Not just a gravy train. Hardly anyone these days questions whether KiwiSaver is a good deal for members. The average employee’s contributions are doubled by employer and government contributions. Savings that would otherwise total $100,000 will total $200,000 in KiwiSaver. Meanwhile, non-employees who contribute $1043 a year get $521 from the government, multiplying their savings by 1.5. For them, $100,000 becomes $150,000. That’s still pretty good. And the first home incentives add to the attraction for many. However, economists question the value of the scheme for New Zealand as a whole. Are they right?
A big year for KiwiSaver. In the annals of KiwiSaver history, 2012 will be notable for two things. It will mark the start of a two-year shift away from government input and towards more employee and employer input, and it will be the first year in which members can withdraw their savings in retirement.