Resources

We've put together some frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and KiwiSaver to help you during this challenging time.

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Updated 4 June 2020

We understand this has been a difficult time for everyone and you may have concerns about your KiwiSaver. 

We’ve put together some questions and answers that may help you in these challenging times.  You can also contact our helpdesk with any other questions you have.

Why is my KiwiSaver balance affected by COVID-19?
My KiwiSaver balance has gone down – should I switch funds?
How do I see my KiwiSaver balance or know which fund I am invested in?
Can I temporarily stop contributing to KiwiSaver?
I’m going to retire soon, which fund should I be in?
I’m saving for a first home withdrawal – which fund should I be in?
I would like some financial advice – can you help?
Is the government taking my KiwiSaver money?
I’m having financial difficulties due to COVID-19 – can I get my KiwiSaver money?

Why is my KiwiSaver balance affected by COVID-19?

KiwiSaver funds invest in different types of investments including shares.  Investing in shares gives part ownership in a company, and can provide returns from profits by the company (dividends) or from selling the shares for more than you paid.  Shares are growth assets and are also known as equities or stocks.

Investment markets work best when all information is understood and there has been time to digest the implications of news. Share markets can go up and down quickly (or be volatile) when new information has an uncertain outcome, or when information flows quickly and unexpectedly. This has been the case with COVID-19.  As there is little modern precedent for a fast spreading pandemic, investors have had difficulty in understanding the economic implications of COVID-19, and this has made the investment markets volatile, which has affected your KiwiSaver balance.

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My KiwiSaver balance has gone down – should I switch funds?

The important thing to remember is that, for most members, KiwiSaver is a long-term investment, and you generally can’t access your savings until you reach retirement age.  Over the long-term, funds with a higher allocation to shares (like balanced and growth funds) should deliver higher returns, but with higher volatility than cash and conservative  funds.  You can learn more about Aon KiwiSaver Scheme’s different types of funds here.

When the share markets go down, your fund still holds the same amount of shares, but the value of them has declined.  If you switch funds when your balance has declined, you are locking in that loss, and therefore you may miss out when the value of the shares goes up again (which history indicates they should).

If you are concerned about whether you are in the correct fund for your individual circumstances we recommend you complete our risk profiler to establish if you are in the correct fund and then seek the advice of an authorised financial adviser if necessary.  It is important to note that should you switch to a more conservative fund you will crystallise any losses.

Speak to your authorised financial adviser, or we could  put you in touch with someone, contact us.

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How do I see my KiwiSaver balance or know which fund I am invested in?

As an Aon KiwiSaver Scheme member you can access your account online to:

  • see your account balance
  • view the funds you are invested in
  • view and update your prescribed investor rate
  • update your personal details and communication preference

You can access your online account here.

If you are accessing your account for the first time, you'll need to register using your member number.  Contact us if you are unsure of your member number.

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Can I temporarily stop contributing to KiwiSaver?

If you’re an employee you can apply for a savings suspension and temporarily stop contributions from your pay going into KiwiSaver.  KiwiSaver allows you to stop contributing for a minimum of three months and up to one year. You need to have been a member of KiwiSaver for at least 12 months. 

To learn more about how to apply for a savings suspension visit the Inland Revenue website. It is important to note that a savings suspension (contribution holiday) may affect your entitlement to the government contribution and the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant.

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I’m going to retire soon, which fund should I be in?

This will depend on your financial circumstances.  If you are nearing retirement and protecting your capital is your main investment goal you should consider a conservative KiwiSaver fund.  If you are thinking of switching to a more conservative fund, consider that if you move now you will crystallise your losses. Do you need your KiwiSaver money as soon as you retire or can you wait for investment markets to recover (which history indicates they should)?

If you still need help, speak to your authorised financial adviser or contact us and we can put you in touch with someone.

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I’m saving for a first home withdrawal – which fund should I be in?

This will depend on when you want to buy your home.  Members withdrawing their funds within the next 3 years tend to be in a conservative fund.  However, if their investment timeframe is longer than 5 years they might look at a moderate fund.  For those whose time frame is more than 7 years away a balanced fund might be right.  Remember to review your strategy as your time horizon or circumstances change.  If you are thinking of switching funds now, consider that if you move to more conservative fund now you will crystallise any losses. 

If you still need help, speak to your authorised financial adviser or contact us and we can put you in touch with someone.

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I would like some financial advice – can you help?

Our helpdesk team is unable to offer any financial advice.  If you would like to speak with an authorised financial adviser, contact us and we can put you in touch with someone.

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Is the government taking my KiwiSaver money?

No.  The government is not involved in managing your KiwiSaver funds. The manager of Aon KiwiSaver Scheme is Aon Saver Limited, and the Scheme’s administration and management is overseen by the supervisor, Public Trust.  Aon New Zealand provides the investment management services and have contracted with ANZ New Zealand Investments Limited, Russell Investment Group Limited, Nikko Asset Management New Zealand Limited and Milford Funds Limited to provide investment management and related services with respect to the funds.

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I’m having financial difficulties due to COVID-19 – can I get my KiwiSaver money?

We understand this is a really challenging time for everyone.  In certain circumstances you are able to access some of your KiwiSaver money, including if you are suffering from significant financial hardship.  Before you apply for a significant financial hardship withdrawal you should explore applying for a mortgage holiday (if you are a homeowner) and making use of the financial support the government is offering to those affected by the COVID-19 crisis.  KiwiSaver should be your last resort. 

You can find out more about the government support available on the government’s COVID-19 website.

You can apply for a significant financial hardship withdrawal if you’ve pursued all other options and you are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant financial hardship. This includes significant financial difficulties because you:

  • cannot meet minimum living expenses
  • cannot pay the mortgage on the home you live in, and your mortgage provider is enforcing the mortgage
  • need to modify your home to meet your special needs or those of a dependent family member
  • need to pay for medical treatment for yourself or a dependent family member
  • have a serious illness
  • need to pay funeral costs of a dependent family member.

If you want to apply to withdraw some of your KiwiSaver money, please contact us. Any withdrawal may be limited to a specified amount and cannot include government contributions.

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Get in touch
Aon KiwiSaver Scheme
Administration 0800 266 463