Default KiwiSaver providers changing 1 December

4 min read
1 December, 2021

Some changes are taking place today with regards to default KiwiSaver providers. What exactly does this mean for you?

What is KiwiSaver?

KiwiSaver is a voluntary savings scheme that's designed to help you save for your retirement. 

If you're a New Zealand resident, you're eligible to enrol in a KiwiSaver scheme, and you have three options when starting work as to how you engage with KiwiSaver:

  1. make an active choice by selecting the scheme you wish to be enrolled into;
  2. choose not to enrol (this is called opting out, and can only be done between the end of week 2 and week 8 of starting work);
  3. take no action and be automatically enrolled into one of several default schemes.

At the moment, you can contribute 3%, 4%, 6%, 8% or 10% of your salary (which gets automatically deducted from your pay each cycle).

KiwiSaver is compulsory for your employer, and they are required to contribute a minimum of 3% of your salary to your KiwiSaver fund. The Government may also make contributions if you are eligible

You can withdraw your KiwiSaver funds once you turn 65, or to purchase your first home if you wish to do so and meet the criteria. Your KiwiSaver provider will have more information on this.  

What is a default KiwiSaver provider?

There are a number of providers of KiwiSaver schemes in New Zealand. When you start working, you can select the scheme you would like to be enrolled into.

However, this is optional. If you do not select a KiwiSaver scheme then you are automatically enrolled into one of several default KiwiSaver schemes managed by the default providers. 

Default KiwiSaver providers are chosen by the Government after a competitive tender process. Those schemes who apply to become a default scheme are assessed on the basis of criteria including: fees, their ability to deliver the investment product, manage transitional arrangements, provide a good customer experience for their members, and their organisational structure and standing.

What's changing today (1 December 2021)?

Prior to 1 December 2021, there were nine default KiwiSaver providers, however as of today there are six, and while some remain default schemes, there are some new schemes too. 

The new default KiwiSaver providers are:

  • BNZ
  • Booster
  • BT Funds (Westpac)
  • Kiwi Wealth
  • Simplicity
  • Smartshares (NZX)

There are also a number of other things that are changing. The new default schemes listed above will also have some different settings from the previous default funds, including:

  • Fees: the fees you'll pay as a member of a default KiwiSaver scheme will reduce and become simpler and more transparent.

  • Fund type: the investment fund type for default KiwiSaver providers has moved from conservative to balanced, i.e. a fund type that invests in slightly riskier assets such as shares and property but with potentially higher returns over the long term).

  • Customer engagement: default KiwiSaver providers are now required to engage with you to help you make informed decisions about your retirement savings at key points.

  • Responsible investment: default KiwiSaver providers will be required to maintain a responsible investment policy on their websites, and investment in fossil fuels and illegal weapons will be excluded from these funds. 

What do the changes mean for you?

If you were enrolled in a default scheme that is now no longer a default scheme

If you have not made an active choice to be enrolled with your current provider, you will be moved automatically to one of the new KiwiSaver default schemes. If you wish to remain with your current KiwiSaver provider then you will need to contact them and let them know. 

If you had not made an active choice by 30 November 2021, then you will likely have already been transferred to one of the default schemes.

If you were enrolled in a default scheme that is remaining a default scheme (BNZ, Booster, BT Funds or KiwiWealth)

You don't need to do anything, but your settings will change (according to those settings changes listed above). If you want to maintain your current settings, then you can contact your new KiwiSaver provider. 


Want to learn more about KiwiSaver? Watch our episode with Daniel Lark and Corey Farrell from Forsyth Barr answer some commonly asked KiwiSaver questions:


Other resources:

As always, we recommend that you contact your current KiwiSaver provider (you can find this out by logging into myIR) or seek professional financial advice if you are unsure what action to take. 

For media enquiries, please contact: 


This Money and You Industry News, Default KiwiSaver providers changing 1 December (Industry News), is accurate at the date of publishing, 1 December 2021 and contains general information only. We recommend you visit the Inland Revenue or Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) websites for the most up to date and further information. This Industry News is not intended to constitute financial advice and does not take your individual circumstances and financial situation into account. We encourage you to seek assistance from a trusted financial adviser or other professional advice. The links that are provided or names of third parties are additional resources that you access at your own risk and the FSC takes no responsibility for any third party content. The FSC and its employees make no express or implied representations or give any warranties regarding this information and we accept no responsibility for any loss, damage, cost, or expense (whether direct or indirect) incurred by you as a result of any error, omission, or misrepresentation in this information.

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