Westpac KiwiSaver Scheme

As well as affecting the health of people around the world, COVID-19 is also affecting financial markets because investors are unsure about the effect it might have on the global economy in the short term.

Since markets have been volatile in recent months, you may have noticed your Westpac KiwiSaver Scheme balance has fluctuated as well.

KiwiSaver is generally designed to be a long-term investment and balances will increase or decrease in value, depending on how markets perform. These movements are called volatility.

While share market volatility is likely to continue for a while, the good news is that markets generally recover with time.

The main thing is to choose the right fund for your life stage, adapted to your tolerance of investment risk, and then stick with it.

To check that your Westpac KiwiSaver Scheme fund is right for you, take a look at our Risk Profiler.

For other things to keep in mind when managing your Westpac KiwiSaver Scheme account, click here.

Alternatively, if you have any further questions you can find our KiwiSaver contact details here.

We also have answers to 10 questions you might have about Kiwisaver and COVID-19.


Applying to withdraw KiwiSaver funds

If you’re experiencing significant financial hardship, you may be eligible to withdraw some of your KiwiSaver funds.

However, it’s important to remember that KiwiSaver is designed to provide you with money to live on during retirement. Any money you take out now could impact upon your retirement savings and potentially affect your standard of living in the future, and the government considers it to be a last resort. Westpac NZ is following this government recommendation, which you can read more about here.

Before you make any hardship withdrawal, it’s important to consider these alternative options and support programmes:

  • Government support packages – if you’ve lost your job or your business is expected to struggle, you may be able to get wage subsidies, help with essential costs and other income support. See what support you can get from the government here.
  • Loan repayment deferral – if you’re struggling to pay a mortgage or personal loan with Westpac or another NZ bank, you may be able to apply for a loan repayment deferral or payment reduction to cover interest.
  • Financial MentoringMoneyTalks is a free helpline available to provide budgeting advice to individuals, family and whanau. They can help understand your financial situation, organise your debt, plan for the future, and get you in touch with a local budgeting service.
  • Online toolssorted.org.nz has a range of tools and information that can help with budgeting, KiwiSaver and tackling debt.

If you’ve already considered the above and none are suitable for your circumstances, learn more about the Westpac KiwiSaver Scheme hardship withdrawal process here.

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Life, Income and Debt Insurance

Life Insurance

Call us on 0800 738 641 if you need help with your premium payments, want to make a claim or have questions about your policy. We’re here Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5pm. If overseas, call +64 3 372 4855. Our Contact Centre is currently experiencing higher than normal call volumes, so we appreciate your patience. If your query is not urgent, you can also email us at insurancehelp@westpac.co.nz

Existing policies in force as at 20 March 2020

There are no specific pandemic exclusions in existing policies that are issued and underwritten by Westpac Life-NZ-Limited (Westpac Life)*.

If you need to make a claim, our standard process will be followed to determine if your claim meets the applicable claims criteria. This includes assessing your claim against:

  • the existing terms and conditions of your policy (including any standard exclusions which apply to your policy), and
  • any special terms and conditions relating to your individual policy (including any exclusions or limitations applied specifically to your policy).

The benefits provided, and the terms and conditions that apply to your policy, are set out in your policy document and your policy schedule (if applicable). Please refer to those documents for more information.

*This means the following Westpac Life products: Card Repayment Cover, Disability Income Cover, Flexicover, Gold Disability Income Cover, Gold Term Cover, Lifetime Guarantee, Loan Protection Plan / Loan Insurance, Mortgage Repayment Insurance, Simplicity Life, Term Cover, Westpac Accident Cover, Westpac Bill Protection, Westpac Loan Cover and Westpac Retirement Plan Insurance (together referred to as “Westpac Life, Income and Debt Insurance Products”).

New policies issued from 21 March 2020

We can continue to help you with your insurance needs at this time. Call us on 0800 177 277 and we can help you determine what is right for you.

