement is important.
As a business owner you can join KiwiSaver, which in turn may mean you are also eligible for KiwiSaver benefits, including annual Government Contribution, and the KiwiSaver first home withdrawal.
Most KiwiSaver providers will provide you with tools that help guide you on how much to invest and the type of fund to invest in.
Government annual contribution
As a KiwiSaver member you may be eligible for the annual government contribution. The eligibility criteria require you to contribute at least $1,042.86 between 1 July and 30 June each year, from the age of 18 up to when you’re eligible to make a KiwiSaver retirement withdrawal as long as you mainly live in New Zealand.
If you are eligible, and have contributed at least $1,042.86, the Government will provide 50 cents, up to a maximum of $521.43 each year.
KiwiSaver eligibility criteria summarised:
You're a member of a KiwiSaver Scheme and mainly live in New Zealand
You're 18 years old or older
You can't make KiwiSaver retirement withdrawals yet
You've contributed at least $1,042.86 into your KiwiSaver account
Ways to Contribute to KiwiSaver
If you don’t receive PAYE wages i.e. take drawings or receive shareholder remuneration you can:
make voluntary contribution whenever you like.
depending on the provider there is no maximum or minimum
set a savings target
Get your KiwiSaver tax rate right
Inland Revenue have a record of your Prescribed Investor Rate (PIR) which you have selected with your fund provider. If you have received a letter advising you, that you have selected an incorrect rate then you will need to review your selection, for more information check out Inland Revenue PIR. If you have selected an incorrect PIR Rate you will have to add the income into your income tax assessment.
Who are the current KiwiSaver fund providers?
A complete list of all KiwiSaver Fund Providers can be found on the Inland Revenue website.
Getting into your first home
There are two ways you can use your KiwiSaver to get into your first home. The most common is the KiwiSaver First Home Buyer Withdrawal, the second is the KiwiSaver First Home Grant.
First Home Buyer Withdrawal
Your KiwiSaver funds can be used towards purchasing your first home. After being a member of KiwiSaver for three years you can apply to withdraw all or part of your KiwiSaver savings (except for a minimum balance of $1,000 plus any amount transferred from an Australian superannuation fund previously transferred into KiwiSaver).
First home eligibility criteria is summarised as:
You have been a KiwiSaver member for at least three years;
You have not made a withdrawal from your KiwiSaver account for the purchase of a home before;
You intend to live in the property; and
You are buying your first home; or
You have confirmation from Housing NZ or Kāinga Ora to apply for a second home purchase.
Some KiwiSaver fund providers promote that even if you have owned a property before that you may be eligible to withdraw your savings if Kāinga Ora decide that you are in the same financial position as a first home buyer. They equally promote that if you have a partner who has previously owned a home before, and you haven’t that you can still apply for the withdrawal.
Each KiwiSaver fund provider will have their own criteria and application process you will need to understand.
KiwiSaver First Home Grant
Kāinga Ora’s First Home Grant comprises:
$5,000 if you're buying an existing home ($1,000 per year of contributions); or
$10,000 if you're buying or building a new home ($2,000 per year of contributions).
There is quite a list of eligibility criteria. We recommend you visit Kāinga Ora website for the initial criteria evaluation.