Auckland and parts of Waikato are at Alert Level 3. The rest of New Zealand is at Alert Level 2. Please read the guidance.

COVID-19: implications for our practice

Page URL:
Printed: 24/10/2021
Printed pages may be out of date. Please check this information is current before using it in your practice.

Last updated: 09/03/2020

Enrolling tamariki in KiwiSaver

Caregivers who are legal guardians under the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 can enrol tamariki in their care in KiwiSaver without consulting with other guardians, including parents.

Upcoming changes for this policy

This content will be strengthened so it more completely reflects our commitment to practice framed by te Tiriti o Waitangi, based on a mana-enhancing paradigm for practice, and drawing from ​Te Ao Māori principles of oranga to support mana tamaiti, whakapapa and whanaungatanga. We each need to consider how we can apply these principles to our practice when reading this policy. The following resources provide support:
Practice for working effectively with Māori
Our practice shift

Who this policy applies to

This policy applies to all caregivers who are legal guardians under the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 who want to enrol te tamaiti in their care in KiwiSaver.

How we help caregivers

We must provide information and documentation to caregivers with guardianship under the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 who approach us about enrolling a tamaiti in their care in KiwiSaver.

Information to give caregivers

Caregivers wanting to enrol tamariki in their care in KiwiSaver need to be aware that:

  • they must hold guardianship (additional or sole) for te tamaiti under the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
  • wherever possible, enrolment should be done with the consent of and in consultation with all other guardians
  • if the caregiver is an additional (not sole) guardian of te tamaiti, and chooses to enrol te tamaiti in their care in KiwiSaver, they should inform all other guardians that te tamaiti has been enrolled in KiwiSaver
  • rangatahi aged between 16 and 18 years need to co-sign any KiwiSaver application — they should also choose the provider and fund type
  • rangatahi need to apply to take a savings suspension when they begin their first job if they do not want an employee contribution automatically deducted from their pay
  • the Government $1000 kickstart grant was removed in 2015
  • tamariki under 18 are not eligible for the $521.43 annual member tax credit
  • most KiwiSaver providers charge annual fees to cover the investment, management and administration costs of running the scheme — the Sorted website can provide an indication of the fees each fund will likely be charged over the life of the investment
  • they cannot directly pay the pocket money paid by Oranga Tamariki for te tamaiti into a KiwiSaver account (this pocket money must always be given to te tamaiti) — however, te tamaiti can save a portion of their pocket money in their KiwiSaver account through their bank account, if they want to.

KiwiSaver fees calculator —

Policy: Ensuring a safe, stable and loving home for tamariki in care

Provide documentation

If a caregiver with guardianship under the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 talks with us about enrolling te tamaiti in KiwiSaver, we must assist them by providing the necessary documentation.

They are likely to need:

  • a certified copy of the birth certificate for te tamaiti
  • the IRD number for te tamaiti
  • a certified copy of the guardianship order naming the caregiver as a guardian of the specified tamaiti.

The name on the birth certificate for te tamaiti must match the name on the guardianship order. If it doesn’t, consult with your regional solicitor about getting an amended order from the Family Court. The names need to match in order to meet the identity verification requirements of KiwiSaver providers.

What we can’t do

We cannot provide financial advice to caregivers or tamariki about KiwiSaver. This includes providing recommendations about different KiwiSaver providers or fund types. It is recommended that caregivers obtain independent financial advice to ensure that KiwiSaver is the best investment for tamariki in their care.

If they want advice, we can refer them to the following online resources:

KiwiSaver — Inland Revenue

KiwiSaver fund finder —