The Retirement Commission helps New Zealanders prepare financially for retirement, through
education, information and promotion. We created www.sorted.org.nz, which is full of tools and
information, to help Kiwis of all ages understand money matters and manage their personal finance
throughout life. If you have feedback on this seminar material we’d appreciate hearing from you.
Please e-mail the Sorted team at email@example.com.
Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in this guide. However the information contained in
it is necessarily generalised. The Retirement Commission will not be liable for any reliance placed
upon it by any person or for any errors, omissions or incompleteness in this guide.
By using this guide and the associated PowerPoint presentation you agree that you may not and will
Give advice, promote or recommend any particular KiwiSaver scheme or any superannuation
Give general financial advice or promote or recommend any financial product during any
seminar you present.
If you breach this agreement, the Retirement Commission may pursue any rights or remedies
available to it at law or in equity.
KiwiSaver is the Government’s initiative to help New Zealanders save for their retirement through
This guide helps you, as presenter of the seminar, understand what KiwiSaver is about so you can
effectively present the concept to others. It also includes notes for each slide of the PowerPoint
presentation to guide you through your presentation.
For more about KiwiSaver once you’ve read the introductory information, please see:
• Inland Revenue’s KiwiSaver Employer Guide
• Inland Revenue’s KiwiSaver Employee Information Pack
• Inland Revenue’s KiwiSaver website kiwisaver.govt.nz
• KiwiSaver questions and answers at treasury.govt.nz/budget2007
• Retirement Commission’s free and independent personal finance website sorted.org.nz
What’s in this guide?
1. Purpose of the presentation
2. Material you need to present effectively
3. Hand-outs for participants
4. Introduction to KiwiSaver for presenters
5. Presentation guide
1. Purpose of this seminar
There are two seminars you could use to present KiwiSaver to an audience:
The first seminar – Basic Rules - helps people understand how KiwiSaver works
The second seminar (this one) has information to help people make informed decisions about
We recommend allowing participants to attend both seminars where you believe a discussion
(especially around KiwiSaver’s basic rules) will help their understanding of KiwiSaver. If they are
aware of KiwiSaver’s basic rules (by reading Inland Revenue’s Employee Information Pack for
example), go straight to this KiwiSaver decision-making seminar.
Know what you’re presenting
The seminar should take just under an hour and we’ve included some suggested timings for each
presentation slide to help you keep track of time.
Before you present for the first time it is important to familiarise yourself with the concept of
KiwiSaver and the structure of this seminar.
2. Material you need to present effectively
You will need:
A whiteboard and marker or something similar
Pens and paper for employees to take notes
A computer and data-show to run the PowerPoint presentation or
An overhead projector with the PowerPoint presentation printed on transparencies.
3. Hand-outs for participants
Provide all participants with:
The Sorted KiwiSaver Decision Guide. These are available for free and can be ordered from the
Sorted website under KiwiSaver > For Employers > Order or download Sorted resources > Order
KiwiSaver decision-making resources. Allow five working days for delivery.
The Participants’ Worksheet so that participants can keep track of the presentation and take
notes. Print out and photocopy the worksheet so every participant has a copy.
Inland Revenue’s KiwiSaver Employee Information Pack. These can be ordered by calling
0800 257 777.
Other free materials that can also be ordered from the Sorted website under KiwiSaver > For
Employers > Order or download Sorted resources > Order KiwiSaver decision-making resources, are:
KiwiSaver Decision Guide posters
Making a Budget That Works leaflet – for people who need help with making a budget before
deciding on KiwiSaver.
4. Introduction to KiwiSaver for presenters
KiwiSaver is the name of the Government’s workplace superannuation scheme that starts on
1 July 2007. The scheme is administered by Inland Revenue and provided by independent
investment organisations that have been approved by the Government as KiwiSaver scheme
It is not compulsory for anyone to join KiwiSaver, but when an employee changes jobs their new
employer will automatically enrol the employee into KiwiSaver. If the employee decides not to stay
in the scheme they can opt out by letting their employer know within 8 weeks of starting their new
job. Existing employees aren’t automatically enrolled and can join KiwiSaver any time by letting
their employer know. The self-employed and those outside the workforce can contact a KiwiSaver
scheme provider and apply directly.
Who can join?
Anyone under 65 (the current age for NZ Super) who’s a New Zealand citizen or who is in New
Zealand and is entitled to work here permanently can join KiwiSaver.
Employees have the choice of saving 4% or 8% of their pay (before tax is taken out). Their savings
are deducted from their pay and deposited straight into their KiwiSaver account.
Choosing a KiwiSaver provider
Employees can choose their own KiwiSaver provider. If their employer has a preferred provider the
employee might like to select this provider. If the employee hasn’t selected a provider after 8
weeks of starting their new job, then Inland Revenue will randomly choose a provider for them
(from a group called ‘default providers’).
