Q) How do I know what's going on with my KiwiSaver account? A) Start digging

Q) How do I know what's going on with my KiwiSaver account? A) Start digging

KiwiSaver Q&A with Personal Finance Editor Amanda Morrall

Question: With whom or how can you check that employee and employer contributions get transfered from the IRD to the KiwiSaver provider? I am still waiting on my October 2010 employers contribution to appear in my Gareth Morgan account. They say it is still with IRD, IRD say it is with my employer or it has been passed to Gareth Morgan. My employer says they pay every month full amount.

Answer: Good question. And I doubt you're not the only one stumped on the financial flow of KiwiSaver money. Inland Revenue explains this process on its website under the KiwiSaver section. Here's the link. You should take a moment to read it fully yourself but in nutshell, this is what happens:

When you first join KiwiSaver there is a three month delay before Inland Revenue passes your and their contributions over to your provider. Your NZ$1,000 kick-start will follow with your first contributions. Ongoing contributions also take about three months to reach your KiwiSaver account too. Sometime it can take longer if Inland Revenue needs to confirm something with your employer. Or delays can also be caused by your employer filing late or making a mistake, or if they didn't pay the correct amount.

If your patience is exhausted, you've checked with all the appropriate parties and you're still struggling for an answer, you might have to step it up a notch. There is no KiwiSaver ombudsman as such however the Government Actuary effectively serves that role. Interestingly enough, the Government Actuary's job will be phased out when the Financial Markets Authority is established in May. Presumably, a complaints process with be established through the new authority.

Another good way to tell what's going on with your KiwiSaver is to register on-line with Inland Revenue and then review the comings and goings in your KiwiSaver through the  "My KiwiSaver" page.

Here you'll be able to see your KiwiSaver balance as well as all the transactions that take place with it. You can also update personal information and appy for a contribution holiday on-line (not that I'm encouraging that.) On the IRD website itself, you can also see detailed earning information and how much you pay in taxes. This is all useful stuff to know, if you aren't already an active user.

Inland Revenue suggests you check up on your KiwiSaver account regularly. They suggest every six months as that would allow for any time delays you might experience while waiting for the release of money to your provider. You can also check up on your KiwiSaver account through your provider's on-line facilities but the extent of the information varies widly among the providers. Those inconsistencies are something the Ministry of Economic Development is expected to iron out, under the big umbrella of financial reporting requirements currently under review.

The biggest hassle in all this is remembering yet another password. My suggestion is to add these useful websites to your favourites on your computer and try to make a habit of checking in on them on regular basis. As your KiwiSaver account grows in size, so you will level of interest.

I hope that answers your question.

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Bernard,

What's with the stupid blue AMP KiwiSaver ad following me around this page? Can you get rid of it!!!

The “stupid blue AMP KiwiSaver ad” is what you call an invasive sort of SPAM virus advertising system called “push advertising”. It is like a sales rep thinks the louder he shouts the more he sells. The opposite occurs of course.

To get rid of it, download Firefox browser, install the addon “adblock plus”, TACO, and NoScript. Those will block all intrusive pesky advertising.

be careful of what you wish for ...  The reason we can bring you all our content live-and-free is because of the support of our advertisers and sponsors. Without them, no interest.co.nz

To be clear, our goal is to deliver the best independent content, without fear or favour, so that our readership grows, and that audience is attractive to advertisers. Without you, and thousands like you, we would not be able to draw advertisers and sponsors. So we know that being fiercely independent is the key to what we do.

No advertiser or sponsor ever directs or influences our coverage.

I have no issues with advertising - but this box follows you around and obscures the text you are trying to read!

David, I agree with the principle you outline, what I detest is being steamrolled and advertisers either secretly snoop on my browsing or thrust things in my face and are being intrusive. Advertising can be quite good as information on what is available, but it will always be my choice to read or not to read it. That is why I have wholesale blocked certain advertisers. The way on this page “offers for readers” is actually quite good. Another angle is that some intrusive live ads grind up the memory and processor power so the PC grinds to a snail pace if you allow them when you open several pages at the same time in tabs.

Really, I find this web based “guerilla media” quite good, that is why I spend time commenting from time to time, and I would not mind to participate myself with a few articles and views on New Zealand as seen from outside. I like a direct and “Huffington Post” style, but maybe it is not possible in the New Zealand restricted and highly censored media environment. The New Zealand defamation laws for instance put a very low cieeleng on what you can say and are restricting free speech very much.

