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KiwiSaver

KiwiSaver is a savings scheme that helps people save for retirement. Employers contribute to their employees’ schemes and make sure employee contributions are taken from their pay.

As an employer you have several responsibilities. It’s important to get these right — not only because it impacts your employees’ futures, but because you could be liable for penalties if you don't meet your obligations.
You have to:

  • enrol eligible new employees in KiwiSaver
  • provide KiwiSaver information packs to all new employees (and existing employees if they ask)
  • deduct KiwiSaver contributions from your employees’ pay
  • make compulsory employer contributions
  • pay tax on your contributions via ESCT (employer superannuation contribution tax) or PAYE
  • pass employer and employee KiwiSaver contributions on to Inland Revenue
  • act on opt-out and contributions holiday requests from employees.
To contribute to your own KiwiSaver scheme, speak to your KiwiSaver provider

To contribute to your own KiwiSaver scheme, speak to your KiwiSaver provider

They'll be able to tell you what the requirements are and how to make contributions.

Follow these steps to make sure you cover all the must-dos.

1. If the employee is not a KiwiSaver member

Enrolment is automatic but employees have the opportunity to opt out. You’ll need to enrol your new employee if:

  • they’re aged between 18 and 65
  • they live in New Zealand or are entitled to live here indefinitely, and
  • you’re not an exempt employer.

Some employees, including contractors, secondees and casual staff, are exempt from automatic enrolment — there’s a list on the Inland Revenue website (external link) .

To enrol an employee, give them a KiwiSaver information pack (KS3).

Download the KiwiSaver PDFs or request multiple packs to be mailed out (external link) — Inland Revenue

This includes:

Your introduction to KiwiSaver (external link) — employee information factsheet

KiwiSaver deduction form (external link) (KS2) — if they don't complete the form, make deductions at the default rate of 3%

New employee opt-out request form (external link) (KS10).

If you have an employer-chosen KiwiSaver scheme you must advise new employees in writing that they'll be allocated to this scheme unless they choose their own. You'll also need to give them your scheme's investment statement.

Once they're enrolled, they have eight weeks to decide if they want to stay with KiwiSaver.

How to make an opt-out request (external link) — Inland Revenue

2. If the employee is already a KiwiSaver member

Your new employee must give you either a:

KiwiSaver deduction form (KS2) (external link) — if they don't complete the form, make deductions at the default rate of 3%, or

KiwiSaver forms and guides (external link) — Inland Revenue

Contributions holidays (external link) — Inland Revenue

3. Enrol employees into KiwiSaver

Give your employee a KiwiSaver information pack (KS3) within seven days.

Download the KiwiSaver PDFs or request multiple packs to be mailed out (external link) — Inland Revenue

This includes:

Your introduction to KiwiSaver (external link) — employee information factsheet 

KiwiSaver deduction form (KS2) (external link) — if they don't complete the form, make deductions at the default rate of 3%.

If you have an employer-chosen KiwiSaver scheme you must advise new employees in writing that they'll be allocated to this scheme unless they choose their own. You'll also need to give them your scheme's investment statement.

Start making KiwiSaver deductions from their next pay.

4. Start making deductions

You'll send employer and employee contributions to Inland Revenue every month when you file your employers monthly schedule (EMS) returns. Inland Revenue then forwards the contributions on to the employee’s KiwiSaver provider.

Making deductions (external link) — Inland Revenue

Tips and advice on payroll deductions

The easiest way to file your EMS is by using Inland Revenue’s ir-File online service

The easiest way to file your EMS is by using Inland Revenue’s ir-File online service

ir-File online (external link) can save you a lot of time and hassle each pay cycle. 

Employee contributions

The employee chooses the amount you need to deduct. There are three contribution rates — 3%, 4% or 8% of their before-tax pay. If they don't make a choice, you should deduct 3%.

Employer contributions

You're legally required to contribute to your employees' KiwiSaver at 3% of their gross salary or wage. You can contribute more if you wish.
The 3% has to be on top of their total salary or wages, which include:

  • bonuses
  • commission
  • extra salary gratuity
  • overtime
  • any other before-tax payments, eg ACC or paid parental leave payments.

KiwiSaver calculation tables are included in Inland Revenue’s PAYE deduction tables (external link) (IR340 and IR341) to help make it easier for you to work out how much to deduct.

Employer contributions are liable for employer superannuation contribution tax (ESCT).

Tips and advice on ESCT

Employer contributions (external link) — Inland Revenue

5. Make any necessary changes

Once an employee is in KiwiSaver, you have to keep making deductions, unless:

  • Inland Revenue lets you know that the employee is taking a contributions holiday
  • the employee turns 65 or is entitled to withdrawal their savings and gives you a non-deduction notice (external link) (KS51)
  • Inland Revenue tells you to stop making deductions for that employee.

Inland Revenue can also ask you to start making deductions from an employee's pay if the employee joins a scheme directly, or when their contributions holiday expires.

Employees can change between the three contribution rates (3%, 4% or 8%) by telling you their new contribution rate. They can't change it more often than every three months, unless you agree with them to do so.

As with all records for your business, you need to keep them for seven years.

As with all records for your business, you need to keep them for seven years.

Keep good records

For all your employees who are KiwiSaver members, you need to keep records of:

  • each employee’s contribution rate
  • the amounts you’ve deducted shown in PAYE records
  • any contribution holidays or opt-out requests
  • your employer contributions
  • the amount of ESCT deducted from your employer contributions.

Tips and advice on ESCT

Personnel files and record-keeping

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