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Employees exempt from automatic enrolment

Not all new employees need to be automatically enrolled. If your employee is:

you may not be required to automatically enrol these employees when they start working for you.

Employees under the age of 18

New and existing employees aged under 18 can join KiwiSaver by contracting with a KiwiSaver scheme provider directly. Once an employee under 18 is accepted by the scheme provider, we will write to you and ask you to start deducting their contributions, if they have nominated you as their employer in their application to join. We will provide you with the contribution rate for that employee, their name and IRD number.

You're not required to make compulsory employer contributions for employees under 18, even when you make voluntary employer contributions to their KiwiSaver scheme or complying fund.

Employees over the age of 65

New and existing employees who are aged 65 or older are:

  • not eligible to join KiwiSaver, and
  • exempt from automatic enrolment.

Temporary and casual employees

Temporary employees who are employed for 28 days or less are not enrolled automatically, but can join KiwiSaver by opting in. They can either give you a KiwiSaver deduction form (KS2) or contract with a KiwiSaver scheme provider directly.

A temporary employee is an employee who:

  • is employed to work "as and when required", without a specific end date
  • starts their period of employment each time they are engaged to work, and
  • ceases each time that engagement ends.

If an employee is engaged for future work before the previous engagement has ended, the combined engagements are considered as one period of employment. As long as each period of employment remains 28 continuous days or less, these employees are not subject to automatic enrolment.

The automatic enrolment rules apply to temporary employees if their employment is extended beyond 28 days and applies from the date the decision is made to extend the contract of service. You must then give them a KiwiSaver employee information pack (KS3) and deduct contributions from their next pay. The normal opt-out rules apply.

If you employ a person on a temporary basis who is already a KiwiSaver member the employee may request you to make deductions. In these cases you're required to do so and must also pay compulsory employer contributions on the employee's behalf.

Note: The 28 days refers to the period of employment, not the days or hours worked. For example, if an employee has a two week contract but only works Tuesdays and Thursdays, this counts as 14 days employment not 4 days.

Casual agricultural workers

Casual agricultural workers who are employed on a day-to-day basis for no more than three months are not enrolled automatically, but can join KiwiSaver by opting in. They can either give you a KiwiSaver deduction form (KS2) or contract with a KiwiSaver scheme provider directly.

The automatic enrolment rules apply to casual agricultural workers if their employment is extended beyond three months. You must then give them a KiwiSaver employee information pack (KS3) and deduct contributions from their next pay. The normal opt-out rules apply once automatic enrolment occurs in these situations.

Private domestic workers

The automatic enrolment rules don't apply to private domestic workers who pay their own PAYE. They can opt in to KiwiSaver by contracting directly with a scheme provider, but they may deduct contributions from their salary or wages and pay them to Inland Revenue in the same way as for PAYE.

Employees on work permits or visas

The automatic enrolment rules only apply to employees who are normally living in New Zealand and are New Zealand citizens or entitled to reside in New Zealand indefinitely under the Immigration Act 1987.

Employees who do not come under the automatic enrolment rules include those who are here on:

  • work permits
  • visitors permits, and
  • student visas.

Please sight and record the employee's expiry date from their visa to support ineligibility and non auto enrolment.

Changing jobs but not changing payroll

As a general rule, employees who change jobs but remain on the same payroll are not treated as having started "new employment", so the automatic enrolment rules don't apply. This includes company amalgamations and changes of employer when a business purchaser takes over an existing business as a going concern. For example:

  • an employee who transfers between two company branches where the company has a single centralised payroll, or
  • a business bought as a going concern and retaining existing staff but using a different company IRD number.

Contractors

Contractors who appear on the employer monthly schedule (WT tax code etc) are not employees and are treated as self-employed people under KiwiSaver. This means they are not automatically enrolled and can only join by contracting directly with a scheme provider.

Do not make KiwiSaver deductions from their pay or include payments (employee contributions or employer contributions) on the employer monthly schedule.

Shareholder-employees

Shareholder-employees may be considered employees for KiwiSaver purposes if PAYE is required to be deducted from their salary or wage. If PAYE is not required to be deducted, the shareholder-employee may join KiwiSaver as a self-employed person, by contracting directly with a scheme provider. If they join KiwiSaver as an employee, they will have contributions deducted from their pay.

Shareholder-employees participating as employees will receive the compulsory employer contribution, but not if they participate as self-employed. Shareholder-employees should get advice to determine whether their remuneration is subject to PAYE.

Working partners of a partnership

Working partners of a partnership that pays them a salary or wage for services provided under a written contract of service will be considered employees for KiwiSaver purposes but will not be subject to the automatic enrolment rules. They can either join through you or by contracting directly with a KiwiSaver scheme provider.

Working owners of a look-through company (LTC)

Working owners of an LTC that pays them a salary or wage for services provided under a written contract of employment will be considered employees for KiwiSaver purposes but will not be subject to the automatic enrolment rules. They can either join through you or by contracting directly with a KiwiSaver scheme provider.

Seconded employees

Employees who are seconded to a new employer and are paid on the new employer's payroll are not subject to automatic enrolment. They may join KiwiSaver as an existing employee by opting in. Returning to their original job at the end of the secondment is also not considered new employment. If an employee joins KiwiSaver while on secondment KiwiSaver deductions will need to continue once they return to their original job.

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