Confusion still reigns for KiwiSaver members reaching the age of 65 as to what to do with their funds and whether to keep contributing. If you are over 65 and have been a member of KiwiSaver for at least five years, you have several options available.
If you are still working, you can remain a member of KiwiSaver and keep contributing if you wish to, although you will no longer receive the annual Government tax credit. Your employer is not obliged to make contributions once you turn 65, although many employers do, and this is a matter of negotiation. It makes sense to keep contributing if your employer is willing to continue doing so and you can afford it.
Whether you are working or not, you can choose to either withdraw your KiwiSaver funds or leave your money invested without making additional contributions. Some KiwiSaver providers will allow partial or regular withdrawals to be made so the fund can be run down over a period of time to supplement income. If you still have a mortgage or short-term debts, consider using your KiwiSaver funds to repay those debts.
Although it may be tempting to withdraw your funds and use them for an overseas trip or a new car, especially if the balance is small, this should be considered only if you have sufficient other funds to provide for your longer term retirement needs.
If you leave your KiwiSaver fund invested, the investment option you have chosen should be reviewed.
Each KiwiSaver provider offers a range of funds with different combinations of the four investment assets; cash, fixed interest, property and shares.
You should ensure that your choice of fund is appropriate for your investment time frame, your financial situation and your attitudes towards risk and return.
Liz Koh is an authorised financial adviser. The advice given here is general and does not constitute specific advice to any person.
A free disclosure statement can be obtained by calling 0800 273 847.