How contributions work

There are various types of contributions in KiwiSaver and how you contribute depends on your employment status. Contributions are summarised in the following table.

 Contribution typeEmployedSelf-employedNot workingUnder 18
Employee contributions Required, unless on a Contribution holiday No, unless you receive PAYE income* No Required, if working
Employer contributions Required, unless on a Contribution holiday No, unless you receive PAYE income* No No
Regular payments (E.g. direct debit) Optional Optional Optional Optional
Lump sum payment Optional Optional Optional Optional
Government contributions You may be eligible to receive up to $521.43. Find out more about the Government contribution. No

*If you are self-employed and receive PAYE income you will need to make both employee and employer contributions. 

Your contribution

KiwiSaver helps you save for your retirement. If you’re like most KiwiSavers, the money you contribute will come out of your salary and wages, including bonuses, commission and overtime payments.

Your KiwiSaver contributions are calculated on your gross salary and wages.  The minimum contribution is 3% of your wages. You can choose to increase this to 4% or 8%. To do this, simply talk to your employer about changing contribution rates.

A Bill before Parliament proposes adding 6% and 10% options, with effect from 1 April 2019.

You can also make lump sum contributions at any time. It’s easy to deposit money into your Summer account online.

You can find out more about how contributions go from your wages and salary to the IRD, and then to KiwiSaver.


Your employer’s contribution

Your employer will make a contribution to your KiwiSaver savings, usually 3% of your salary or wages.  Employer contributions are subject to Employer Superannuation Contribution Tax (ESCT).  


The Government’s contribution

For each dollar you put in, the Government will contribute 50 cents, up to $521.43 per year.

For example, if you contribute $20 per week, which is $1,040 per year, the Government will top up your savings with an additional $10 per week ($521 per year).

Find out more.


If you’re not an employee

The Summer KiwiSaver scheme has no minimum transaction requirements, so you can adjust your contributions in line with your cash flow.

If you are either self-employed and PAYE isn't deducted, or are not currently working, you can make regular contributions or lump sums in line with your situation.

You may wish to optimise your contributions to access the Government contribution - find out how


Can I take a break from contributing?

Yes – find out about taking a ‘contributions holiday’

Back to top 

Can I add money from my other superannuation schemes?

Did you start saving for retirement before KiwiSaver was launched? Consolidating into one KiwiSaver scheme may help you to track your savings and the fees that you pay.

As long as the rules of the other superannuation scheme let you transfer to a KiwiSaver scheme, we can assist you with the process and make contact on your behalf with the other provider. Please contact us for more assistance.


Why does it take so long to see the money in my account?

Sometimes you can see money leave your salary and wages, but not immediately flow through to your KiwiSaver balance. Don’t worry; it can take three months for contributions to reach your KiwiSaver account.

Your employer deducts money from your salary and wages and sends it to Inland Revenue by the 20th of the following month, through what is called an ‘employer monthly schedule’.

Inland Revenue carefully checks the details on the schedule to ensure accuracy and follows up with your employer if there’s any missing information, or a data mismatch.

Once this process is complete, Inland Revenue then passes your contributions, along with interest earned on the money during this time, to your KiwiSaver provider.

To help you keep track of contributions through this process go to Inland Revenue’s website and log into My KiwiSaver.