Opting back in

I opted out of KiwiSaver when I got my first job four years ago and now wish to opt back in. Is this easy to do, and do I still get the government $1000 kick-start?

Opting out of KiwiSaver will not prevent you from getting back in a second time if you reconsider. According Inland Revenue, when someone opts out of KiwiSaver, it's like they've never joined so there's nothing standing in your way of coming back. If you opted out the first time, you would never have received the kick-start or paid into the retirement savings intiative as there is a stand-down period before the contributions start taking effect. That means that yes, you'll qualify for the kick-start of  $1,000 as long as it remains on offer as well as the member tax credits.

I was however interested in hear the following from IRD should you get cold feet a second time.

If you are starting a new job, you will be automatically enrolled in KiwiSaver. As such, you have the option of opting out provided you do it within eight weeks. You also have to wait two weeks before you can apply to opt out as well. If you're past the eight week period, you might be eligible for what's called a "late opt out"or you can apply for an "early contributions holiday." However, and this is the interesting part to me, if you voluntarily sign up to KiwiSaver through your existing employer or through a provider, you can't opt out. So if you do elect to go this route, I would suggest you think it through carefully. Here's a link to the Government's KiwiSaver website explaining the opt-out rules. It also contains a dowloadable form for the opt out application which is returned to your employer or Inland Revenue.

For your interest, I've also looked up the conditions under which you may be eligible for a late opt-out for a period up to three months after receiving your first contribution.

  • your employer didn't supply you with a KiwiSaver employee information pack (KS3) within 7 days of you starting your job
  • Inland Revenue didn't send you an investment statement for the default KiwiSaver scheme that you were allocated to
  • your employer didn't give you an investment statement for their chosen KiwiSaver scheme
  • events outside your control prevented you from delivering your opt-out notice on time
  • you were automatically enrolled when you shouldn't have been.



Your access to our unique content is free - always has been. But ad revenues are under pressure so we need your direct support.

Become a supporter

Thanks, I'm already a supporter.