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How to switch from one KiwiSaver provider to another

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So let’s say you’ve gone through our KiwiSaver HealthCheck. Our team at National Capital have analysed your situation and recommended a provider for you. And you’re happy to take our advice on board and switch KiwiSaver schemes.

But you’re wondering how much hassle this process might take. Additionally, you’re concerned changing providers will be a lengthy process, and will take hours to do.

In that case, I’ve got some great news for you. The thing you should know about switching between KiwiSaver schemes is that...

It’s a really simple process

One may think that to change KiwiSaver schemes, you must fill out tons of pages of paperwork. 

In that case, I’ve got some great news for you! This isn’t the case.

Instead, the process is quite simple. When I changed my KiwiSaver provider last year, it took me only about 20 minutes to do so.

Most KiwiSaver providers allow you to complete this process online. All you have to do is fill out a form with your name, your IRD number and a few other things, and you’ll be good to go!

Your new KiwiSaver provider will then do a lot of, if not all, the rest. And you can relax, knowing your money will be transferred to your new scheme.

The transfer process might not be as awkward as you may think

There are some misconceptions regarding what you need to do to switch from one KiwiSaver provider to another. For example, you don’t need to call your current KiwiSaver provider and tell them why you’re switching providers while a salesperson tries to convince you to stay.

I understand how that feels, because I originally used to think this. To my relief, when I changed providers, I never received any awkward phone calls or messages from my old KiwiSaver provider asking me to stay with them.

There is one “awkward” thing to keep in mind. A few KiwiSaver providers charge “transfer fees”. This means you pay your old KiwiSaver provider a fee to leave their scheme, for things such as administration costs. 

Although most providers do not charge transfer fees, you should check with your provider to see if they charge them.

How to change your KiwiSaver provider in four simple steps
1. Keep your PIR, IRD Number, ID, and address handy

These are all important things to have on hand because it is likely you will need most of these in your application form. The reason you give your new KiwiSaver provider these details is so they have the information they need to verify who you are and complete the transferring process.

Below is a description of what you need to know about these four things:

PIR (Prescribed Investor Rate): Your prescribed investor rate is the amount which your KiwiSaver investment returns will be taxed at. You should put in some effort to make sure you are getting taxed at the correct rate. If you pay too little in tax for example, the IRD may contact you to give you a tax bill.

To help you find your PIR, National Capital has developed a PIR calculator you can use.

IRD Number: Your IRD number is an eight or nine digit number which helps to keep track of the amount of tax you’ve paid, and how much you need to pay. Your IRD number is unique to you and you keep it for life.

If you do not know your IRD number, you can check these following places for it:

If you still cannot find it, you should call Inland Revenue. Click here for more information about their contact details.

Also, make sure you have your ID as well as address on you just in case you need it.

2. Decide which fund(s) you’d like to join

Sometime during the process, you will need to decide which fund(s) you want your KiwiSaver money to be invested in.

This is an important part of the process, because being in the wrong fund can cost you a lot of money over your lifetime. Many New Zealanders are making the mistake of being in the wrong fund, costing them lots of money. Therefore, it’s important you take some time to decide where to invest your money. 

If this is a step you’re struggling with, we recommend you complete our KiwiSaver HealthCheck. After filling out an easy-to-fill form, you can get information about what type of fund is best for you, as well as which provider is best suited for you.

This advice is given over the phone, which means you get the opportunity to clarify any questions you may have about our advice. And the service is free.

3. Fill out a form (usually online) to switch providers, and anything else your new provider asks

Most forms are online, simple and easy to fill out, provided you have prepared in advance. 

To find what you need to fill out, go to the website of your new KiwiSaver scheme for more information. These forms can be usually filled out on your computer.

Take your time to complete the application form, following the instructions of the new KiwiSaver provider, and make sure everything is correct to ensure there are no delays in the transferring process.

Your new provider may ask for a few other things once you’ve submitted your application form. For example, when switching last year, my new provider asked for proof of address. Be prepared for this to occur.

4. Sit back, relax, and wait for the process to be completed 

After submitting a request to join your new KiwiSaver provider, it usually takes up to 35 days for the switch to be fully completed. However, it doesn’t usually take this long at all.

When I switched KiwiSaver schemes last year, it took me just two weeks to have all my funds transferred. 

Sometimes your money won’t come into your account all at once. However, be assured that your KiwiSaver money will eventually come.

Before you switch, ask yourself: have you chosen the correct provider?

This is a serious question, because choosing the wrong KiwiSaver provider can cost you tens of thousands of dollars over your lifetime.

There are over 30 different KiwiSaver schemes out there. So with that in mind, it’s important you make an informed decision based on research regarding which provider is best for you.

This is where National Capital’s KiwiSaver HealthCheck can help. Our HealthCheck can help you figure out which KiwiSaver scheme and KiwiSaver fund is best for you. 

This advice is based upon hours of research from our KiwiSaver research team, who investigates into each KiwiSaver fund to find the good ones.

The first step to getting this advice is to fill out our KiwiSaver HealthCheck. Don’t worry - it’s a simple, and easy-to-fill-out form. The reason we ask you to do this is because we want to understand more about you and give you personalised advice.

After this, the next thing to do is to schedule an appointment with one of our advisors. By doing this, you can receive personalised advice over the phone from our team. Our team is trained to give advice for your specific needs, so you will be taken care of.

Then, you turn up to the call at the time you have scheduled. By doing this, you can find out what the best course of action for your KiwiSaver account is.

Lastly, you will be asked whether you’d like to implement our recommendations. If for example, you’d like to change KiwiSaver providers, we can take care of that for you. And if you choose to not do so, that’s perfectly fine! You are not obligated to do so.

Want to hear the best part of this all? This service is all for free.

So what are you waiting for? Fill out our KiwiSaver HealthCheck and get yourself some free financial advice. Your future self will thank you for it.

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Before you switch KiwiSaver providers, ask yourself: are you with the right KiwiSaver fund provider? Make sure by taking our free KiwiSaver HealthCheck!
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