How KiwiSaver works

KiwiSaver is long-term savings scheme, designed to help Kiwis save for their first house or retirement.

KiwiSaver basics

Your KiwiSaver account receives contributions from three places:

1. You: If you’re employed this normally comes out of your salary or wages. You can choose how much of your income you want to contribute – either 3%, 4%, 6%, 8% or 10% before tax. It’s your account and you call the shots. If you don’t choose a percentage, the default rate is 3%.
If you’re not working or are self-employed, you can make contributions directly to your KiwiSaver Scheme (more info below)

2. Your employer: Contributes a minimum of 3% (if you’re employed)

3. The Government: Each year in July, the government chips in up to $521.43. To qualify for this full amount, you must contribute a minimum of $1,042.86, be between the ages of 18 and 65, and have been a KiwiSaver member since at least 1 July of the previous year. (See all the details here)

These contributions are all added to your KiwiSaver account and, if you are a Generate member, invested by our expert Investment team in local and overseas markets.

These investments are intended to increase in value over time, and in turn grow your KiwiSaver balance. However, it is important to remember that investments can go up and down from month to month – this is a normal part of investing.

When can you withdraw your money?

KiwiSaver is a long-term savings plan, designed to help set you up for later in life. As KiwiSaver is designed for retirement, you are not able to access these funds whenever you like. That applies to all KiwiSaver providers, not just Generate.

There are typically only two times in life when you will be able to tap into your KiwiSaver savings:

1. When you reach NZ Superannuation age – currently 65i

2. When you are buying your first home. Find out how this works.

You may be able to make an early withdrawal in limited circumstances, such as below:

  • Significant financial hardship
  • Serious illness
  • Permanent emigration
  • A life-shortening congenital condition
  • Deceased estate
  • Trans-Tasman transfer to eligible Australian Superannuation provider

Contact us for more information.

What are the benefits?

KiwiSaver offers you benefits that you can’t get from any other investment. These include:

1. A minimum of 3% contribution from your employer

If you’re contributing to KiwiSaver from salary or wages, your employer is required to put in a minimum of 3% of your Before Tax Payii on top of your normal wages.

2. Annual government contributions of up to $521.43

For every $1 you put into your KiwiSaver account, the government will add 50 cents, up to a maximum Government Contribution of $521.43 per yeariii. This KiwiSaver bonus is added to your KiwiSaver savings, every year. Eligibility criteria applies, see details here.

3. First home withdrawals

Never owned a home before? When you’ve been a KiwiSaver member three years, you may be eligible to withdraw all funds from your KiwiSaver account* to help get into your first home. KiwiSaver is a great way to save towards your first home.

*Aside from $1,000 and any Australian Superannuation transfers.

4. Up to a $10,000 First Home Grant

On top of the first home withdrawal, you may also qualify for up to $10,000 from the Government as a First Home Grantiv. This could be just the boost you need. To see the details or apply, visit the Kainga Ora website here.

5. Your KiwiSaver money is held in trust

Generate customers have peace of mind knowing that Public Trust (a crown entity) are the supervisor of Generate and your KiwiSaver savings are held by them as custodian.

Frequently asked questions

How much could you save by 65?

Use our KiwiSaver calculator to see how much you could save for retirement. And make sure you check out the difference changing your contribution rate could have.

What if you’re self-employed or unemployed?

Even when you’re your own boss, or between jobs, KiwiSaver can be a smart choice. While the employer contribution wouldn’t be available, you could still get up to $521.43 from the government – as long as you put in $1042.86 during the year to June 30i.

If you plan to buy a first home, Kainga Ora require you to be a regularly contributing KiwiSaver member in order to qualify for the First Home Grant. That’s another big KiwiSaver benefit to consider.

What if you’re 65 or over?

Once you’ve qualified for NZ Super by turning 65, you can still keep working and contributing to your KiwiSaver account. But your employer isn’t obligated to contribute past your 65th birthday – although some still choose to. And you won’t be eligible for the Government Contribution.

The really big deal at 65 is that you are able to freely access you KiwiSaver funds, either as a lump sum or a regular withdrawal.

We find many people prefer to keep the bulk of their money invested in their Generate KiwiSaver account to continue some of the benefits being in a managed investment scheme brings.

We hope this info has been helpful – if there’s something we haven’t covered that you want to know about, check out the FAQs page.

Or for more details on the Generate KiwiSaver Scheme, see our Product Disclosure Statement.

Now is a great time to talk to Generate

The sooner you start saving smarter, the better off you’ll be later on. We will help you optimise your KiwiSaver contributions to provide maximum returns. Talk with one of the friendly Generate team to get started.


iIf you first joined KiwiSaver before 1 July 2019 and have not been a member for five-years you will lose eligibility for any future government or employer contributions if you make a withdrawal.

ii Less any employer superannuation contribution tax.

iii Minimum annual contribution required from you for annual Government Contribution is $1042 annually. You must be aged between 18 and 65 to qualify and have been a KiwiSaver member for the entire year 1 July – 30 June to qualify for the whole amount. Members who join with the year or turn 18 or 65 part-way through the year are only eligible for a pro-rata amount. For more details click here.

iv Conditions apply. See here for more information on eligibility or visit the Kāinga Ora website for conditions.