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KiwiSaver is a saving and investment scheme for two important goals: your first home and your retirement. The money you put in, along with money from the government and your employer, is invested by professional fund managers.

You can pay into a KiwiSaver fund directly, or through automatic deductions from your pay. You can choose to contribute either 3%, 4%, 6%, 8% or 10% of your pay.

Once you start to contribute to a KiwiSaver fund you will also receive contributions from:

  • your employer, who must contribute at least 3% of your pay.
  • the Government’s contribution, $521.43, as long as you contribute a minimum amount.
  • the investment returns from the fund itself, which can grow your money significantly.

Ways to join KiwiSaver:

  • Joining through your employer. If you turn 18 and are already employed, talk to your employer about signing up to KiwiSaver after your birthday.
  • When you start a new job, if you’re not already a member and are eligible, your employer will automatically enrol you in KiwiSaver.
  • If you are self-employed or not currently working (such as stay-at-home parents), you can sign up for a KiwiSaver account directly with a provider.

There’s information on KiwiSaver and how it works on the Sorted website.

Choosing a fund

When you sign up to KiwiSaver, you'll need to decide what type of fund is right for you, and then choose one. There are five main types of funds:

Defensive: This is a low risk fund which means that is unlikely to have many ups and downs in value. This is a good fund to choose when you’re planning to spend your KiwiSaver money in the next three years.

  • Conservative: This is also a low risk fund but will have a few more ups and downs in value. This is potentially a good fund to choose if you intend to spend your money within the next two - six years.
  • Balanced: This is a medium risk fund that will show over a period of 5-12 years some losses but also gains. This option could be considered if you can invest longer than six years.
  • Growth: This is high risk fund, and so there will be years where you will lose some money but also see higher gains. This is a great option if you intend to not use your KiwiSaver within 10 years
  • Aggressive: This is the highest risk fund where its likely to show the highest return over a long period of time (i.e. 13+ years).

Depending on how long you are investing for, and your attitude towards the ups and downs that can happen with investing, one type of fund will work particularly well for your situation.

The Sorted website has a KiwiSaver fund finder to help you find the right fund, and a KiwiSaver Savings Calculator to see how much your contributions could add up to.


Insurance involves a company guaranteeing that they will pay you if you experience a specific loss, like damage to a valuable item. This is as long as you pay them a premium (or regular payment).

There are two main costs to insurance:

  1. The premium, which pays for the contract of insurance. It can be paid weekly, fortnightly, monthly or yearly. You pay the premium just to have insurance coverage.
  2. The excess, which is paid if something happens to you or your things and you need to use the insurance. You can decide on the excess amount when you buy the insurance. The higher your excess cost, the lower your premium will be.

What insurance you buy should generally be determined by what you own, how much your items cost (the value), and if you think they’re worth ‘protecting’.

Insurance companies may try to upsell you, so be clear about what you want to cover and know what you can afford. Also be aware of exclusions: these are details in an insurance policy that won’t be covered.

It’s a good idea to shop around and get quotes from different providers. Some provide better deals and discounts for young people. The Insurance Council of New Zealand has an overview of insurance and your rights.

Find out more about the main kinds of insurance: