Who's involved in KiwiSaver

KiwiSaver is a government initiative involving KiwiSaver providers, employers and several government agencies.

KiwiSaver providers

KiwiSaver providers have the primary relationship with members.

A KiwiSaver provider is an organisation that offers a KiwiSaver scheme and is responsible for managing members' savings in the scheme. Members can choose from a wide range of schemes offered by a variety of organisations - from the big name banks, insurance companies and investment managers, through to specialist or boutique managers.

All KiwiSaver schemes are regulated by the Financial Markets Authority in a similar way to other registered superannuation schemes. There are additional measures in place to make sure KiwiSaver schemes are competitive and members' best interests are looked after.

Employers

For most people, KiwiSaver is a work-based savings plan, so employers play an important role. Employers:

  • give new employees and other staff who are interested an Employee information pack (KS3)
  • pass their employees' details to Inland Revenue to enable them to be automatically enrolled (if they're not already a KiwiSaver member)
  • can choose a KiwiSaver scheme for employees who don't want to select their own
  • deduct KiwiSaver contributions from employees' before-tax pay
  • pay a compulsory contribution to their employees' KiwiSaver account or complying fund
  • act on a new employee's request if they choose to opt out within the 2 to 8 week opt-out timeframe
  • stop payments if their employee begins a contributions holiday, and restart them again once the holiday expires
  • stop payments if Inland Revenue or their employee gives them the required notice
  • keep certain KiwiSaver records required by law.

Government

Under the KiwiSaver initiative the Government:

  • contributes a $1,000 (tax-free) kick-start payment to each member's account when they join for the first time
  • pays an annual member tax credit to eligible members
  • funds the first home deposit subsidy through Housing New Zealand for people who meet the criteria.

KiwiSaver is not guaranteed by the Government.

Inland Revenue

Inland Revenue administers members' contributions mainly through the "pay as you earn" (PAYE) tax system. Inland Revenue's main responsibilities under KiwiSaver are to:

  • provide employers with information packs to pass on to employees
  • receive member and employer contributions
  • transfer contributions to the right KiwiSaver scheme provider for investment
  • allocate people who don't make a choice to default schemes
  • administer requests for opt-outs and contributions holidays
  • provide information to the public and help build awareness of the KiwiSaver savings initiative.

The Financial Markets Authority

The Financial Markets Authority is responsible for registering and regulating KiwiSaver schemes. The Financial Markets Authority supervises the management of registered KiwiSaver schemes and other superannuation schemes and monitors and encourages compliance with the Superannuation Schemes Act 1989 and the KiwiSaver Act 2006.

Housing New Zealand Corporation

Housing New Zealand is responsible for the KiwiSaver first home deposit subsidy. This includes setting the regional house price and household income caps, and processing first home deposit subsidy applications.

The Commission for Financial Literacy and Retirement Income

The Commission for Financial Literacy and Retirement Income is associated with KiwiSaver through its Sorted financial education programme.

The Commission helps New Zealanders increase their financial knowledge, by offering free and independent financial information through the Sorted website, booklets and seminars. 

The Sorted website offers free easy-to-use online tools to help New Zealanders work out if KiwiSaver is right for them.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment coordinated the tender process for appointing default KiwiSaver providers.