Benefits of joining
For employees KiwiSaver has many benefits, including:
$1,000 tax-free kick-start payment from the Government that’s paid into their account when it’s
Up to $1,040 a year from the Government to match the first $1040 saved by the employee in a
year (this is called a ‘member tax credit’ and anyone 18 or over can get it). This will be paid
until your able to access your savings (i.e. age of eligibility for NZ Super, 65 years of age, or
after 5 years membership whichever is later).
$40 every year to help pay account fees.
Employer contributions of 1% of the employee’s pay from 1 April 2008, increasing by 1% each
year until it reaches 4% in 2011, where it will remain.
First home subsidy of up to $5,000 ($1,000 a year over 5 years) for first homebuyers if they
qualify. This money can be used for a deposit on a first home after 3 years of saving.
One-off withdrawal from their KiwiSaver account after 3 years of saving to help pay for a deposit
on their first home (excludes the $1,000 kick-start payment and the member tax credit).
Use up to half of the employee’s regular savings after 12 months to help pay off their mortgage.
First home buyers
Members have to meet certain conditions to get the first home subsidy. These are:
o $100,000 or less a year if there’s one or two KiwiSaver members buying the home, or
o $140,000 or less a year if there’s three or more KiwiSaver members buying the home.
o $400,000 or less in higher-priced areas such as Auckland City, North Shore and the
Queenstown lakes district, or
o $300,000 or less for the rest of New Zealand.
Taking money out
The employee’s money is locked in and can’t be taken out until they’re 65, except if they:
Are making their first home withdrawal
Are experiencing significant financial hardship
Are seriously ill
Move overseas permanently.
In the case of death, their estate gets their money.
After 12 months of saving the member can take a break from making regular payments to their
KiwiSaver account for between 3 months and 5 years. This is called a ‘contribution holiday’. There
is no limit to the number of times members can take a contributions holiday.
KiwiSaver can run alongside any existing super scheme your organisation or employees may have. If
an employee already has a super scheme going they may be able to:
Switch to a KiwiSaver scheme with the same provider, or
Keep the existing scheme and have a KiwiSaver scheme going at the same time.
5. Presentation guide
Use this section to guide you through the PowerPoint presentation to your staff. To make it easier
this guide provides extra information to clarify details or make the presentation more interesting:
Note – background information you could use to explain the information presented, or use the
text as a rough script for your presentation
Activity – suggested activity to get participants involved in the workshop
Slide 2 What we’ll cover today 5 mins
1. Make sure all participants have a copy of the Sorted KiwiSaver Decision Guide and the
2. Read out the topics to be covered.
3. Tell them that by the end of this presentation they should know enough to make a more
informed decision about KiwiSaver.
4. Let participants know they can ask questions.
5. Before showing slide 3, use the following icebreaker to get people comfortable in their
Ask participants: Hands up who did the first seminar?
Hands up who didn’t?
Then ask: What do you know about KiwiSaver?
You may want to write the answers on a white board. Then ask them to take a few minutes to read
the key features of the Sorted KiwiSaver Decision Guide before moving onto slide 3.
Slide 3 How much do I need to retire? 2 mins
Note: Regardless of whether you join KiwiSaver or not, you will still get New Zealand Super
to help you in your retirement.However KiwiSaver could mean you’re better
financially prepared for your retirement. To work out how much you’ll need when
you retire, use the Quick Retirement Calculator at sorted.org.nz.
Slide 4 How does KiwiSaver work? 3 mins
Money goes into a KiwiSaver account
Note: When you join KiwiSaver you open a KiwiSaver account and your savings go into this
account. A KiwiSaver account is sort of like a bank account – it stays open no matter
where you work.
Save either 4% or 8% of your pay
Note: You have two choices for the amount you will save – either 4% or 8% of your pay
before tax is taken out. But you can make lump sum payments whenever you like.
You can’t touch your savings until you’re 65 (except in rare situations)
Notes: With a KiwiSaver account you can’t withdraw from or close your account until you’re
65, except in certain situations such as:
You make your first home withdrawal
You move overseas permanently
You are experiencing significant financial hardship
You become seriously ill
If you die, your money goes to your estate.
Savings earn interest from investment fund
Note: Your savings are put into a KiwiSaver account that invests your money in an
investment fund. We talk more about this later.
Slide 5 Why join KiwiSaver? 10 mins
The pros and cons listed on this slide and slide 6 are listed in the Sorted KiwiSaver Decision
Note: Everyone who joins KiwiSaver gets $1,000 from the Government that goes straight
into their KiwiSaver account after they have been saving for three months.
Up to $1,040 a year in tax credits ($20 a week)
Note: Every dollar you save will be matched by the Government as a member tax credit to
the tune of up to $20 a week.
