Put in $1,043 and pick up another $521 for free - member tax credit reminder
Last year, more than one million KiwiSavers missed out on a potential $521 top up to their accounts.
Inland Revenue surveyed members in 2017 to better understand KiwiSaver behaviours and found that one-third of those that missed out on the full credit, didn't understand what a member tax credit was or were confused about how it worked.
More than 580,000 members didn't get a cent because they contributed nothing to their accounts.
KiwiSavers who forget, fail or can't be bothered to get free money and into in their own accounts miss out on more than the 'free money.' They miss out on the compounding returns they'd have received had they stayed invested, keeping up their own contributions and Governments.
The member tax credit was introduced 10 years ago when KiwiSaver was first introduced as an incentive to save. It's discouraging that a decade on, there remains so much confusion about what is a good deal for savers. Where else are you going to get a 50% return on your investment?
In the early days of KiwiSaver, it was a 100% return on investment (that is they matched you dollar for dollar up to $1,000) but National halved it in 2011 to save money.
Even at half, it's still a damn good deal. The knowledgeable investor knows this and makes sure their account is topped up before the June 30th deadline.
If you are earning $40,000 a year and paying the minimum 3% contribution from your pay, you'll automatically receive it so there's no need to panic. Self-employed folks or those on a break from the workforce or below that salary bracket, need to make sure they've got at least $1,043 in the KiwiSaver tin before the end of June.
A year can easily sneak up on you, which is why it's recommended that those aren't on salary pay $20 a week into their account through auto payments via online banking. It helps to ensure you get that top up of $521 in July/August when it's paid out.
If you haven't been in KiwiSaver for a full 12 months, you'll still receive partial tax credits which are pro-rated to the day you joined.
If you're the forgetful type and don't know how much you've paid, you can see a breakdown under your login as a Simplicity member. It's under My Money or My Transactions. If you aren't with Simplicity or you joined us after June 30th, 2017, you can check your contribution levels with the IRD.
A reminder that members under the age of 18, aren't eligible for the MTCs. Something to look forward to when they're 18 and start building nest eggs on their own.