9 Dec 2016

KiwiSaver changes recommended

2:45 pm on 9 December 2016

The Commission for Financial Capability recommends swift changes to KiwiSaver.

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Photo: 123RF

Under current rules, KiwiSavers can put in 3, 4 or 8 percent of their pay.

It recommends the base employer and employee contribution rates increase over time, an option to contribute 6 or 10 percent, and allow people over the age of 65 to join.

It recommends providers must disclose the total cost of fees on annual statements.

Retirement commissioner Diane Maxwell said people were not saving enough for retirement.

"We are sending a signal that we think that needs to go up gradually ... we understand you know it is hard to save and it is hard to put money aside for tomorrow," she said.

She said too much tinkering could put people off.

"What people tell us is they want to feel more ownership of KiwiSaver, they want to manage it, they want to control it, they want to actively participate in it, in which case gives them more choices," she said.

The Commission for Financial Capability will release recommendations about New Zealand Superannuation next week.

KiwiSaver recommendations from the Commission for Financial Capability

  • Increase employer and employee contributions from 3 percent to 4 percent: an annual automated increase of 0.25 percent from 2018, allowing a gradual rise of employer and member contributions from 3 percent to 4 percent by 2021, resulting in a total contribution rate of 8 percent.
  • [lLI]An automated option for members to increase their contributions by 0.25 percent, 0.5 percent or 1 percent up to a capped maximum rate. Members will be able to set and step back from KiwiSaver knowing that their contributions and savings will increase over time.

  • Add 6 percent and 10 percent to increase the range of employee contribution rates options, taking them to: 4 percent 6 percent, 8 percent and 10 percent.
  • Decouple the age of access to KiwiSaver funds from NZ Superannuation and discuss appropriate eligibility age for KiwiSaver funds.
  • Allow people over 65 years to join KiwiSaver.
  • Change the name of 'contributions holiday' to 'savings suspension' and reduce the maximum time to one year.
  • KiwiSaver providers to disclose the total dollar cost of all fees on annual statements.

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