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KiwiSaver $1,000 kick-start payment to cease

People enrolling in KiwiSaver from 2pm today will no longer receive a $1,000 kick-start payment, Finance Minister Bill English says. The change does not affect existing KiwiSaver members.

“KiwiSaver has been successful in attracting members, with 2.5 million New Zealanders having a KiwiSaver account and together receiving $2.5 billion in kick-start payments since the scheme started in 2007,” Mr English says.

“However, it also has considerable costs for taxpayers. The Government will spend more than $850 million this year on two subsidies – the ongoing government subsidy of up to $521 a year per member and the $1,000 kick-start.

“Because of these costs, the Government has decided to remove the $1,000 kick-start payment from today.”

Contributing KiwiSaver members aged 18 or over or under 65 will continue to receive an annual Member Tax Credit from the Government of up to $521.

Employers in general are still required to contribute at least 3 per cent of an employee’s gross wage or salary and employees will continue to make their own contributions.

“Removing the kick-start payment for future enrolments will save over $500 million over the next four years,” Mr English says. “This money is being reinvested in this Budget into priority public services.”

In 2015/16, the Government is forecast to spend $705 million on the KiwiSaver Member Tax Credit plus $12.3 billion on New Zealand Superannuation.

“Auto-enrolment when starting a new job, the 3 per cent employer contribution and the member tax credit of up to $521 each year means people still have an incentive to sign-up to KiwiSaver and to keep saving for their retirement.

An in-depth evaluation of KiwiSaver is available at www.ird.govt.nz

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