Frequently Asked Questions

Common KiwiSaver FAQs
  • ​Anyone can join a KiwiSaver Scheme as long as they are under 65. However, you must be living or normally living in New Zealand, be a New Zealand citizen or have permanent residency. If you are over 65 and already a member of a KiwiSaver Scheme then you can transfer to us too. There are generous government incentives for everyone; including children, students, employees, self employed, not employed, stay at home spouses and beneficiaries. 

  • You have probably heard a lot about KiwiSaver and retirement in the news over the last few years and should know why it is so important to save for your retirement. The facts are hard to ignore:

    • There are generous government incentives on offer that should not be missed out on. Especially the HomeStart grant of up to $5,000 ($10,000 for new builds) and the $521.43 Member Tax Credit per year (for every $1 you put into your KiwiSaver account, the government will put in 50 cents up to a maximum of $521.43) if you meet certain eligibility criteria, including being over 18.
    • Life expectancies are continuing to increase and most people will live well past the current retirement age of 65.
    • Planning to live off New Zealand Superannuation alone may not allow you to enjoy your retirement or the lifestyle you are currently used to. NZ Super as at 1 April 2016 is $443.43 per week for a single person living alone or $335.74 each per week for a couple (before tax).
    • If you’re hoping to maintain your current lifestyle when you retire you need to start making plans to start saving now. For example: If you’re earning a salary of $60,000 a year (pre-tax), you will generally need two thirds of your salary for each year of your retirement ($40,000) before allowing for inflation. NZ Super is only around $23,058.36 per year for an individual or $34,916.96 per year for a couple (before tax). 

    If you are employed, please use our contributions table to see what contributions you will need to make toward your KiwiSaver account. If you can't afford the contributions from your pay, you should not join a KiwiSaver scheme. If you are already in a KiwiSaver scheme and are having trouble making contributions, please see the Contribution Holiday FAQ section below for information about possibly stopping your contributions. We can also recommend a budgeting service that may be able to help you.

Generate FAQs
  • You can access daily fund prices here on our website and keep up-to-date with monthly ‘plain English’ email newsletters, annual reports and audited financial statements. Our members also have private login details to our website so they can always view the full details of their investments, including how much they have saved and transaction information.

    You can contact one of our Generate KiwiSaver Scheme specialists anytime at contact us or by phone on 0800 855 322.

  • ​As the Trustee, Public Trust has full oversight of your KiwiSaver investment.  Public Trust is New Zealand's most enduring trustee organisation. It’s the only Crown entity that acts as a trustee serving the corporate and business market in New Zealand. Providing corporate trustee services to some of the best known names in the finance and investment industry (both locally and internationally). Public Trust’s role is important, as it is the supervisor of your investment in the Scheme. Public Trust does not guarantee the performance of the Scheme or any of the Funds.

    The Generate KiwiSaver Scheme will be audited every year, currently our auditor is Grant Thornton New Zealand. Grant Thornton is one of the world's leading organisations of independent assurance, tax and advisory firms. Grant Thornton New Zealand operates from three locations in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, with 32 partners and more than 240 professional and management services staff.

  • We believe that international investment markets are not perfect. Too often human nature, including fear and greed, will drive investment decisions. This creates a market where someone may want to buy or sell assets at a price below or above their fair value. Active management aims to take advantage of those situations.

    Active managers rely on analytical research, forecasts, and their own judgment and experience in making investment decisions on what securities to buy, hold and sell. The opposite of active management is called passive management, better known as "indexing", where an investor simply buys a proportion of all the shares in an index, like the NZX50, and will receive the same return as the market.

    We have identified market-leading investment managers who have all fashioned outstanding track records over a long period of time. We invest in funds that have substantial funds under management and are run by well-resourced teams of investment managers and research analysts located around the world. Importantly, some of our managers seek positive returns from rising and falling asset prices. After all, the Global Financial Crisis was a timely reminder that asset prices don’t always go up in value.

    All investments have different levels of risk. For information on the risks see the Generate Product Disclosure Statement or Generate KiwiSaver Scheme Risks below.

  • At Generate we maintain total transparency in everything we do, including the fees we charge to manage your KiwiSaver investment. We do not hide fees or layers of additional cost to members by investing in other entities owned by our parent company. We also do not receive rebates or use leverage which may increase the fees paid. We have set out all our fees in the Product Disclosure Statement so you can see absolutely everything. Below is a summary:

    Funds Manager's Fee
    Trustee & Custody Estimated Underlying Managers' Fee
    Total Fund Fees
    Administration Fee $ Per Member Per Month
    Conservative Fund
    Growth Fund
    Focused Growth Fund

    Potential Additional Fees

    Underlying Managers Performance Fees (Growth Fund and Focused Growth Fund)
    To be actively managed by the Manager to an average performance fee of 15% of excess returns above a target level across the portfolio of International Equities Managers.
    Fund Expenses
    The Manager has the ability to recover operating and administration expenses from the Scheme only to the extent that they (excluding transaction costs) plus such expenses of International Equities Managers at the underlying Fund level, do not exceed 0.2%.

  • The Product Disclosure Statement sets out the risks of the Scheme. Some of these are listed below.

