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There are some changes being made to the KiwiSaver rules this year. The legislation that introduces these changes is being implemented on the following dates:
From 1 April 2019
- Two new contribution rate options are being added. Members can now contribute 6% or 10% of their before-tax pay via their employer, as well as the existing 3%, 4% or 8% contribution options.
- The term ‘member tax credit’ or ‘MTC’ is renamed ‘Government contribution’.
- The name ‘contributions holiday’ is renamed ‘savings suspension’, and the maximum time period for a savings suspension is being shortened from five years to one year.
From 1 July 2019
- Anyone aged 65 or over will be able to join KiwiSaver.
- The five-year membership lock-in period will no longer apply for members aged 60-65 who join a KiwiSaver scheme for the first time. This means that when members turn 65: (1) they will usually be able to withdraw their savings no matter how long they’ve been a member; (2) they will not be eligible for Government contributions; and (3) their employer can also stop their contributions.
- The lock-in period will continue to apply to individuals who joined KiwiSaver on or after 1 July 2019 as a result of a transfer from a complying superannuation fund, if the individual first became a member of the complying superannuation fund prior to 1 July 2019.
Members who are 60 or over and joined a KiwiSaver scheme or a complying superannuation fund before 1 July 2019 will have the option to opt out of the five-year membership lock-in period. If they opt out, they will not receive Government contributions and their employer can stop making contributions.