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KiwiSaver – giving whanau security and choice

1 March 2006

KiwiSaver – giving whanau security and choice

“KiwiSaver is good news for Maori. Buying your first home and saving for the future is something we all find important," Hon Parekura Horomia said today.

"We know that our home is the centre of our whanau and that we all want security as we enter our older years. KiwiSaver will give Maori more choices for securing their financial futures.”

KiwiSaver will be a voluntary scheme for all employees, both full and part-time, aged 18 - 65 years. They can elect to put 4 or 8 per cent of their gross salary automatically into a savings fund. Savers will have personalised accounts they can take with them as they shift jobs.

"Maori Health statistics indicate that Maori are now living longer, so it is important that we make sure that in our later years we are financially secure.

“The government will kick-start each person’s account with a contribution of $1000 to be locked in until they retire.

“When eligible people have been KiwiSaver members for at least three years and are ready to buy their first home, the government will also help with their deposit. They will receive $1000 for each year's membership in KiwiSaver, up to a maximum of $5000," said Parekura Horomia

"The Labour-led government has made KiwiSaver a priority because looking after New Zealanders future is important."

KiwiSaver is a world-leading scheme that has been praised by pension experts overseas and the Economist magazine. Britain's independent Pensions Commission has praised automatic enrolment as a feature that country should adopt.

“This is the best way ahead, giving young Maori families the support the need to overcome the hurdles of owning their own home as well as helping Maori become more financially secure when they reach retirement.”

KiwiSaver is anticipated to begin operating on April 1, 2007.

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