    Equity risk
    The funds invest in different classes of assets, each with different risks attached to them. Funds that invest in shares will generally have higher levels of risk attached to them. For all assets there is the risk that the asset will not perform to the target rate of return and your returns will be lower than anticipated (or even negative for a period of time).

    Tax and regulatory risk
    Changes in the tax rates and tax rules of New Zealand and in countries in which investments are made by the funds could adversely affect your investment. In addition, changes to the KiwiSaver regime and government incentives could adversely affect your investment.

    Market risk
    Investment markets are affected by a range of social, political and economic factors, in both New Zealand and internationally that may impact share prices, property values and interest rates, which could adversely affect your investments.

    Liquidity risk
    If the assets of a fund become illiquid then the fund may be unable to sell those assets which would affect that fund’s ability to make payments on time.

    Derivatives risk
    Derivatives may be used as a risk management tool by the funds and IEMs and as an alternative to investing in a physical asset by the IEMs. Derivatives may not perform as expected and may result in increased volatility and unexpected gains or losses. 

    Other specific risks

    Underlying fund risk
    The Growth Fund and Focused Growth Fund both invest in IEMs. Some of the IEMs that these funds invest into may also use commodities, derivatives, currencies, fixed interest and other securities to help them achieve their investment strategies. Most of these managers are able to suspend withdrawals from their funds in limited circumstances. This could result in the funds being unable to make payments on time.

    Foreign exchange risk
    When the funds invest in international investments foreign currency movements could affect the investment performance of the funds. We actively manage the Foreign Exchange Risk and typically enter into foreign exchange transactions, a practice known as ‘hedging’.

  • ​We take our Anti-Money Laundering/Countering Financing of Terrorism responsibilities very seriously and as a result have put in place robust processes and procedures so that Generate can play its part in this important endeavour.

    Please contact us to find out more.

  • Step 1: Open the Generate homepage ( on your phone browser. On iPhone - you need to use Safari. On Android - common options are Chrome or Firefox.

    Step 2: Click the 'sharing' icon which is the box with the arrow at the bottom of the page on Safari (on an Android the same symbol will usually be in the menu which drops down from the top right of the screen).

    Step 3: Find the 'Add to Home Screen' option. On iPhone - this is on the bottom row of options, you may have to scroll to the right. On Android - the option will appear on a drop down menu.

    Step 4: Save with the title 'Generate'. It may auto-populate as shown below in which case you can just delete '- Homepage'.

    Step 5: If the Generate 'G' shows up on the phone home screen then you are done!

Joining KiwiSaver
  • Yes, everyone under 65 who is living (or normally living) in New Zealand, and is a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident can join, and we welcome children. It’s a great way to save for their first home and to teach them the importance of saving along the way. However, since the Government removed the $1,000 kick-start contribution there are no incentives for children under 18 to join. If you are not making contributions to your child's account then KiwiSaver is not recommended for under 18's.  

    Is your child aged 16 or 17?

    – If your child is already a member of a KiwiSaver scheme, or is married, in a civil union or de facto relationship, then they can sign alone.

    – Otherwise both your child and one of their parent(s) or guardian(s) are required to sign the application.

    – Your child will need to verify their identity. Identification is also required for the parent or guardian if they are required to sign the form with your child.

    – Your child will also need to provide their IRD number.

    Are you aged 15 and under?

    – If your child is becoming a KiwiSaver member for the first time, both of their parent(s) or all of their guardian(s) are required to sign the application.

    – If your child is already a member of a KiwiSaver scheme, one of their parent(s) or guardian(s) can sign if they have consulted and are acting in agreement with the childs other parent or all of the childs other legal guardian(s).

    – Your child will need to verify their identity. Identification is also required for the parent(s) or guardian(s) who are signing.

    – Your child will also need to provide their IRD number.

  • Yes, everyone under 65 who is living (or normally living) in New Zealand, and is a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, can join, and we welcome stay at home mums and dads. You will get exactly the same benefits as anyone who is self employed or not employed: up to $521.43 per year Member Tax Credit (50 cents for every dollar you contribute. To get the maximum Member Tax Credit you will need to be a KiwiSaver member for the full year and contribute $1,042.86. If you are over 18 but under the Retirement Age (and meet certain other criteria) you may be able to take advantage of the first-home withdrawal opportunity and, if you’re eligible, the HomeStart grant from Housing New Zealand.

    Everyone should save for their retirement and as a couple it makes sense for you to both contribute to a KiwiSaver Scheme as you may both receive the KiwiSaver benefits and enjoy more for your retirement together.

  • ​Once we have processed your application we will notify the IRD. The IRD will then send your employer a letter telling them you have joined a KiwiSaver Scheme and to start making contributions, how much to contribute and when to start contributing.

    This process may take time so if you want to avoid any delays please tell your employer you have joined and to start making deductions – if they have any questions they can call us on 0800 855 322 or IRD on 0800 549 472.

  • All KiwiSaver scheme applicants need to have copies of their documents certified by an Approved Person (see the list below) as being a true copy of the original document and that they represent the identity of the applicant or parent/guardian.

