Is it still worth contributing?

If you're self-employed, working as a contractor, freelancer or sole trader and are not receiving PAYE income, some of the benefits you get from being employed are not available, such as having your employer make contributions.

However, in a KiwiSaver fund you can still get the free annual government contribution, and the fees are competitive with than other types of managed funds. As a result, a KiwiSaver fund can still be a good choice, even if you're self-employed. And if you plan to buy a first home, you need to be a regularly contributing member of KiwiSaver to qualify for the First Home Grant.

Making voluntary contributions

It's up to you to contribute to KiwiSaver if you're self-employed. If you're eligible, provided you contribute at least $1,042.86 before 30th June each year, you'll receive the maximum government contribution of $521.43.

You can make contributions at any time – you could put in $1,043 on one lump sum or set up an automatic payment for $87 each month or $21 a week. Any of those would ensure you receive the maximum 'free money' from the government each year, a 50% return on your investment.

If you're self-employed and want to qualify for the First Home Grant you must contribute the equivalent of 3% of your income regularly for at least three years, with five years of contributions qualifying you for the maximum $5,000 grant. Learn more about buying your first home at our First Home Buyers' Hub.

Creating a total financial plan

KiwiSaver is just one of many tools that can help you save to buy your first home, or for your retirement. Ultimately, it's up to you to choose how you use it.

One of the challenges with being self-employed may be an irregular income which may make it harder to plan for your retirement. Deciding how much to draw out of your business and how to allocate that money, while still thinking about your retirement, can be a challenge. has some advice on retirement planning for small business owners and sole traders which you may find useful.

We're also here to help. You can get in touch with one of our Financial Advisers to get tailored advice for your situation.

Next steps.

Join now

Joining or transferring to the Westpac KiwiSaver Scheme

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Talk to a specialist

Get in touch to talk about KiwiSaver with an expert

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First home buyers' hub

Resources and information for first home buyers.

First home buyers' hub

Things you should know.

BT Funds Management (NZ) Limited is the scheme provider and Westpac New Zealand Limited is a distributor, of the Westpac KiwiSaver Scheme (Scheme).

The information above is subject to changes to government policy and law, and changes to the Westpac KiwiSaver Scheme from time to time.

Investments made in the Scheme do not represent bank deposits or other liabilities of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141, Westpac New Zealand Limited or other members of the Westpac Group of companies. They are subject to investment and other risks, including possible delays in payment of withdrawal amounts in some circumstances, and loss of investment value, including principal invested. None of BT Funds Management (NZ) Limited (as manager), any member of the Westpac Group of companies, The New Zealand Guardian Trust Company Limited (as supervisor), or any director or nominee of any of those entities, or any other person guarantees the Scheme's performance, returns or repayment of capital.

For a copy of the Product Disclosure Statement or more information about the Scheme, contact any Westpac branch or call 0508 972 254 or from overseas +64 9 375 9978 (international toll charges apply). You can also download the Product Disclosure Statement.