Tax is one of life’s certainties, and it is part of KiwiSaver too.

It’s good to know how the taxation works on your contributions and investment earnings. The good news is that withdrawals are currently tax free.

Let’s start with your contributions. Remember, for employees these are calculated on your gross salary and wages and are paid from your after-tax income through your normal payroll.

Employer contributions are subject to Employer Superannuation Contribution Tax (ESCT), which is deducted from the employer contributions before they are passed to your KiwiSaver scheme. The current ESCT rates are: 

Income (including gross employer contributions)Rate
Less than $16,800 10.5%
Between $16,801 and $57,600 17.5%
Between $57,601 and $84,000 30%
$84,001 and over 33%

Tax on your investment earnings

The Summer KiwiSaver scheme is a type of Portfolio Investment Entity (PIE) known as a multi-rate PIE. A share of the PIE’s taxable income (or loss) per fund is allocated to you based on your interest in the fund. The scheme pays tax on your share of this income. The amount of tax you pay in respect of a PIE is based on your prescribed investor rate (PIR). This can be 10.5%, 17.5% or 28%.

Make sure you tell us what rate to apply to your account, if you don’t tell us the default rate of 28% will apply.

Make sure you tell us if your situation changes and you need to swap to a different PIR. If the advised PIR is lower than your correct PIR, you may need to pay any tax shortfall, interest and penalties. If the advised PIR is higher than your correct PIR, then for the 2020/21 and future income years any overpayment of PIE tax may reduce your income tax liability for that income year and may give rise to a tax refund.

Changing your PIR is easy, you can update it online via your profile.

The Inland Revenue may also tell us to update your PIR if their records indicate a change is required, in which case we will update your PIR and let you know. We will apply this PIR unless you subsequently notify us of a different PIR.

Work out your PIR

If you are a tax resident of New Zealand work out your PIR using the table below or by completing the questions, based on your income for the past two years. 

If you are not a New Zealand tax resident your PIR is 28%.

Taxable income (In EITHER of the last two income years) Taxable income plus Portfolio Investment Entity (PIE) income (In EITHER of the last two income years) PIR
$14,000 or less $48,000 or less 10.5%
$48,000 or less $70,000 or less 17.5%
All other cases   28%

Based on the information you have provided, your PIR is 28%

Based on the information you have provided, your PIR is 10.5%

Based on the information you have provided, your PIR is 17.5%

Based on the information you have provided, your PIR is 28%

Your tax advisor can help you work out your PIR or visit the Inland Revenue website.

MyIR also allows you to check what Inland Revenue have calculated your PIR to be. Read more about viewing KiwiSaver information through myIR.