_ Be sure not to miss out on a ‘free five hundy’ this year. BNZ’s Head of Wealth & Private Bank, Donna Nicolof has this life hack sorted for you. _
Did you know there’s an incentive put in place by Government that basically means you could get up to $521.43 a year just for contributing to your KiwiSaver account? It’s called the KiwiSaver Member Tax Credit (MTC). Here’s the deal:
Each year, if you qualify, the Government will contribute 50 cents for every dollar you contribute to your KiwiSaver account – up to a maximum of $521.43, to help you save towards your first home or retirement.
To get the maximum credit, you need to contribute at least $1,042.86 during the MTC year, which runs from 1 July to 30 June the following year, and be eligible for the full year.
Figures from Inland Revenue show that over 573,000 KiwiSaver members missed out on their member tax credits last year because they didn’t contribute to their KiwiSaver accounts.
Satisfy your FOMO. If you don’t know where you stand this year, now’s a good time to check how your contributions are tracking and consider topping-up before Friday 24 June to make sure you don’t miss out on a ‘free five hundy’.
Anything else you need to know?
If you joined KiwiSaver part way through the MTC year, or were eligible for only part of the year (for example, you turned 18 during the MTC year), then your maximum MTC entitlement will be worked out on a pro-rata basis dependent on how long you qualified to receive it. Head to bnz.co.nz/mtc for more information and eligibility criteria.
It’s not all or nothing either, if you qualify, then every dollar you contribute to your KiwiSaver account up to the maximum will qualify you for a 50 cent contribution from the Government.
Don’t want to settle for less? If you’re in a position to make the maximum contribution then consider doing it to ensure you get your maximum MTC entitlement.
Have you contributed enough?
It’s all up to you to check you’ve contributed enough into your KiwiSaver account to make the most of this credit. However, it can be tricky to know exactly how much you’ve contributed in any one year, especially if you’ve been contributing directly through your salary or wages. That’s because there can be a delay between your contributions being collected by your employer and these making their way through the system and into your KiwiSaver account.
Here’s some tips to make sure you don’t miss out on maximising your MTC this year:
- As a general rule, if you earn an annual salary or wages of $35,000 or more and have contributed at a minimum rate of 3% from your pay, then the chances are you’re not going to miss out.
- If you make voluntary contributions at $20 a week or more, you also shouldn’t miss out.
- You can register and log in to ‘My KiwiSaver’, a service provided by Inland Revenue, where you can see all of the contributions you’ve made into your KiwiSaver account via your salary or wages.
- If you’re a member of the BNZ KiwiSaver Scheme, log in to BNZ Internet Banking to see what your member contributions add up to. Remember, some of your more recent contributions from your pay may not have arrived into your KiwiSaver account as yet.
- Check your pay slips to see how much you’ve contributed.
Time is running out!
If you haven’t made the most of your entitlement this year, it’s not too late. You can still choose to top-up and make a one-off contribution to your account. The easiest way is to make a voluntary payment to your KiwiSaver account.
If you’re a member of the BNZ KiwiSaver Scheme and a BNZ customer, simply log in to BNZ Internet Banking and simply transfer the money between your accounts. You can also search ‘BNZ KiwiSaver Scheme’ from the Bill Payee list in any bank’s internet banking and enter the details requested. You’ll probably need your IRD number too.
If your KiwiSaver account is with another provider, please check with them for the easiest way to make a contribution and when they need to receive it by.
This article is solely for information purposes and is not personalised financial advice. We recommend that you seek advice specific to your circumstances from a financial adviser before making any financial decision. None of BNZ Investment Services Limited, Bank of New Zealand or any other person accept any liability for any loss or damage arising out of the use of, or reliance on, any information in this article.
BNZ Investment Services Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of BNZ, is the Issuer and Manager of the BNZ KiwiSaver Scheme. Download a copy of the BNZ KiwiSaver Scheme Investment Statement PDF 1.7MB, or pick up a copy from your local BNZ store.