Kaupapahere me te rangahau | Policy and Research

KiwiSaver helps people save for retirement.

KiwiSaver is a voluntary, opt-out, portable retirement savings scheme that operates mainly through contributions the employer deducts directly from salary and wages and sends to Inland Revenue. (Non-salary and wage earners can also enrol directly with a scheme).

An introduction to KiwiSaver and how it operates, including enrolment and default providers, and policy settings can be found in our recent policy paper.

KiwiSaver balances

New research commissioned by TAAO from MJW shows the range of KiwiSaver balances by age and sex. This is the first time such detailed data have been available and there are two key findings.

40% of KiwiSaver members have a balance of less than $10,000

  • 19% of those with less than $10,000 are aged 17 and under
  • 24% of those with less than $10,000 are aged 18-25
  • 22% of those with less than $10,000 are aged 26-35
  • However, 21% of those aged 51-65 also have less than $10,000 and they may not have saved as much as they would have liked for their retirement.

Women have lower KiwiSaver balances than men across all age groups

  • Even in the under 17s and the 18 to 25-year-old age brackets
  • The gender pay gap only explains some of the difference in male and female KiwiSaver balances

Our Policy Brief contains our analysis of MJW’s report and additional analysis by MJW.

KiwiSaver was introduced in 2007 and is administered by Inland Revenue, the Treasury, and the Ministry of Business Employment and Innovation [MBIE]. It is the joint responsibility of the Ministers of Revenue, Finance, and Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

Te Ara Ahunga Ora recently undertook research on those people who are not currently contributing to their KiwiSaver. It is available here.

KiwiSaver is one form of retirement saving scheme but there are others across the OECD. See how NZ’s retirement income system compares to other countries. Download the paper.


KiwiSaver research from previous RRIPs

A report prepared for the 2019 RRIP provides some insights into KiwiSaver member behaviour as at 2018. Download the report

This commissioned report for the 2019 RRIP looks at ethical investments in KiwiSaver. Download the report

The 2016 RRIP looked at KiwiSaver from a number of perspectives, including surveys, reports and interviews with the public.