Activity: If participants didn’t attend seminar 1, show example on a whiteboard how savings of
$500 a year is matched by the Government at $500 a year, then show how savings of
$2,000 a year is matched by the Government at a maximum amount of $1,040 a year.
Your employer will contribute
Note: From 1 April 2008, your employer has to help you save by making payments to your
KiwiSaver account. The amount starts at 1% of your pay, gradually increasing by 1%
every year until 2011, when it reaches 4%.The bonus is that these employer
contributions will be tax free so your KiwiSaver account will get the full amount your
employer gives you.
Activity: If participants didn’t attend seminar 1, do this activity:
Take an average salary of participants and show on your whiteboard how much they
get from their employer from 2008 if their employer contributes 1% of pay in 2008;
2% in 2009; 3% in 2010; and 4% from 2011 onwards.
Note: This amount goes on top of your own savings.
Help with a first home deposit
Note: When you open a KiwiSaver account you may be able to get up to $5,000 from the
Government as well as make a withdrawal from your savings for a deposit on your
Savings you can’t touch
Note: You can’t touch your KiwiSaver funds until the age you qualify for New Zealand Super
Easy to manage as it comes straight out of your pay
Note: With KiwiSaver your money comes straight out of your pay so if you’re not a natural
saver, that could be a plus.
Can put your contributions on hold
Note: After 12 months of saving you can stop your regular payments to your KiwiSaver
account for between 3 months and 5 years by taking what is called a ‘contribution
sholiday’. There’s no limit to the number of times you can take a contributions
holiday. To take one, simply let Inland Revenue know.
Slide 6 Any reason not to join? 5-7 mins
The pros and cons listed on this slide and slide 5 are listed in the Sorted KiwiSaver Decision
You can’t afford 4% of your pay
Note: If you’re finding it hard to make ends meet and can’t afford to have 4% of your pay
locked in to a savings scheme, then KiwiSaver may not be for you. It is more
important to pay your bills and feed your family than save. After all, you will get NZ
Super when you retire. Do a budget to work out whether you can afford to
contribute. If you’d like help, try the Budget Calculator on sorted.org.nz or call
0800 SORT MONEY (767 866) to speak with a budget adviser.
You’d rather pay off high-interest debt first
Note: The interest you pay on things such as credit cards, hire purchases and personal loans
is likely to be much higher than the returns you’ll get from KiwiSaver. Some think it’s
a good idea to pay off your high-interest debt before you start putting money away
for savings. Remember, you can join KiwiSaver at any time and it’s never too late to
You don’t want your savings locked away until 65
Note: In most situations you can’t touch your KiwiSaver funds until you qualify for New
Zealand Super (currently 65). If you think you’ll need the money before then, you
might be better off putting your money somewhere else.
You have a super scheme that your employer contributes to that’s better for you
Activity: If participants have an employer-subsidised super scheme going already, provide
them with the contact details of the person to talk to about that scheme and how it
compares to KiwiSaver.
You have a retirement income plan that is at least as good or better
Note: Again, weigh up the pros and cons of your own plan compared to KiwiSaver to help
Slide 7 Is it for me? 5 mins
This list is printed on the back panel of the Sorted KiwiSaver Decision Guide called What’s the
You can afford 4% of your pay
Note: 4% of your pay is the minimum amount you can save with KiwiSaver. So if you find you
can afford to save 4% after doing your sums, (use the Budget Calculator on
sorted.org.nz) then perhaps KiwiSaver is for you.
Your employer makes contributions now
Note: From April 2008 your employer had to match your contributions to KiwiSaver starting
at a minimum of 1% of your pay, and increasing by 1% each year until it reaches 4% in
April 2011. Your employer may contribute more than these amounts and they don’t
have to wait until April 2008 to start. Employer contributions in amounts that match
yours will be tax-free up to a limit of 4 % of your before tax pay.
You plan to buy your first home in the next 3-5 years and you’re eligible for the subsidy
Note: After 3 years of saving, first home buyers can make a withdrawal from their KiwiSaver
account and put the money towards a deposit for a first home.They may also be able
to get a first home subsidy of up to $5000 ($1000 a year) for the first 5 years of saving
– but only some people will qualify for this.
Activity: If participants didn’t attend seminar 1, write down these conditions or talk about
Your price of your first home has to be:
$400,000 or less if you live in Auckland City, North Shore or the Queenstown lakes
$300,000 or less if you live anywhere else.
Your household income also has to be:
$100,000 or less a year if there are 1 or 2 KiwiSaver members buying the house,
$140,000 or less a year if there are 3 or more KiwiSaver members buying the
You are over 60 but not yet 65
Note: While it may be a little late to save for your retirement, you can still join KiwiSaver
to get the $1,000 kick-start and the member tax credits of up to $1040 a year for up
to five years (as long as you contribute at least $20 a week) as well as your
employer’s contributions while you are working. You then get a lump sum payment
with all the extra money in five years’ time – as this is the shortest amount of time
people over 60 can be in KiwiSaver for.
