KiwiSaver: Can kids get free government money?

It can be a great idea to sign your child up to KiwiSaver, if you’d like to help them to a better future – and you can afford it.

One of the big benefits of KiwiSaver is your employer, and the government, both put money into your account, if you’re contributing regularly.

Unfortunately, KiwiSaver members who are under 18 don’t get the free government money, no matter how much money is in their account.

That’s the government’s rule.

What’s that about free money?

If you earn at least NZ$34,762 (before tax) and you contribute the minimum of 3 per cent of your salary into KiwiSaver, you’ll automatically qualify for the government money. It used to be called a Member Tax Credit, or MTC.

This is, of course, once you’re 18 years old.

For every dollar you contribute from July one year to June the next, the government will pay you 50 cents, up to a total of $521.43.

If you aren’t earning enough, or contributing enough to qualify for the free money, you can top up your account yourself. Just call your KiwiSaver provider.

And if you can’t contribute the required $1,043 into your account, you’ll still get a proportion of the government money. If you put in half, you’ll get half of the government contribution.

Help – I can’t top up before the end of June

If you’ve missed out on all of the government’s $521.43 this year, try not to worry. Now’s a great time to put it into your calendar for next March, so that in June, you can meet the contribution target to get the full amount.

I’m still feeling confused

If you don’t know how much you’ve contributed, or want to know more about the free government money, contact your KiwiSaver provider. They’re there to help you!

Story by Claire Connell, JUNO

Published 11 June 2019

Pie Funds Management Limited is the issuer of the JUNO KiwiSaver Scheme. You can read our Product Disclosure Statement here. This article is general in nature only and has not taken into account any particular person’s objectives or circumstances. We recommend you speak with a financial adviser. All content is correct at time of publication date.