Ten years of KiwiSaver, where to from here?

Donna Nicolof, BNZ’s Head of Wealth and Private Bank, reflects on ten years of KiwiSaver and looks forward into the next decade, identifying a number of changes that could be implemented to generate even greater benefits.

It’s been ten years since the launch of KiwiSaver, which was introduced on 2 July 2007 to get New Zealanders into saving and better preparing for their retirement.

There’s certainly a lot to celebrate with this birthday. Continue reading…

Responsible investment policy prompts changes in BNZ KiwiSaver scheme

In September 2016 we announced we would be reviewing the BNZ KiwiSaver Scheme investments. We’re glad to report that we’ve developed a responsible investment policy spanning all investments made on behalf of our customers.

This has led to a number of exclusions being applied in our international equity holdings. Companies involved in the production of cluster munitions, anti-personnel mines, nuclear weapons as well as tobacco are excluded.

Continue reading…

Investors nerves on edge as US election approaches

BNZ Private Bank Analyst, Katie Thompson, gives us an overview of the current state of play and what you can expect to see in financial markets in the lead up to the US election day.

The US presidential election will take place in just over four weeks, on 8 November 2016. The thought of Republican candidate, Donald Trump, becoming the president of the world’s largest economy is making investors nervous, and setting the stage for more market volatility, given his unconventional views and lack of clear policy direction. Continue reading…

Brexit still got you on edge?

BNZ Private Bank Analyst Chris Stephens, takes a closer look at the impact of Brexit on global financial markets and some of the other key issues that could affect investment returns going forward.

In the week that followed the UK’s referendum vote to exit the European Union (EU), global financial markets fell heavily, but quickly recouped their lost ground. In fact, during the three months since the vote, investors have been quick to shift their focus away from Brexit to other issues that may impact investment returns.

Continue reading…

Don’t miss out on the ‘free five hundy,’ KiwiSavers!

Get a head start now and be sure not to miss out on a ‘free five hundy’ next year. BNZ has this life hack sorted for you.

Did you know there’s an incentive put in place by Government that basically means you could receive up to $521.43 a year just for contributing to your KiwiSaver account? It’s called the KiwiSaver Member Tax Credit (MTC). Here’s the deal: Continue reading…

The easiest $521 you’ll ever make

If you’re relatively new to KiwiSaver or don’t know too much about it, then you may not know that there’s an incentive put in place by the Government that basically means you could get up to $521 a year just for contributing to your KiwiSaver account. Here’s the scoop:

Each year, if you qualify, the Government will contribute 50 cents for every dollar you contribute to your KiwiSaver account – up to a maximum Government contribution of $521.43. Sounds good, right?

To get the maximum credit, you need to contribute at least $1,042.86 during the MTC year, which runs from 1 July to 30 June, and be eligible for the full year.

With 30 June fast approaching, if you haven’t already contributed enough, now is the time to top-up your account to make the most of this great incentive.

Anything else you need to know?

Visit bnz.co.nz/mtc for more information and eligibility criteria. Importantly, if you joined KiwiSaver part way through the MTC year, or were eligible for only part of the year (for example, you turned 18 during the year), then your maximum MTC entitlement will be pro-rated depending on how long you qualified to receive it.

Have you contributed enough?

The onus is on you to check you’ve paid enough into your KiwiSaver account each year. It can be a bit tricky to know exactly how much you’ve contributed in any one year, especially if you’ve been contributing to your KiwiSaver account directly via your salary or wages. That’s because there is a delay between your contributions being collected by your employer and these making their way through the system and into your KiwiSaver account.

Here are some quick tips to know if you’ve contributed enough to maximise your MTC this year:

  • If you earn an annual salary or wages of $35,000 or more and have contributed at a minimum rate of 3% from your pay, then the chances are you’re on track to maximise your credit.
  • If you make voluntary contributions equivalent to $20 a week or more, you’ll also be on track.
  • Register and log in to ‘My KiwiSaver’, a service provided by Inland Revenue, where you can see all of the contributions you’ve made into your KiwiSaver account via your salary or wages.
  • If you’re a member of the BNZ KiwiSaver Scheme, log in to BNZ Internet Banking to see what your member contributions add up to. Remember, not all of your more recent contributions may have arrived into your KiwiSaver account as yet.
  • Check your pay slips to see how much you’ve contributed.

Time is running out!

If you haven’t made the most of your entitlement this year, it’s not too late. You can make a one-off contribution to top up your account. The easiest way is to make a voluntary payment to your KiwiSaver account.

If you’re a member of the BNZ KiwiSaver Scheme and a BNZ customer, log in to BNZ Internet Banking and simply transfer the money between your accounts. Our advice would be to ensure that your money is in your BNZ KiwiSaver Scheme account by Wednesday 24 June to make sure it counts.

If your KiwiSaver account is with another provider, please check with them for the easiest way to make a contribution and when they’d need to receive this by.

Donna Nicolof is BNZ’s Head of Wealth and Private Bank