It’s time to start saving for retirement
Note: If you’ve been thinking about saving for your retirement for a while, now may be a
good time to start.
Slide 8 Where do I invest? 5 mins
Note: sorted.org.nz has information about investments options and risk profiles.
Activity: Hands up who knows what an investment fund is. Write the answers on a whiteboard.
What types of investment does an investment fund make? Write the answers on a
Notes: Investment funds invest your money in different types of investments, such as cash,
shares, Government bonds and property. The investments could be in New Zealand
The amount of your interest (or returns in investment speak) differs week by week or
even day by day, depending on how your fund is doing.
Decide on your risk profile – check out the Risk Recommender calculator at sorted.org.nz
Note: You could also discuss your financial situation and goals with an independent financial
adviser - they may be able to advise you about your level of risk and what may suit
Decide on your investment type – check out the Investment Recommender calculator at
Note: There are lower-risk funds such as cash and bonds, and higher-risk funds such as
property and shares. You need to be comfortable with the level of risk you take. Plug
your details into the Risk Recommender and Investment Recommender to help you
decide how much risk you’re willing to take for your investment.
Slide 9 Who do I invest with? 5 mins
Notes: There are lots of things to look out for when choosing a KiwiSaver scheme provider.
Note: No-one can predict future KiwiSaver returns. After completing the Risk
Recommender and Investment Recommender at sorted.org.nz consider the choices
Note: All scheme providers will charge a fee to manage your KiwiSaver account. Use the
Fees Comparison in the KiwiSaver for Employees section of sorted.org.nz (available
late June 2007). With KiwiSaver you’ll get $40 a year from the Government to help
pay your KiwiSaver fees.
Note: The amount of returns you get back is very important as this is why you have an
investment in the first place. However, an investment’s past performance is no
indication of how it will perform in the future – so you should not base your decision
on this alone.
Note: Providers communicate with their customers about what they’re selling and how well
their investments are performing, in different ways and at different intervals. Before
signing up a provider, get hold of some of the material – the KiwiSaver scheme’s
booklet, a sample member statement, a newsletter and advertising pamphlet – do
you follow what they’re telling you? You need to know what to expect and be
comfortable with what they offer.
Note: There are many KiwiSaver scheme providers providing many different funds. When
choosing a provider it’s really important you choose a provider that has a good
reputation. The size of organisation and how long they’ve been around might be some
indication of their reputation.
Allow savings to pay off mortgage
Note: We mentioned earlier that one of the benefits of KiwiSaver is being able to use up to
half of your own contributions to help pay off your home loan. This is called mortgage
diversion. Not all KiwiSaver scheme providers allow this service so check with the
provider before you sign up.
Other related services
Note: There are other things you might want to use a provider for in the personal financial
service area such as for insurance or banking. A provider may offer you a better deal
if you decide to use a number of its services including KiwiSaver.
Slide 10 Who are KiwiSaver scheme providers? 3 mins
Any company approved by the Government
Note: There are many providers offering many different investment fund options.
You choose your own provider and investment fund
Note: There are different types of funds, depending on how much investment risk you’re
willing to take. The general rule is the lower risk the fund, the lower your long-term
returns are likely to be over the next 10-40 years, and the higher risk the fund, the
higher your returns are likely to be. Find a fund you are comfortable with. It’s best to
choose your own provider so that you get the provider you want.
If you don’t choose a provider:
Your employer may select a chosen provider, or
Inland Revenue will randomly allocate a provider to you (there are 6 ‘default providers’)
Note: Your employer may have a chosen provider. It’s best to choose your own provider so
that you get the provider you want. You should then choose an investment fund you
are comfortable with.
Slide 11 To recap 2 mins
KiwiSaver may suit most but not all
Note: List some examples from slides 5 and 6. Refer participants to their copies of the
Sorted KiwiSaver Decision Guide or the Sorted KiwiSaver Decision Guide poster if
you have some on display.
Some reasons why KiwiSaver may not be for you
Note: Tell them again that KiwiSaver isn’t for everyone and there’s no rush to join. They
can join any time.
Different types of investments for different people
Important to choose a scheme provider carefully
It’s your decision
Slide 12 Find out more 10-15 mins
Help with decision-making
Help with budgeting
• 0800 SORT MONEY (767 866)
More information about KiwiSaver
• 0800 KIWISAVER (549 472)
Note: Ask participants if they have any questions. You may find the questions and answers
on Treasury’s website at treasury.govt.nz/budget2007 useful for answering these.