Q: With whom or how can you check that employee and employer contributions get transfered from the IRD to the KiwiSaver provider?

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.

A: 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 theGovernment 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.

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