Please be aware that for applications for new insurance cover or increases to existing insurance cover:

  • you may need to answer additional underwriting questions, and/or
  • some cover options, such as redundancy and bankruptcy cover, may not be currently available, and/or
  • some exclusions may be applied.

Westpac Loan Cover

If you have a Westpac Loan Cover policy attached to your personal loan, and you’re eligible for COVID-19 loan repayment assistance, your Westpac Loan Cover can remain in place during your COVID-19 loan repayment assistance period, as per your latest policy schedule, until the policy expiry date. Remember, this cover may not match your actual personal loan term or balance if these have changed since you took out your policy. If you think you might be able to claim on one of the benefits under your policy, or have any questions on this or if you need another copy of your policy schedule, then get in touch at insurancehelp@westpac.co.nz, call us on 0800 738 641.

Note, your policy would normally terminate if the limit or term of your personal loan increases. To help ease the process, as an exception you’re able to keep your policy in place if you need to restructure your loan at the end of your COVID-19 loan repayment assistance period (unless your policy has expired or terminated prior to this). Just be aware that your policy won’t cover any increase in loan limit or term resulting from any personal loan variation. If your personal loan account is restructured again in the future (after any initial end-of-assistance restructure), your Westpac Loan Cover policy will terminate as per the usual process. Since we no longer accept applications for Westpac Loan Cover, we won’t be able to offer additional cover under your policy, or provide a new policy.

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Home, Contents, Vehicle and Boat Insurance

 Westpac Home, Contents, Vehicle and Boat cover is arranged by Westpac New Zealand Limited (“Westpac”) and underwritten by IAG New Zealand Limited (“IAG”).

 As an essential service IAG’s customer service and claims teams remain open and here to support you should you have an enquiry or need to claim.

Claims

To lodge a claim please call the claims team on 0800 309 378.

For existing claims we have worked closely with our extensive network of suppliers, repairers and tradespeople to ensure they can operate safely and within the Ministry of Health guidelines for the current Alert Level. We will continue to assess and settle customer claims during this time. 

Financial Hardship

If you’re experiencing financial hardship because of COVID-19, we’d like to understand your situation and see how we may be able to help. Please contact our customer service team on 0800 809 378 Monday to Friday, 8am to 6.30pm and Saturday, 8.30am to 5pm.

Changes to Home Cover for landlords effective 2 April 2020

The option for landlords to add the Rent Protection benefit to new Home Cover policies or to add it to existing Home Cover policies is not currently available. If you’re an existing Home Cover policyholder with the Rent Protection benefit shown on your policy schedule, your cover is unaffected.

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Travel Insurance

The NZ Government is now advising that New Zealanders do not travel overseas at this time due to outbreak of COVID-19. This may affect customers with Westpac Travel Insurance and travel insurance provided in conjunction with some Westpac credit cards.

  • Westpac Travel Insurance is administered by Cover-More (NZ) Limited and underwritten by Zurich Australian Insurance Limited. For information in relation to Westpac Travel Insurance (Cover-More) please refer to this information sheet or contact Cover-More¹ directly on 0800 500 22.
  • For information on overseas travel insurance provided in conjunction with some Westpac credit cards² please contact AIG Insurance (the underwriter) on 0800 465 322 or visit Travel Activate.

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Credit card

If you need help with your credit card payments, please email us at creditcard.covidassistance@westpac.co.nz or call 0800 606 606 (+64 9 375 9907 for overseas) 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

If you haven’t already done so you may wish to seek free, independent and confidential budgeting advice by contacting MoneyTalks at moneytalks.co.nz

Credit card repayment cover

If you have credit card repayment cover insurance, please refer to your policy wording. If you think you might be able to claim on one of the benefits under your policy, or if you’d like to cancel your cover, please call: 0800 738 641 (if underwritten by Westpac Life-NZ-Limited) or 0800 167 167 (if underwritten by both Westpac Life-NZ-Limited and/or Cigna Life Insurance New Zealand Limited). As we are no longer issuing new policies for card repayment cover, you will not be able to reinstate your cover at a later date if you choose to cancel it. 

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