UniSaver (Superannuation) Frequently Asked Questions

What is the UniSaver scheme?

UniSaver is a defined contribution superannuation scheme provided by UniSaver New Zealand for Universities in New Zealand. A defined contribution superannuation scheme means that benefits from UniSaver are based on contributions made and investment returns received, after deduction of fees, expenses and tax.

UniSaver New Zealand (previously called the New Zealand Universities’ Superannuation Scheme) is an employer-sponsored registered superannuation scheme. It was established on 1 March 1993.

Membership of UniSaver is available to all permanent and eligible fixed-term employees of participating New Zealand universities The current participants in UniSaver are The University of Auckland, University of Canterbury, Lincoln University, Massey University, University of Otago, Victoria University of Wellington and The University of Waikato (‘the Universities’) and various companies and organisations associated with them.

Can I be a member of Kiwisaver and UniSaver?

Yes you can; however, the type of membership you have with UniSaver will determine how the employer contributions are distributed. If you join UniSaver as a subsidised member and wish to continue your Kiwisaver contributions, Massey University has to pay the compulsory employer contribution of 3% to Kiwisaver and this will result in the employer contribution to UniSaver being reduced by $1 for every $1 the University pays into Kiwisaver. If you join UniSaver as a CFA member, and wish to also remain a Kiwisaver member, then as noted on the Application for Membership form, the compulsory employer contribution will be paid into UniSaver first and no contribution paid into Kiwisaver from Massey University. However, you can elect for the compulsory contribution to be paid to Kiwisaver instead; this needs to be advised in writing when your application for membership form is submitted.

Who can join UniSaver?

Any salaried staff member, whether they are fixed-term or permanent can join the scheme as an unsubsidised member. All permanent employees are eligible to join as a subsidised member. Fixed-term employees are eligible to join if they have two years or more left to run on a fixed-term appointment; and can only join in the UniSaver’s CFA (locked-in) section, which means they also need to be either a New Zealand citizen or entitled to live in New Zealand indefinitely.

What is the contribution that Massey University will pay?

Massey University will pay up to a maximum of 6.75%, provided you pay 5% into the scheme. The University’s contribution is 1.35 times what you pay, minus Employer Superannuation Contribution Tax (ESCT), e.g. if you pay 4%, the University will pay 5.4 % (4% x 1.35 = 5.4%) or (5% x 1.35 = 6.75%). Information on tax rates used can be found on the UniSaver website.

Where do I find the Application for Membership form?

The Application for Membership form is attached at the back of the Product Disclosure Statement.

What is the best fund to put my money in?

We are unable to provide any form of financial advice, if you need advice or assistance in determining what would best suit your circumstances, you will need to discuss this with a qualified financial advisor.

Can I transfer my KiwiSaver into UniSaver?

It is not possible to transfer from Kiwisaver into UniSaver. If however you were to leave employment of the University, you can transfer from UniSaver into KiwiSaver.

How much would I receive if I were to the leave employment of the University?

If you are to leave by way of resignation,redundancy, retirement, ill health or death, then you (or your Estate) will receive a lump sum equivalent to the total balances in the member's no.1 and no.2 accounts (excluding any amounts in your locked accounts).

How can I change my contribution rate into the scheme?

You can change this by completing a ‘Change of Member Details' form. Once this is completed, please return this to HR Services, who will then in turn make the changes in the payroll system, complete Part B and forward the form to the scheme.

What are my options when ceasing service with the University?

The options available to you are specified on the Leaving Service form. Once you have determined what option you wish to take, please sign the form and return this to HR Services, who will then in turn complete Part B once your final salary payment has been made and then forward the form to the scheme administrators.  If you are taking up an appointment with another University who is a participant of the scheme you will need to transfer your membership by completing a ‘Change of Employer’ form.

Can I withdraw money from my superannuation fund?

The aim of the scheme is to provide a benefit at retirement; however, there is an option for a First Home Withdrawal or an In-Service Withdrawal.  Information on these withdrawals is available on the UniSaver website.

How much do I have in my superannuation fund?

Massey University does not have the ability to view your fund balances as we do not manage your fund. If you wish to find this out, you can do so by viewing your account information via the UniSaver website and logging in with the details you were sent by the scheme, or by contacting UniSaver on 0800 864 724 or email unisaver@mercer.com.

Can I suspend my contributions?

Yes you can, and to do so you need to elect a contribution holiday by completing a ‘Change of Member Details' form advising how long you wish to suspend your contributions for, which can be for a period of no less than 3 months or longer than 5 years, although successive contribution holidays may be taken.

How do I advise the scheme I am taking a period of leave?

You can advise the scheme of this by completing a ‘Change of Member Details' form. Once this form is completed it needs to be returned to HR Services who will in turn complete Part B and then forward this onto the scheme administrators. 

How do I advise the scheme I am taking a period of leave and wish to continue to contribute during that time?

You can advise the scheme of this by completing a ‘Change of Member Details' form. Once this form is completed it needs to be returned to HR Services who will in turn complete Part B and then forward this onto the scheme administrators. If you have indicated on this form you wish to make contributions during your absence, the scheme will be in contact with you to make the necessary arrangements.

How do I inform the scheme of a change in name?

You can advise the scheme of a change in your name by completing a ‘Change of Member Details form and attaching a copy of the documentation that provides the confirmation of the change in name. Once this form is completed it needs to be returned to HR Services who will in turn complete Part B and then forward this onto the scheme administrators.

Can I make lump sum contributions to the scheme?

Lump sum payments are not accepted by UniSaver; however, there are some instances where a voluntary contribution can be made.  Information on this can be found on the UniSaver website

First Home withdrawal

Members may, with the trustees consent, make a withdrawal from UniSaver to purchase a first home in New Zealand.  There are certain criteria that need to be met for this and further information on this can be found on the UniSaver website.

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