Choosing your KiwiSaver scheme provider
You can choose which scheme to join, even if you're provisionally allocated to an employer-chosen scheme or a default scheme.
Definition of scheme
A KiwiSaver scheme is where your savings are invested. All KiwiSaver schemes are registered with the Companies Office, included in the Disclose Register and offered and managed by KiwiSaver scheme providers.
You can choose from a wide range of schemes offered by a number of providers.
You can change your KiwiSaver scheme provider at any time, but you can only belong to one KiwiSaver scheme at a time.
There are a number of things to think about when choosing a scheme, such as performance, risk level and fees, as well as any specific features that are important to you such as ethical and social investment options. The Sorted website has more information to help you choose a provider and scheme.
You can choose from a wide range of schemes offered by a variety of organisations - from the big name banks, insurance companies and investment managers, through to specialist or boutique managers. Once you've joined KiwiSaver, your primary relationship will be with your KiwiSaver scheme provider. Here is a list of KiwiSaver scheme providers.
KiwiSaver is not guaranteed by the Government. This means you make your investment choices in a KiwiSaver scheme at your own risk.
However, all KiwiSaver schemes are regulated by the Financial Markets Authority in a similar way to other registered superannuation schemes. There are additional measures in place to make sure KiwiSaver schemes are competitive and members' best interests are looked after. For example:
- all KiwiSaver schemes are required to have fees that are reasonable
- default providers have a special contract with Government that requires them to meet additional reporting requirements, and
- default providers' activities and their default investment funds are closely monitored.
You can, at any time, choose to join the KiwiSaver scheme of your choice.
If you're automatically enrolled you'll be provisionally allocated to your employer's chosen scheme or to a default scheme. You can choose to stay in that scheme or change to a different one.
If you choose a KiwiSaver scheme provider yourself within the first 3 months of starting your new job, your contributions will go directly to your chosen scheme (not the one you were provisionally allocated to).
You can change schemes at any time.
Your employer can choose to have a preferred KiwiSaver scheme for employees who don't choose a scheme of their own. All new permanent employees must be eligible to be members of the scheme. If you're automatically enrolled in KiwiSaver you'll be provisionally allocated to your employer's chosen scheme.
What happens if you're no longer eligible?
Some employer chosen schemes may have defined membership criteria, for example working in a certain profession. If you become ineligible to be a member of your employer's chosen KiwiSaver scheme, then:
- your employer, or the provider, must notify both you and Inland Revenue in writing, and
- you can join a different KiwiSaver scheme, or
- Inland Revenue will provisionally allocate you to a default KiwiSaver scheme and give you 3 months to choose another scheme. If you don't choose another scheme within 3 months, Inland Revenue will confirm your enrolment in the default scheme.
Default KiwiSaver providers
If you don't choose a scheme for yourself, and your employer doesn't have a chosen scheme, Inland Revenue will allocate you to one of the nine government-appointed default providers:
- AMP Services (NZ) Limited
- ANZ New Zealand Investments Limited
- ASB Group Investments Limited
- Booster Investment Management Limited
- BNZ Investment Services Limited
- Fisher Funds Management Limited
- Kiwi Wealth Limited
- Mercer (NZ) Limited
- Westpac New Zealand Ltd.
If you are allocated to a default provider's KiwiSaver scheme your KiwiSaver contributions will be invested in the scheme's conservative investment fund option.
The Sorted website has more information about funds, providers, investment types and fees.
Definition of provider
A KiwiSaver scheme provider is an organisation that offers a KiwiSaver scheme and is responsible for managing your savings in the scheme.
Once you've joined KiwiSaver, your primary relationship will be with your KiwiSaver scheme provider. You should contact your scheme provider if you have any questions about your KiwiSaver membership and account.