Rethink KiwiSaver: ensure I am able to save for my retirement, yet be allowed to dip in in case of emergency

When it comes to KiwiSaver and the huge amount of choices which to choose from, they all have things in common. You cannot withdraw until you turn 65, want to buy your first home, or absolute essential need.
If Debut is going to rethink banking, we need to rethink the KiwiSaver.

  1. Bring back the kickstart. People who join now do not get any kickstart, when I was put into Kiwi saver, I got the $1000 to start.
  2. Must consent to be put into Kiwi saver. I found out I was put into Kiwi saver in 2008 from a brochure in my mailbox. However, I didn’t know about this. In other words, you must consent to be put into Kiwi saver, otherwise you will not.
  3. Insure our scheme invest in only New Zealand based businesses, which means the international offshoots don’t count. I do want to invest in Amazon and Microsoft cloud ambitions, but not their international offshoots.
  4. Be able to use my funds to clear debt, such as an overdue bill. Does not include credit card debt.
  5. Choose the funds I invest in. The current Kiwi saver scheme does not let me choose. The funds I invest in. For example, I don’t want to invest in Russian weaponry, but I do want to invest in our defence force. I do want to invest in Whitaker’s, but not Cadbury.
  6. Be able to opt out. Opting out of Kiwi Saver is not easy, and you have to go through a very lengthy process to do so for example, I might want to opt out because I want to invest in shares or to set up a savings shed specific for retirement.
  7. Contribution split three ways. To get the maximum government contribution, you have to put in $20 every week for 52 weeks. I’d like to split three ways. Every dollar I invest, debut and the government contribute $0.50 each so if I invest $20 a week into the Debut Kiwi saver for the next 52 weeks, I will get $520 each from the government and Debut, as long as that contribution is maintained for the whole 52 weeks.
    These are my top for now. What are the views of the community?

KiwiSaver is the way you’ve described because of the legislation that defines it.
If you are wanting a managed funds saving scheme then that is what you need to be asking for.
For anything else I suggest you lobby the government to make changes (e.g. to bring back the kickstart, etc)

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Like Steve said, this is how KiwiSaver (KS) has been set up by the government and is defined by the relevant legislation; its primary purpose is as a long-term saver for retirement, purchasing your first house or for exceptional circumstances.
Debut isn’t able to change a lot about KS; only the government can.

I think it’ll be best for Debut to invest money in other things rather then contributing to our KS, no other provider (that im aware of) contributes to your KS. It’s actually the opposite; you pay them a fee to manage it on your behalf.

Some providers do/will allow you to choose where they invest your KS; however, I feel sometimes it’s best to leave it to the professionals. On the only NZ investment point, you need diversification in your portfolio, and international funds help with this.
Personally, im with Simplicity and have chosen them because of their values and what they stand for, so if Debut can do something similar (including low fees and investing only in ethical companies) would be awesome.

You may also want to check out KiwiSaver for more.

I think Sharesie Kiwisaver is what you’re looking for, you can pick individual stocks in the portfolio.

For the rest it’s all government policy that can’t be fixed by a bank, you’d be better to write to your MP.

InvestNow has the lowest fees, more information and flexibility. Debut should offer alternative wealth management services for businesses and individuals with fiduciaries you can trust for financial advice which could work with the government to offer better pension systems. You can look to Iceland, Netherlands and Denmark which have dominated the Mercer CFA Institute’s global index since 2021.

The biggest change I want to see for KiwiSaver, is the ability to offset a mortgage against the account. I believe that this wouldn’t affect the house prices because it would still only be available for a property that a person is living in. It would also mean that a first home buyer would need to empty their account to buy it, so they would still need to be able to afford the property in the first place, but then it would exponentially accelerate the ability for a first home buyer to pay off that property. Debut feels like it has the ability to do this.