KiwiSaver Contributions - Gross or Net?

17 November 2020

Written by MoneyHub

KiwiSaver contributions can be confusing and it’s a common question to ask if your contribution (and your employer’s 3% contribution) is calculated on your gross salary or salary after tax - in this guide, our partners from MoneyHub explain everything you need to know.


  • Employee KiwiSaver contributions are paid after-tax; effectively money what would have gone to your bank account is paid instead into your KiwiSaver fund. 
  • Employer KiwiSaver contributions are paid before tax; how much tax you pay depends on your income. 

This is best explained is an example:

  1. if you contribute 3% to your KiwiSaver and your gross salary each week is $1,500 ($78,000 a year), you’ll pay around $341 a week in PAYE and ACC. $45 (3% of $1,500 salary) is contributed to your KiwiSaver fund. Your tax-home pay will be around $1,114.
  2. Running parallel to your personal KiwiSaver contribution is your employer’s contribution. Your employer will also contribute $45 to your KiwiSaver (3% on $1,500 gross salary). However, the IRD taxes this using ESCT, so applying the 30% rate (as you earn between $57,601 - $84,000), you’ll lose $13.50 to tax. The remaining $31.50 will be added to your KiwiSaver fund. This is known as the "net employer superannuation contribution".

Read the full guide here

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