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Increase Govt KiwiSaver contribution: Commission

Almost quadrupling the value of the Government's member tax credit for KiwiSaver members might get more self-employed people contributing, the Retirement Commissioner says.

Tuesday, October 29th 2019, 5:00AM 1 Comment

Peter Cordtz

Acting commissioner Peter Cordtz is working towards the completion of the three-yearly review of income policies.

A working group undertaking research for the review said increasing the credit from $521 for every $1,042 contributed a year, so that savers could receive a maximum $2,000, might help boost contribution rates.

While most New Zealand adults are KiwiSaver members, many are not contributing much.

Those who receive no employer contributions may see less value in the scheme.

Commission for Financial Capability research showed only 40% of self-employed people were contributing to KiwiSaver compared to 73% of workers employed full-time.

One in 20 employed New Zealanders is now a contractor, one in 10 has more than one job, and only 38% of employees have been in the same job for five or more years.

The group said KiwiSaver members could receive 50c for every dollar up to $521 then $2 for every dollar up to $1,000,

"This would give members an extra $3,000 in their accounts each year – $1,000 of their own money and $2,000 from the Government," said Tom Hartmann, Sorted editor, who is leading the group.

“Dialing up the Government contribution would level the playing field between employed and self-employed workers, and those out of the workforce, and add extra incentive for members to put in enough to gain the Government matcher each year.”

Cordtz said the idea was worthy of discussion.

“We’re keen to find ways to make the KiwiSaver structure as fair and attractive as possible to all New Zealanders, whether they’re in paid employment, self-employed or taking time out of the workforce,” he said.

“This suggestion could encourage a wider range of people to save more towards their retirement.”

Cordtz will consider the proposal along with public feedback and submissions before deciding on which recommendations to include in his report to Government in December.

Public submissions are open until October 31.

Tags: Commission for Financial Capability KiwiSaver Retirement Commissioner

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Comments from our readers

On 29 October 2019 at 1:44 pm Rob Dowler said:
If the goal is to make KiwiSaver as fair and attractive as possible, why not simplify the scheme to the point where the government, and only the government, makes all of the contributions at the same level for everyone.

Wait a minute. Isn't that exactly what universal NZ Superannuation payments do? So what is the point of KiwiSaver again?

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Last updated: 11 November 2019 4:01pm

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