Everyone has different savings goals and retirement needs so it’s important to choose the right plan and the right fund for you. 

Three simple steps

Financial planning can be simplified into three steps.

  • Step one: Build yourself a debt repayment plan.
  • Step two: Plan for your short-term future then your retirement.
  • Step three: Make regular savings a habit.

Our MAS advisers can help you with steps one and three if you need it but, they’d rather spend time with you on step two. Going through what you would like to achieve and the important things you need to think about as you begin your first job and start earning an income. You can make an appointment with them by calling the MAS Member Support Centre on 0800 800 627. You can also read on to learn more about MAS KiwiSaver Plan and the MAS Retirement Savings Plan (RSP).

Start investing early and maximise KiwiSaver contributions

Like most things, you get out of your investments what you put in. So, if you’re working and don’t opt in to KiwiSaver, you’re missing out on free money. Your employer must match 3% of your salary contribution, potentially more if you’re a District Health Board (DHB) employee or registrar of the RBNZCGP. You can choose to contribute 3% (the minimum), 4%, 6% 8% or 10% of your wage. If you are a DHB employee, you could get a matching contribution of up to 6%. Plus, if you’re aged over 18 and mainly reside in New Zealand, when you contribute at least $1,043 in to your KiwiSaver in a year, you’ll receive the maximum government contribution of $521.43.

Working it out

Let’s say you aren’t working but you open a KiwiSaver account. You or your parents contribute $20 a week or $1,043 per year. The government will match your contribution with their own up to $521.43 annually*.


*If you’re over 18 and reside mainly in New Zealand.  

Stacks of coins that represent saving for an education, retirement, house and family.
Nice cosy lounge with a couch, TV and window with a city view.

Use KiwiSaver to buy your first home

If you plan to buy your first home house in the short-term and retire comfortably later in life, then KiwiSaver can help. You can request a first home withdrawal from your KiwiSaver account after you’ve been a member for at least three years. You might also qualify for the government’s KiwiSaver Home Start Grant. The grant is up to $2,000 for each year you have been contributing to KiwiSaver and is capped at 5 years. Qualifying criteria includes how much you’ve contributed, how long you’ve been contributing, and what type of home you want to buy. For more information, download our KiwiSaver for First Home Buyers summary sheet.

Working it out

Your salary is $80k and you contribute 3% of that or $2,400 in to your KiwiSaver account, which is then matched by your employer. Add to that the government contribution and after five years you could have $26,605 for a deposit on your first home. If you’re eligible you may also get a $5k HomeStart grant boosting that deposit to $31,605.

If you’re purchasing or building a brand-new house, you could qualify for a $10k grant instead. That’s a deposit of $36,605!

Get the best of both worlds with KiwiSaver and superannuation

If you’re employed by a DHB or are a registrar of RNZCGP then you may be entitled to an additional 6% of your salary to be paid into a superannuation scheme. Under this arrangement any money you contribute from your salary directly into a KiwiSaver scheme or an approved superannuation scheme will be matched by your DHB dollar for dollar*. This can be up to a maximum of 6% of your salary. You can split your contributions across KiwiSaver and a superannuation scheme, although different DHBs may have restrictions around the splitting options.

*Employer contributions are subject to Employer Superannuation Contribution Tax

Evenly balanced scales-with-money-and-clock

KiwiSaver vs. superannuation

Contributing 3% of your full-time wage to KiwiSaver means that you will receive the maximum standard matching employer contribution and government contribution to help you save for your first home. If you are entitled to a matching employer contribution of up to 6%, you should consider splitting your contributions between KiwiSaver and a superannuation scheme. Some superannuation or workplace saving schemes are locked in for a lesser timeframe than KiwiSaver, providing an added level of flexibility around when you can withdraw. For example, the MAS Retirement Savings Plan is locked in until age 55. Unlike KiwiSaver, contributions can be any amount you choose.

Splitting your investment contribution

Your DHB may have its own rules and conditions around splitting contributions between KiwiSaver and another superannuation or workplace-savings scheme (e.g. the MAS Retirement Savings Plan). You need to check with your payroll department before making any investment decisions.

Working it out

To save for your first home deposit and your retirement in a more flexible superannuation scheme, you contribute 4% of your salary into KiwiSaver and 2% into a superannuation or workplace-savings scheme. This allows you to save towards a deposit for your first home, is likely to maximise the available government contribution, and lets you save for your long-term future


Responsible investing

At MAS, we’re committed to doing what we can for a sustainable future through responsible investing. Our investment managers follow a responsible investment mandate, which excludes investments in tobacco, armaments and fossil fuel industries. This mandate applies not only to more than $1.5 billion of superannuation funds in our Plans, but also to $220m of MAS’ own insurance reserves.

We invited corporate, economic and political journalist Rod Oram to speak to give his insight to the challenges and opportunities consumers and investors face with responsible investing. Hear what he has to say about what responsible investment means and why you should be investing responsibly.

Commission-free advice made for you

Everyone’s situation is different, and every employer has different arrangements, so let us help you figure out how you can structure your contributions to your best advantage. Talk with your MAS adviser by calling 0800 800 627 or email info@mas.co.nz.


The Trustees of the Medical Assurance Society KiwiSaver Plan and the Medical Assurance Society Retirement Savings Plan are the issuer and manager of each of those Plans.

A copy of the Product Disclosure Statement for each Plan is available by calling 0800 800 627 or online on the Disclose Register website at business.govt.nz/disclose under the offers for the Medical Assurance Society Retirement Savings Plan and the Medical Assurance Society KiwiSaver Plan.

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