KiwiSaver: Can kids get free government money?

KiwiSaver for kids - it can be a great idea to sign your child up to a KiwiSaver provider if you’d like to help them have a better future, and you can afford it.

One of the big benefits of KiwiSaver is your employer, and the government, both put money into your account, if you’re contributing regularly.

If you earn at least NZ$34,762 (before tax) and you contribute the minimum of 3 per cent of your salary into KiwiSaver, you’ll automatically qualify for the government money. This is, of course, once you’re 18 years old.

Unfortunately, KiwiSaver members who are under 18 don’t get the free government money, no matter how much money is in their account.

That’s the government’s rule.

KiwiSaver for children - what are the benefits?

1. Kids get a head start on saving and investing
Kids in KiwiSaver will see their balance grow through compounding returns over the long term. KiwiSaver is a simple way for them to learn about how saving can pay off, and learn the basics of investing.

2. It’s free to set up
There is no charge to set up a KiwiSaver account for your kid. Involve them each step of the way to sign up, and then check in with their account a couple of times a year.

3. The longer you’re invested the better
Time is your best friend when it comes to investment. Investing is for the long term, so the longer you’re invested, the better your outcomes could be. Setting up a kid in KiwiSaver early can have a huge impact on compounding returns for their future.

4. Help them get a head start on first home saving
KiwiSaver is a great tool for kids to use to save for their first home deposit further down the track. Many Kiwis use some or all of their KiwiSaver investment to help get them into their first home, if that’s one of their goals. 

5. They will be set up for government and employer money from 18
Once your kid turns 18, having a KiwiSaver account set up already makes it easier to start benefiting from the likes of the government and employer contributions. Plus, some amazing companies do give employer contributions for teens to help them along.

6. It can be a great place for contributions
If your kid receives birthday money from relatives, their KiwiSaver account can be a great place for some of this. Contributing to your kid’s account as much as you’re able to will help them get a headstart.

7. Fees can be lower for kids KiwiSaver accounts
Some providers, like JUNO, offer low or no fees for kids on their KiwiSaver accounts. This can really help their investments grow. 

8. Your kids can’t get the government money, but you might be able to
For every dollar you contribute from July one year to June the next, the government will pay you 50 cents into your KiwiSaver account, up to a total of $521.43.

If you aren’t earning enough, or contributing enough to qualify for the free money, you can top up your account yourself. Just call your KiwiSaver provider.

And if you can’t contribute the required $1,043 into your account, you’ll still get a proportion of the government money. If you put in half, you’ll get half of the government contribution.

Information correct as at July 2022. Pie Funds Management Limited is the issuer and manager of the JUNO KiwiSaver Scheme. Click here for our Product Disclosure Statement. Any advice is given by Pie Funds Management Limited, and is general only. It relates only to the specific financial products mentioned and does not account for personal circumstances or financial goals. Please see a financial adviser for tailored advice. You may have to pay product or other fees if you act on any advice. As manager of the Scheme we receive monthly fees that are determined by your balance and whether you are 13 years or over. We will benefit financially if you invest in our products. We manage any conflicts of interest via an internal compliance framework designed to ensure we meet our duties to you. For information about the advice we can provide, our duties and complaint process and how disputes can be resolved, visit All content is correct at time of publication date, unless otherwise indicated. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns. Returns can be negative as well as positive and returns over different periods may vary. Please let us know if you would like a hard copy of this disclosure information.