Can I make regular contributions?
Yes, if you are an individual member you can make regular conributions by monthly direct debit from your bank account. If you are an employee member, you and your spouse/partner can make regular contributions from your pay.
Can I change my regular contributions?
You can change your regular contributions at any time - just complete a change savings contributions form. Note: if your employer is subsidising your contributions, your particular scheme may have some rules about contributions levels.
Can I make lump sum contributions?
All members can make lump sum contributions at any time. Just fill in a save a lump sum payment form and send it to us with a cheque, or with notification that you have credited our bank account (details for this are on the form).
Can I withdraw my money?
- If you have an individual account with SuperLife: you can withdraw your retirement savings by completing a benefit payment form.
- If you have an account through your employer: your employer may have certain restrictions about when you can withdraw your money - you will have to ask them or phone SuperLife.
- If you are a member of KiwiSaver: generally you will not be able to withdraw your KiwiSaver funds until your retirement age. However, in special circumstances you may be albe to withdraw some or all of your funds. E.g. to help buy your first home. Learn more about this here.
I'm leaving my place of work, when can I access my superannuation?
Your employer will inform SuperLife when you leave and payments will be made under the employer's rules. When you leave you can still remain in SuperLife and continue to save for your retirement.
Seeing my balances
Viewing your account is easy with SuperLife. Go to mySuperLife and enter your details to view your accounts. If you have not logged on to mySuperLife before, you will need to register your account first. To do this click here and fill in the details. When registering your account you are required to have your SuperLife Registration PIN. If you do not have this you will need to contact SuperLife to get it.
How do I change my personal details?
The easiest way for you to change your personal details is by logging on to mySuperLife - your changes will be updated immediately. Alternatively, you can download the update personal details form - this will take slightly longer to process.
I'm not able to download the forms, why?
To download the documents on this site you must have a copy of Adobe's acrobat reader. Download Adobe Reader here.
How is my money invested?
When you invest with SuperLife you choose an investment strategy. This can be one of our pre-determined Mixes or you can create your own Mix. More information about SuperLife's investment options can be found here. If you would like more information about investing, have a look at our educational resources section.
How do I change my investment strategy?
The easiest way for you to change your investment strategy is to log on to mySuperLife. Alternatively you can download the change investment strategy form and send it, completed, to us.
How do I set up an account for a child?
There are a number of ways that you can set an account up for a child through SuperLife. SuperLife offers myFutureFund which lets family and friends save for a child's future. This product is similar to a normal investment account with the exception that the FutureFundGuardian has the power do decide when and how the money is used, not the child, until the child is 25 or the FutureFund Guardian delegates authority. myFutureFund can also be combined with KiwiSaver to give an extra boost to the child's future. Read more about myFutureFund here.
What is a PIR and why do I need one?
PIR stands for prescribed investor rate and refers to the rate at which certain portfolio investment entity (PIE) investments are taxed.
This is the rate of tax that SuperLife uses to tax your investment earnings.
How do I know what my PIR is?
Your PIR is based on your taxable income. Currently, PIRs can be 10.5%, 17.5% or 28%. For people earning above $48,000 their PIR is generally 28%. However if you earned less than $48,000 a year, in any of the last two financial years, it may be 10.5% or 17.5%. For more information including a useful tool to help you work out what your PIR rate should be read our PIR guide.
What is an IRD number and how do I know if I need one?
An IRD number is a unique number issued to you by Inland Revenue. If you earn an income, file tax returns and/or plan on investing with SuperLife, including KiwiSaver and/or myFutureFund, you will need an IRD number.
If you are unsure if you already have an IRD number you will need to contact the IRD. The IRD's contact information can be found here.
I've joined KiwiSaver but I can't see my balance, why?
There's an initial delay when you first join KiwiSaver, as Inland Revenue holds your contributions for the first three months from the date of your first contribution before transferring them to SuperLife. If you have been a member of KiwiSaver for more than three months and you can't see your balance, contact us.
What is the difference between superannuation and KiwiSaver?
If you are an employee member:
If you are an individual member:
Read more about SuperLife for KiwiSaver here.
|Read more about SuperLife for superannuation here.|
How do I know if I am eligible for KiwiSaver?
If you are a New Zealand citizen or entitled to live in NZ indefinitely, are living or normally living in NZ (with some exceptions) and are below retirement age you should be eligible for KiwiSaver. More information about KiwiSaver eligibility can be found here.
Can I join my children up to KiwiSaver?
Yes - if the child is under 16 the signature of all legal guardians must be given and if the child is aged 16-17, the child must co-sign with one guardian. Signing your child up to KiwiSaver is a great way to make the most of the $1,000 kick-start and start to teach them about investing. More informaiton on KiwiSaver for children can be found here. Read the article The value of $1,000 to see how children can benefit from the government kick-start, even if they are not contributing to KiwiSaver.
If I live overseas can I still be a member of KiwiSaver?
You must be normally living in New Zealand to join KiwiSaver. Having joined, if you move overseas for an extended period you can remain in KiwiSaver but you will not be eligible for the Member Tax Credits for the time you are out of NZ.
