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Benchmark Set in Supporting Under 18s

News release
28 March 2008

Benchmark Set in Supporting Under 18s through KiwiSaver

Leading supermarket retailer, Progressive Enterprises, is set to support its staff aged under 18 in saving for their future through KiwiSaver.

The move goes beyond what is required of employers by law and is one of numerous initiatives the company is implementing to offer employees a head start.

Catherine Flynn, General Manager of Human Resources said, “Last year we made a commitment to advance youth workers to our adult rates of pay which exceed the legislated minimum wage rate. This year we are continuing to raise the bar for the under 18s by offering KiwiSaver contributions to participating younger members of staff at our own expense.”

Progressive will also contribute an additional 1% above the minimum required employer contribution in the first year, thereby doubling the contributions that all participating employees will receive during that period.

To further assist employees as they adjust to making contributions, Progressive is also offering a ‘2 + 2’ transitional arrangement. This enables employees to start making a 2% contribution in the first year, rather than the 4% usually required.

From 1 April 2008, all New Zealand employers will be required by law to make contributions of 1% on behalf of their employees over 18 and under 65 who are contributing to a KiwiSaver scheme. These employer contributions will continue to increase by 1% each year until reaching 4% of gross salary and wages by April 2011.
There is no legal requirement for employers to make contributions for employees under 18 years who choose to opt in through a fund provider.

“As one of New Zealander’s largest employers, we recognise the importance of supporting our employees who choose to save for their future through KiwiSaver, whether retirement is around the corner or a long way off. These initiatives translate the commitment we have to our team into real, tangible benefits,” said Ms. Flynn.

Maxine Gay, Retail Secretary for the National Distribution Union, said “The Union welcomes this move and congratulates Progressive for providing superannuation entitlements to all of its eligible workers regardless of age. The Union also calls on other employers to follow Progressive’s lead.”
- ends -

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