KiwiSaver, Superannuation and Investments

Over time, the value of investments may go up and down, depending on the economy. As savings products, they are generally regarded as long term, rather than short term, products. KiwiSaver and superannuation is a long-term investment product, aimed at providing an income for you in retirement.

Our Information Sheets in our Document Library have quick guides to common issues. Consumer tips and case examples are included.

Our Glossary explains the meaning of technical terms used in tips and cases.

  1. Check the rules of your KiwiSaver or superannuation scheme if you want to access your savings

    There are legal restrictions about when you can take your money out of KiwiSaver before the age of 65. The criteria may be less strict for your superannuation scheme, but there will still be limits. Check your scheme documents or call your provider for more information.

  2. Proving financial hardship involves a process

    Your KiwiSaver will only allow you to access your money early if you meet the special circumstances for “financial hardship”, which involves an application process and documentation from you. Your local Citizens Advice Bureau or Budget Advice Service may be able to help you with this process. Contact your provider for more information.

  3. The value of your KiwiSaver, superannuation or investments may go up and down

    The value of your KiwiSaver, superannuation or investments can go up and down. With some older products, they have not performed as well as expected when they were sold.

  4. Details of the fees will be set out in paperwork

    Check the documentation given to you by your KiwiSaver, superannuation scheme or investment service provider for details about the fees it is allowed to charge you. If you have any questions, contact your provider.

  5. Seek advice on what investments are right for you

    The right investment for you depends on a number of things, including how much risk you are comfortable with. Financial advisers or investment advisers can provide advice on what might meet your needs.

KiwiSaver early withdrawal rules super strict image
The early withdrawal criteria for KiwiSaver is strict. In some circumstances, Kiwisaver may not be right for you
Eugene was unlikely to live until age 65. Despite this, he could not access his KiwiSaver savings.
See the case summary
Less than expect from your Superannuation image
If you withdraw your superannuation early, you might not get the full value.
Ashani withdrew her Superannuation funds and received $2,000 less than the full value of her plan.
See the case summary
Investment loss from KiwiSaver mistake image
If a mistake is made by your provider, you may receive payment for your financial loss.
Ricky wanted $120,000 compensation as his KiwiSaver provider hadn't transferred his funds for two months. He got $300.
See the case summary
Investments can go up and down image
Your investment value is affected by the changing value of the assets you invest in.
Finlay complained because his investment had reduced in value. But the rate of returns were not guaranteed.
See the case summary

Why is it difficult to withdraw money from my superannuation plan?

As superannuation plans are long term investments, you can usually only withdraw your money in very limited circumstances. The Trust Deed for the superannuation plan will set out when money can be withdrawn. This can vary from plan to plan.

Why is it difficult to withdraw money from my KiwiSaver Scheme?

KiwiSaver is designed to help people to save for their retirement by strictly limiting access to KiwiSaver funds before the age 65. The law only permits KiwiSaver members to withdraw their funds early in very limited circumstances.

What are the circumstances consumers can withdraw their KiwiSaver funds early?

KiwiSaver rules are set by legislation and regulations. The limited options for early withdrawal include purchasing a first home, financial hardship, emigration, serious illness or death.