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Payments need to be put right

 

Q.      I started a new job in November.  My boss gave me a KiwiSaver Opt Out form at the time but I gave it back to him and said that I didn’t want to opt out.  However, they have not been making contributions to my KiwiSaver account since I started.  The job was to be temporary to Christmas but they have asked me to stay on.  What should I do about my KiwiSaver?  It is a national chain and the head office is in Auckland.

 

A.     I am sure you are pleased that your temporary job has now become more permanent.  The sooner you can get contributions going into your KiwiSaver account, the better. 

 

Workers on a temporary contract employed for 28 days or less are not enrolled in KiwiSaver automatically - but they can opt in, as you told your boss you wished to do. 

Information on KiwiSaver provided at www.ird.govt.nz states "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."

 

You told your boss that you did not want to opt out, so your employer should have been making their 2% contributions and deducting at least 2% from your wages since you started in November.   These minimums will both increase to 3% from 1 April this year.

 

Should you make a fuss about the missing payments?  As you have only been working for them since November the amounts involved will be quite small, and it may not be worth pursuing.  But the situation needs to be put right as soon as possible, now that your contract has been extended, so that you don’t miss out on any more contributions. 

 

What you need to do is fill out a KiwiSaver deduction form (KS2 - available online) and give it to your boss to forward to head office.  If you are already a member of a KiwiSaver Scheme, Inland Revenue will direct your contributions on to the correct provider. 

 

Many people back away from negotiating directly with their boss around their pay and conditions of employment.  They complain to their fellow workers but shut up when the boss appears.  There is an art to negotiation and it is a valuable skill to learn.  Pick the right moment and say to your boss ‘Could I have a word with you when you can spare the time?’  Show courtesy and explain your situation clearly.  He or she will appreciate it. 

 

I have heard that some employers make their workers feel guilty about belonging to KiwiSaver because of the added cost to them, but with a national chain this is unlikely.  So have no qualms about getting your contributions going as soon as possible.

 

Shelley Hanna is an Authorised Financial Adviser FSP12241.  Her disclosure statement is available on request and free of charge by calling 8703838.  The information contained in this article is of a general nature and is not intended to provide personalised advice.  If readers have any KiwiSaver questions they would like answered please go to www.peak.net.nz or email shelley.hanna@peak.net.nz.

As published in the Hawkes Bay Today 8 January 2013