Tony, an Automation Engineer from Auckland, understands the importance of saving for retirement.
At 58, he is keen to maximise his retirement savings so that he can look forward to a more comfortable retirement. One way he does this is by taking advantage of member tax credits - a top up from the Government designed to encourage Kiwis to save for their retirement.
Tony has been self-employed since 2012, allowing him to spend more time farming his lifestyle block. He already makes voluntary contributions to his KiwiSaver account, and for the past two years he has been making sure he has been contributing enough to receive the full member tax credit of $521.
As luck would have it, when Tony topped up his KiwiSaver account in 2015, Mercer was running a competition designed to encourage our members to take advantage of the member tax credit scheme.
Tony won $500 cash.
"The member tax credit is a good incentive for retirement savings and something I now do every year," Tony said.
"It was a great surprise to win $500, and I will be putting the prize money towards a new coop for the chickens and a storage shed for the hay needed to feed the sheep."
If you contribute $1,042 to your KiwiSaver account between 1 July and 30 June each year, the Government rewards you* by paying another $521 into your account – that’s 50 cents extra for every dollar you put in.
It's called a member tax credit. If you haven’t been making the most of this Government contribution then you should – there really is free money on offer.
The most you can get under the member tax credit arrangement is a $521 Government contribution to boost your own contributions of $1,042 or more. Even if you’re not in a position to make the maximum contribution you will still get 50 cents for every $1 you contribute so it’s well worth contributing what you can.
It's easy. You don’t have to apply for the member tax credit – simply contribute to your Mercer KiwiSaver scheme and Inland Revenue will automatically calculate the amount you should receive. Member tax credits are paid into eligible members' KiwiSaver accounts each year in July or August.
Unfortunately many members don't top up their KiwiSaver accounts. Some forget, others don't realise they are not contributing because they've changed jobs or life has gotten in the way somehow.
We are half way through the financial year and that's a great time to check how your contributions are tracking. You can check how much you have contributed so far at www.kiwisaver.govt.nz, logging in to your personal account, or calling us on 0508 637 237 to discuss your contribution strategy.
*Eligibility criteria apply. Find out more.
You can pay straight into your KiwiSaver account. Simply find Mercer KiwiSaver scheme on your online banking and follow the instructions.