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How good is KiwiSaver if you’re over 65?

KiwiSaver is often touted as a great savings option for young people wanting to get on track for their financial lives. But what about people who are nearing the end of their careers?

The retirement savings scheme can be a useful financial tool, even if you’re already into your retirement years. Here’s how.

Joining KiwiSaver

Recent rule changes mean that people who are over 65 can now join KiwiSaver and move freely between providers. People who join aged 60 to 64 are no longer locked in for five years before they can withdraw their money.

This means you can join the scheme if you haven’t already and deposit a lump sum you’ve saved elsewhere if you want to, to consolidate all your retirement savings in one spot.

You can also move between schemes. This is helpful if you discover that another provider offers more perks that you’ll find useful in your retirement years – maybe one that suits your investment focus better, or with an advice component.

Fees

One of the big benefits of being in KiwiSaver as opposed to any of the other managed funds you might look at for your retirement savings is the level of fees charged.

KiwiSaver funds tend to charge lower fees than those that are outside the scheme, but you still get an accessible, easy-to-understand scheme that gives you a wide range of options for your money.

Access your money

Once you’re 65, you can dip into your KiwiSaver account whenever you want to. There are none of the restrictions that apply to younger investors.

You can take out all the money in one hit, if you want to, or take lump sums from time to time. Many providers allow you to set up a system so that you withdraw a certain amount on a regular basis, if you want to supplement your other income.

The rules for withdrawing Australian superannuation that’s been transferred to KiwiSaver are a little different – in that case, you need to have retired and intend not to work more than 10 hours a week again.

Get advice

Some KiwiSaver providers offer a personalised advice component so that you can have a meeting with a financial adviser each year to check in on your financial situation – with no extra charge.

You might talk about how your investments are structured, what you’re contributing if you’re still earning and what your goals are.

This is some of the cheapest financial advice available and a big perk for people who might not otherwise have enough money to justify the services of an investment adviser or financial planner, but who need a hand with managing their retirement finances.

Contributions

You can continue to make contributions to KiwiSaver if you’re working past 65, but your employer doesn’t have to.

If they do, it makes sense to continue to at least put in as much as is being matched.

Current settings mean you won’t get the Government’s member tax credit.
If you need to put your own contributions on hold for a bit, you can apply for a savings suspension.

Need a hand?

Get in touch today. We can talk through how KiwiSaver can be a valuable tool in your retirement planning, even once you’re near retirement age.

Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current development or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek advice from a financial adviser.