What is my minimum contribution level for KiwiSaver?
If you are an employee you must contribute a minimum of 2% of your before tax pay. If you are not an employee you can choose not to contribute anything. After 1 year you can stop contributing. From 1 April 2013 the 2% minimum becomes 3%.
Does my employer have to contribute to my KiwiSaver?
Yes, your employer must contribute a minimum of 2% of your pay while you are also contributing 2% of your pay. From 1 April 2013 the 2% minimum becomes 3%.
If I join KiwiSaver, do I have to contribute at least 2% of my pay until I reach my retirement age?
No, if you want to stop contributing to your KiwiSaver account, and have been a member of KiwiSaver for at least one year, you can apply to go on a contributions holiday. Read more about contributions holidays here.
If I go on a contributions holiday will my employer still contribute a minimum of 2% of my pay?
Your employer does not have to make compulsory employer contributions to your KiwiSaver scheme if you are not contributing (for example, on a contributions holiday or on leave without pay).
Accessing KiwiSaver funds
Can I access my KiwiSaver account before I retire?
There are some situations that may let you access some or all of your KiwiSaver balance before retirement. For example: significant financial hardship, permanent emigration or serious illness. For more information about these click here.
You may also be eligible to withdraw some of your KiwiSaver funds to buy your first home, this is known as the first home withdrawal. For more information about this click here.
How do I apply for financial hardship?
To apply for financial hardship you will need to complete the financial hardship application form and send it to SuperLife with the appropriate evidence. If you would like help with the application process contact us.
What happens to my KiwiSaver if I die?
If you die, your savings will be paid to your estate. They therefore act as a funeral or tangi benefit. It is important therefore, that you have a will and keep it up-to-date.
KiwiSaver for first homes
What are the rules about first home withdrawals?
If you have been a member of KiwiSaver for at least three years and you are buying your first home, you can withdraw some of your KiwiSaver Account to help. You cannot withdraw the government’s $1,000 kick-start, or the government paid MTC's but you can withdraw the investment earnings on them along with your savings and those of your employer.
More information about first home withdrawals through KiwiSaver can be found here.
How do I apply for a first home withdrawal?
To make a first home withdrawal, complete the first home withdrawal form and give it to your solicitor. Your solicitor must sign the legal confirmation where indicated and attach the information required from them. You must also sign the form where indicated. You or your solicitor should then send the completed form, together with documents required from them to SuperLife Limited.
Am I eligible for a first home subsidy from the government?
If you are eligible for a first home withdrawal you may be eligible for the extra first home subsidy. To qualify, you must have been saving in KiwiSaver for at least 3 years’ and your savings must have met the minimum contribution requirement (4% of your pay for 2007-2009, 2% from 2009 and 3% from 2013). For non-working people, the savings have to have met the minimum contribution requirement based on the minimum wage.
Read more about the additional rules regarding income levels and house values here.
How do I apply for a first home subsidy?
The first home subsidy is administered by Housing New Zealand. You can apply for a pre-approval if you have found a house or land, or you can apply for the first home deposit study directly.
If you would like to apply for a first home subsidy you will need to download the first home subsidy application form from the Housing New Zealand website.
KiwiSaver for children
Can children join?
Yes. There is no minimum age. The sooner they join the better off they should be.
Does the child have to have a job?
No. KiwiSaver applies to employees and non-employees.
Do the member tax credits also apply?
No. Until your child turns 18, they do not get the $10 a week member tax credits (MTC's) (i.e. $521.43 a year). Once they turn 18, you/they should consider contributing $1,042.86 a year to get the further government $521.43 MTC payment. They do get the $1,000 kick-start when they join before 18.
What happens if they start a part-time job?
If they start a part time job they have to pay 2% of their wages to KiwiSaver unless they are on a contributions holiday. They can go on a contributions holiday once they have been in KiwiSaver for 1 year. From 1 April 2013 the 2% minimum becomes 3%.
What if I want to save?
If you want to save you can write out a cheque and send it to us, or set up a direct debit authority. If you want to save more, e.g. for the child’s education, consider whether it should be saved in KiwiSaver or the alternative SuperLife myFutureFund scheme. This has the same investment options but is not locked in i.e. you can take it out for education or other purposes.
What investment option should I pick?
This is up to you, but for most children until they are 18 they should consider an option that is mostly shares or shares and property. This should give them the highest average return and at the same time teach them about the ups and down of the investment markets.
Will the rules change?
Probably. KiwiSaver has been designed by politicians and therefore we expect future politicians to change the rules. It is unlikely that they will take away the free money already paid, but they might change its availability for the future.
Do I need life insurance?
If you have a family or if someone is dependent on your income then you may want to think about getting life insurance.
How much life insurance do I need?
The amount of life insurance you need will differ from person to person and according to your circumstances. Most people should have enough life insurance to ensure that their family/dependants can continue to live without struggling to make ends meet. For more information read our article "How much life insurance do I need?".