Are you setting your employees up for a good retirement?

Most employers probably want to focus more on the work their employees are doing in the present than think about what the future might be like when they stop working.

But employers can play a big part in helping people get set for a post-work life, and in a tight labour market, this sort of assistance can make you a sought-after place to work.

Here are a few ways you can help your employees get the best out of KiwiSaver.


Talk to employees about their KiwiSaver fund choices.

When people start a new job and are not currently a member of a KiwiSaver scheme, they're defaulted into a default fund. This is fine for a short period of time but if they're going to be in the scheme for a while, a conservative default fund probably won't deliver the best returns. You can point your employees to online guidance to help them determine an appropriate fund (there are lots of online advice platforms around), or strike up a relationship with a KiwiSaver provider or financial adviser to provide assistance to your staff. You shouldn't try to give this advice yourself.

Encourage higher contribution rates. A 3 per cent contribution rate will probably not deliver most people the retirement lifestyle they desire. You could talk to staff about how they could increase what they contribute, perhaps bumping it up every time they get a pay rise. You could also offer to increase your own contributions to their KiwiSaver account instead or as well as a pay increase when you do an annual review.

Make KiwiSaver contributions in addition to salary. Some employers now negotiate with their staff so that their employer contributions to KiwiSaver are part of the overall salary package – that is, they'd get that amount in the hand if they weren't in the scheme. This can make the whole idea seem less appealing. If you make your contribution an additional extra only to members, it'll be more attractive.