Kiwi saver may look like a good idea, and it is, except for one issue. The government politicians and bureaucrats have access to the money. Look at the Greece “Kiwisaver”, people have saved for a lifetime and in ten years there are no money left in the kitty, similar as Sweden, only 50% is left. Politicians and bureaucrats have “invested” the funds and the funds just disappeared, just as in the Hanover Finance case. What happened of course is that the funds have been squandered, invested in government projects by governments to buy votes to stay in power, of course it is not called “corruption” as they said the did it for the “best of the nation”, and of course to safeguard their own power and positions. If you want to move and live overseas, the government stop your payments, create a departure tax like the US of 30% of your savings, or Sweden with its SINK tax of 25% for everything that goes out of the country.

 

New Zealand politicians has already said they will “invest” in New Zealand, not where it is best for the savers, so make sure you save for your old age out of sight and out of touch from governments. International financial centra like Singapore and Hong Kong are good, just make sure the money is not connected to your ID. They might decide you are a “tax dodger” to get their hands on your savings.

Good points rick especially considering the money run  around Amanda describes. Plenty of potential for others to get your money and/or clip the ticket on the way thru. 3 months! My electronic banking happens overnight.

And you are correct that the government controls your account (including the money you have sacrificed) and can change the rules and access as you describe has happened in other countries.

It would be interesting to calculate how much interest the IRD is making on the 3 month money. Does this get credited to your account when the deposit ultimately comes thru?

No, the Government cannot access the money in your KiwiSaver account, any more than they can access the money in your bank account. They don't control it - your KiwiSaver provider, who you're free to choose, does, and if you don't like what they do then you're free to switch to another. 

What the Government could do, which would have a similar effect (ie reduce the amount of money available to you when you retire) is cut down on NZS payments and/or divert money from the NZSF.    That's an argument for doing as much as you can to ensure that you're not going to be reliant on state provision in retirement.

They could also in future change the rules about their own contributions, so you don't get as much Government subsidy; but they can't do that retrospectively, so that's an argument for grabbing what you can while you can - but most certainly not putting all your faith and hopes for retirement into this one vehicle. 

Then again, a body should not have all their retirement prospects tied up into /any/ one vehicle anyway.

Yes, you do get the interest that builds up while IRD have your money.

WRONG, they can access the money, not on an individual basis, but collectively. With laws and regulation and back door lobbying and pressure they direct the money into what is best for them at any time, and it gets lost that way. A country like Sweden, and a few others, invented the system decades ago, and it is very clever. Kiwisaver will become your asset, you are rich if you save, and everything else as Super will be asset tested. You will not receive any money as now, but you can go to local “soup kitchens” and eat free, and live in government dormitories, they used to be called poor houses, if you like. Asset tested of course.

What is happening is that Kiwisaver is just another tax, people pay for the present super through taxes, and pay for their own super through Kiwisaver, a sort of double taxation. When the system once has come into full swing, the present super and social welfare will all be means tested. If you move overseas everything you get from Kiwisaver or Super will be heavily taxed with special taxes.

Stupid naive Kiwis thing that they are saving for old age and will have money in addition to the Super, NO, they are joining a clever scheme with the secret agenda to abolish Super and social welfare and increase the governments money take. It is just not called “tax” any longer.

Don’t argue this, it is already a reality overseas. New Zealand is just copying what exists. Make sure you save out of reach and out of sight of governments, IRD, and officials.

I object to being told what I can and can't argue.

I do not agree that your account is what the present Government intends, or that it is what a future Government is bound to do.   You have absolutely no evidence for that assertion.  While it is certainly true that the increasing cost of old age pensions (as the number of old people increases) is going to put enormous fiscal and political pressure on future Governments in NZ and many other countries, there are different ways in which future Governments might respond to that; numerous reasons why it would be poor economic, let alone political, policy to respond by introducing means testing for Super and other benefits and to apply the means testing only  to KiwiSaver assets.   So there is no reason to think that funds in KiwiSaver accounts are any less "out of reach to governments, IRD and officials" than are funds in any other kind of account.

