Retirement withdrawals

You can make a Retirement Withdrawal if you have reached age 65 or you have been a member of KiwiSaver for a minimum of 5 years, whichever comes later.

Below is a range of frequently asked questions about KiwiSaver Retirement Withdrawals:

Generic questions

Do I have to take my money out when I qualify to make KiwiSaver retirement withdrawals? 

No, you do not have to take money out when you are eligible (if you have reached age 65 or you have been a member of KiwiSaver for a minimum of 5 years, whichever comes later), you can leave your funds in KiwiSaver and continue to contribute for as long as you like.

How long can I stay in KiwiSaver?

For as long as you like.

Will my Scheme provider send me a letter to let me know when I am eligible for a retirement withdrawal?

Yes, your Scheme provider should send all eligible members a communication before they reach their KiwiSaver retirement date.

I didn’t receive a communication/letter from my Scheme provider?

Contact your Scheme provider.

Can I still contribute, even though I’m entitled to withdraw?

Yes.

Do my employee contributions stop automatically?

No. Your employee contributions can continue for as long as you want them to. However, you should talk to your employer if you want to stop making employee contributions.

Do my employer contributions stop automatically?

You should talk to your employer regarding any employer contributions you are receiving. Your employer is not obliged to make compulsory employer contributions once you reach the KiwiSaver retirement age (65, or 5 years of membership, whichever comes later); however they may choose to continue.

Do I continue to receive my Member Tax Credits (“MTCs”) once I reach the KiwiSaver retirement age?

No. MTCs are paid to eligible members who are over 18 and under the KiwiSaver retirement age (65, or five years of membership, whichever is later). As MTCs are paid to scheme providers once a year (to the end of June), your final payment will not be received until July unless you request a full withdrawal, in which case your Scheme provider will apply for a final MTC payment prior to finalising your withdrawal.

How much KiwiSaver money do I have/What is my KiwiSaver balance?

Check with your Scheme provider. You need to be aware that this balance may change after the date when you were advised because of investment returns, and because it would not have taken into account any contributions not yet received from Inland Revenue (i.e. employee contributions, final employer contributions or final member tax credits).

When can I get my money?

To qualify for a retirement withdrawal you must meet the following criteria: you must be 65 years of age or older; and at least five years must have passed since the receipt of your first contribution; or you must have been a member of a KiwiSaver scheme (or complying superannuation fund, or a mixture of both) for at least five years.

What is my KiwiSaver ‘start date’?

If you joined KiwiSaver through your employer your ‘start date’ will be the 15th day of the month in which your KiwiSaver contribution was first deducted from your salary or wages.  If you joined directly with a Scheme provider your start date will be the date on which your provider processed your application.

I think my start date is incorrect – how do I find this out

If you do not agree with the start date your scheme provider has on file, you can go directly to the Inland Revenue.

How do I get my money?

You must first complete your Scheme provider’s withdrawal form (and Statutory Declaration for the first withdrawal) and send these documents to your provider. Your provider will then process your withdrawal according to the directions on your withdrawal form.

Why do I have to sign a Statutory Declaration?

The declaration allows your Scheme provider to pay all eligible member tax credits to you.

Can I email/fax the forms?

Check with your Scheme provider.

What is the minimum lump sum withdrawal amount?

Most Scheme providers do not have minimum lump sum withdrawal amounts. If one is introduced we would expect your provider will communicate this to you and all its other KiwiSaver investors.

What is the minimum ‘regular’ withdrawal amount?

Amounts may vary, check with your Scheme provider.

Can you pay my money to another person?

No, Scheme providers are not able to make payments to third parties. The proceeds of any withdrawal can only be paid to your own bank account. This is to lessen the risk of fraud and comply with anti-money laundering legislation.

If I withdraw all of my money and change my mind, can I start KiwiSaver again?

No, once you have withdrawn all of your money from your KiwiSaver scheme and your account is closed, you cannot sign up to the same, or any other KiwiSaver scheme.

Will Inland Revenue know I’ve fully withdrawn from KiwiSaver?

Yes, an account closure message will be sent from your Scheme provider to Inland Revenue.

Can I transfer to another Scheme provider once I reach the KiwiSaver retirement age?

Yes, you only need to supply a new Application form for the KiwiSaver Scheme provider you want to transfer to.

Can I switch funds?

Yes, you can switch funds at any time. Check with your Scheme provider to see if switch fees apply. 

Member Tax Credit questions

When will my Scheme provider receive my final MTC payment?

As MTCs are paid to scheme providers once a year (to the end of June), your final payment will not be received until July unless you request a full withdrawal, in which case your scheme provider will apply for a final MTC payment before finalising your withdrawal.

Do I continue to receive my MTCs once I reach the KiwiSaver retirement age?

No. MTCs are paid to eligible members who are over 18 and under the KiwiSaver retirement age (65, or five years of membership, whichever is later). As MTCs are paid to scheme providers once a year (to the end of June), your final payment will not be received until July unless you request a full withdrawal, in which case your Scheme provider will apply for a final MTC payment prior to finalising your withdrawal.

Overseas investor questions

I’m overseas, how do I get my money?

The same way you would if you were in New Zealand. Your scheme provider can send you the relevant forms to complete and return.

Who can witness my Statutory Declaration if I’m overseas?

The equivalent persons as described on the Statutory Declaration form are required. For example, if you are in the UK, declarations and certifications can be signed by a solicitor, and often by a justice of the peace (lay magistrate). There is also a special class of solicitors called Notaries Public who can sign documents that can be accepted internationally, and there are Commissioners for Oaths to administer oaths and take affidavits. Doing a search on the internet is very helpful.

Can I email/fax the forms?

Check with your scheme provider.