Labour Leader David Cunliffe restated his party's commitment to "universal" or compulsory KiwiSaver.

He also confirmed this morning that a Labour Government would lift minimum contributions to the savings scheme by a quarter of a percentage point each year from 3 to 4.5 per cent by 2021 for both employers and employees.

Under Labour's policy, all employees not already in the scheme would be automatically enrolled on October 1 next year. Students and beneficiaries would be exempt.

Low income earners would also be exempt - but the details of the minimum threshold will be subject to consultation, Mr Cunliffe said.


Labour expects auto-enrolment would bring a further half a million people into the scheme.

"Most of those are low income earners who are missing out on getting their fair share of government contributions", Mr Cunliffe told reporters at Parliament this morning.

"These workers will have higher incomes after Labour raises the minimum wage and the ramp up of their employee contribution will be slower."

Labour would retain the $1000 kickstart and government contribution of up to $521 a year.

It has previously announced it would put in place a variable savings rate for KiwiSaver to help control inflation. The variable savings rate would be overlaid onto the contributions increases outlined this morning.