You can do anything you like, argue, scream, shout, or stomp your feet, but the evidence is in maybe 50 years of history in EU. Just go and read it. What you can not do is control your money once you have handed it over to government control. New Zealand just does not allow that level of democracy. You are limited to vote once in a while, and argue. As soon as any government gets their sticky fingers on anyone’s money, they will use ever avenue to take advantage of that situation. The present government has already publicly stated that Kiwi saver funds should be invested only in New Zealand, so there you are, they decide what to do with your collective money.

I know of one guy, he spent eight years in uni overseas, worked like a slave to pay off all debts, then immigrated to New Zealand, debt free, had enough cash to buy a house, and brought with him a 500,000 worth education free for New Zealand. He paid his taxes in New Zealand all his life, never any problems. Then he was ripped off in a secret divorce case, lost most of his savings. Now he moved overseas as retired, but clever scam New Zealand now allows him to get about half his super entitlement only, as he has not live all his life in Kiwiland. Sorry, New Zealandis well worth its reputation of being the “Nigeriaof the South Pacific”, “scammer’s paradise”, “retarded”, “nation of liars and cheaters”, “state racism”, and all the other derogative jokes Kiwis never hear as it is cut by the domestic censors system.

I am a lucky man, I am retired too, but more by accident than choice, I worked and lived overseas most of my life, I have my own retirement scheme, with no government control, I go where I want, live where I want, and nobody can touch my retirement. I love it.

You want a good old age, do what I did. Save beyond sight and touch by any government.

Good to meet a kindred spirit ! ......... Governments simply are not to be trusted , they lie , steal and cheat in a manner which would get directors of a publicily listed company locked up ......

....... twits who witter on about " my pension " or " my entitlements " deserve to live a life of abject poverty .

Quite simply , you gotta take control of your own life , be responsible fully , for decisions you make , and never - never ever - expect a hand-out or a bail-out from the government of the day , for your failures .

I love secret agendas.    That whole romantic notion of clever people in the background who actually know 100% of what's going on and control society.      I really laugh when TV dramas portray Govt officials (from any country) as wily, cunning, ultra-sharp operators.      The truth is very different and I am pleased about that.       

Yes – I think you are right. The truth is very different. They are not wily, cunning, ultra-sharp operators. They just want money and control, as simple as that.

Government retirement schemes was a good idea, but has just become another money grubbing parallel tax system to get as much cash off Ewen Mee as possible. Most EU countries had it for many decades, and look what is happening. There is not enough money left in the kitty to pay the retirements they collected the money for. It has been squandered by the generations of officials and politicians, who themselves have top pay and are well cared for in retirement.

Wake up. Why do you think that you are not allowed to save yourself for your own retirement, I mean, beyond the government control.

I am glad that your easy charm and winning way with words have served you well and I hope you have a long and happy retirement.    However, if you find yourself in the care of a publicly-funded NZ health facility in your twilight years, remember to thank your lucky stars that this evil, money-grabbing NZ Government will still do their best to prolong your life and provide you with excellent health care, no matter what you think of them and no matter what lengths you seem to have gone to avoid contributing towards the cost of it.  

Hey - what am I saying?  I am sure you will have worked that one out all by yourself.   I wonder if there are there stats around how many elderly Kiwis return from whatever tax-free haven as soon as they get their first significant health scare?

 

 

 

I don't need it, China has no publicly funded health care, but older people are better taken care of here than in New Zealand, they are not treated as waste products of the society and just put on hold until disposed of. They are not left to rot in front of a TV, in a body sock to keep the cold out because they can not afford to pay the government’s electricity bill. I hear that 40% is malnutritioned  (Herald). There is no WINZ to chase them to keep the costs of them down and no IRD chase them to retrieve maximum from them. You are not forced to sell your assets and home to afford the New Zealand means tested operations. Pensioners are not taxed in China. There is no waiting for an elective operation. There is no shortage of medical practitioner so the poor guys left have to do a bit of guessing. When I go and get a tooth fixed I pay the full price, $20, and the guy do a much better job than I ever experienced in New Zealand. If a pensioner comes the dentist give a special price of $2. I think I should pay as I have the money.

Of course there are some good things about New Zealand, but it is not what people in general think.

P.S. and I am not thrown on the garbage heap at 50 as in New Zealand where I am classified as “overqualified” by the New Zealand secret recruiters and “management consultants” or employers who don’t want “niggers, slanteyes or oldies” (actually, truly, it is an exact quite from a senior manager in a well know New Zealand company, in private of course). Older people experience and knowledge is highly sought after in china.