    Approved persons who are able to certify:

    • An employee or agent (including advisers who have agreed to be our agent for this purpose) of Generate.
    • Justice of the Peace or Notary Public
    • Registered teacher
    • Lawyer
    • Chartered accountant
    • Police officer
    • Registered medical doctor
    • Member of parliament
    • Any other person who has the legal authority to witness statutory declarations in New Zealand

    Approved persons must be over the age of 16 and cannot be:

    • your spouse or partner;
    • a person who lives at the same address as you; or
    • related to you, e.g. a parent, sibling, child, aunt, uncle or cousin.

    The original form of identification must be viewed by the Approved Person who then compares it with a photocopied, scanned or photographed version. The Approved Person then signs and dates the copy and prints their name and occupation alongside the following statement:

    "I certify this to be a true copy of the original document and confirm that it represents the identity of (full name of applicant or parent/guardian)."

    This certification can also be made on the application form under Certification of Identity in the Adviser information section.

    Certification must have been carried out in the 3 months prior to the presentation of the copied documents. If you already have certified documents within this time frame, they will be acceptable. Certified copies must be entirely legible and the photos clear.

Choosing a fund
  • ​The Focused Growth Fund is a Fund designed for the long term investor who is prepared to accept a higher level of rises and falls in the value of your savings for the potential of better long term returns. The more exposure you have to growth assets over the long term the more you should be able to maximise the value of your savings for retirement. 

  • Your PIR is your Prescribed Investor Rate which is the tax rate applied to any income attributed to your Generate KiwiSaver Scheme account. Because the Generate KiwiSaver Scheme is a Portfolio Investment Entity (PIE) we calculate and pay the tax owing from your KiwiSaver account for you. This makes it easy for you and we will send you a tax statement every year setting out how much tax you have paid.

    Your PIR tells us at what rate we should pay the tax on your account. The PIR rates are different from your normal income tax rate so if you don’t know your PIR, you need to find out. Either ask your accountant, call the IRD on 0800 227 774 or please see our page Working our your Prescribed Investor Rate (PIR). You can also go to the IRD website for more information.

    It is important to get your PIR right.  Please tell us as soon as possible if your PIR changes. If your PIR is too low you may have more tax to pay and if your PIR is too high you may end up paying too much tax from your KiwiSaver account which you will not be able to get back.

  • ​“Most investment professionals agree that, although it does not guarantee against loss, diversification is the most important component of reaching long-range financial goals while minimizing risk”*.

    The simplest example of diversification is provided by the proverb "Don't put all your eggs in one basket". Dropping the basket will break all the eggs. Placing each egg in a different basket is more diversified. There is more risk of losing one egg, but less risk of losing all of them.

    Our strategy spreads the risk of investing accross a number of investment managers, investment strategies and markets. We further diversify your savings by combining property, infrastructure, fixed interest and cash assets with our chosen investment funds to create our Growth Fund. The Focused Growth Fund is similar to the Growth Fund except that it has a higher weighting of International Equities Manager investments and no fixed income investments. We alos offer a conservative Fund that invests only in these same property, infrastructure, fixed income and cash assets.

    *Investopedia “The importance of diversification

  • ​If you are an employee, you can choose to put in 3% (the default rate if you don’t make a choice), 4% or 8% of your Before Tax Pay. The amount of your contributions is deducted from your after-tax pay.

  • In cases where you are employed, over 18 and yet to reach your Retirement Date, your employer will top up your contribution with a contribution at the minimum employer rate, currently 3% of your Before Tax Pay. Employer Superannuation Contribution Tax is deducted from employer contributions.

    People who are self-employed, not employed or under 18 and not employed can choose how much they want to put in and when. 

  • If you are self employed, or not employed, there is no minimum initial investment. It is your choice to contribute and a good way to do that is by direct debit. You can fill out a Generate KiwiSaver Scheme  Direct Debit Form with the application. 

    If you are employed, you will have to contribute 3%, 4% or 8% of your gross salary or wages. If you contribute, your employer generally will also contribute 3% (if you are over 18 but under Retirement Age and meet certain other criteria)*, and for every dollar that you pay into the Generate KiwiSaver Scheme up to $ 1,042.86, the government will contribute $0.50c (up to a maximum of $521.43) (see Member Tax Credit if you are over 18 but under Retirement Age and meet certain other criteria)*. 

    If you are employed and you do not want to continue contributions to your KiwiSaver account you may be able to go on a contributions holiday for up to 5 years. This can be rolled over for a further 5 years or you can choose to start making contributions again at anytime. On a contribution holiday you do not have to contribute to your KiwiSaver account. However, in this instance you will not receive the government Member Tax Credit or your employer’s contribution. (You can still receive the Member Tax Credit if you make voluntary contributions - not out of your salary or wages - while you are on a contribution holiday).

    *Conditions apply – see the Product Disclosure Statement for details.

  • ​Yes, however the government will not make Member Tax Credit contributions whilst you are not resident in New Zealand.

  • ​No. The KiwiSaver Act specifically excludes KiwiSaver contribution deductions from redundancy payouts.

Contribution Holidays & Withdrawing from KiwiSaver
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