About retained membership
You don't need to withdraw your money from UniSaver when you leave work. You can choose to leave all or part of your benefit in UniSaver and become a retained member. Your member contributions and employer contributions will cease. However, if you are a locked member, you will be able to make top-up contributions to your member locked account to qualify for the maximum government contribution - read more about voluntary contributions.
You will continue to earn interest on your savings in the usual way. You can also change your investment choice at any time. You can remain a retained member indefinitely so long as you maintain a balance of at least $5,000 in your accounts.
Managing your money in retirement
UniSaver has a facility to set up regular withdrawals so you can effectively pay yourself a monthly pension in retirement. You might find these rules of thumb on retirement spending helpful in setting the payment amount. You can change the amount when you need to.
Conventional wisdom is that the closer you are to needing to draw on your savings, the more conservative your investment strategy should be. That doesn’t mean you need to have all your money invested in a low-risk fund on retirement. At that point, you may need your savings to provide an income for 20 years or more, so you still need money invested for the long term. One approach is to invest money you plan to spend in the near-term in a low-risk fund and money you plan to spend in the longer-term in a higher risk fund or funds. You’ll find information on this approach in Sorted’s guide to managing your money in retirement [external link]. UniSaver is ideal for this strategy. You can split your savings across a number of investment options and nominate which fund you want payments to be made from.
A monthly administration fee will be deducted from your account. The current fees for retained members are listed here.
How to become a retained member
Complete form 12 leaving form [PDF, 128 KB] and choose the 'retain' option in Part B. You can choose to retain your savings in the standard and/or locked sections.
As a retained member, you can make ad hoc partial withdrawals or set up a regular monthly payment. If you’re invested in more than one investment option (except UniSteps), you can nominate which option you want the funds withdrawn from. If you don’t nominate an option, the funds will be withdrawn proportionally from across your investment options.
As a retained member, you can set up a regular monthly payment from UniSaver to a nominated bank account. There is a one-off establishment fee for setting up a regular monthly payment. You won't be charged a fee for each monthly payment or for changing the amount of the payment.
You must maintain a balance of at least $5,000 to remain a retained member. If a withdrawal reduces the balance in your accounts to less than $5,000, your remaining balance will be paid to you and your membership of UniSaver will cease.
Regular withdrawals are subject to the rules about locked accounts (see below).
To set up a regular withdrawal, complete form 14 retained member - withdrawal [PDF, 96 KB] and send it to Mercer.
As a retained member, you can also make ad hoc partial withdrawals. The first partial withdrawal in any 12-month period is free. A fee will be charged for the second and any subsequent withdrawal in that same period.
You must maintain a balance of at least $5,000 to remain a retained member. If a withdrawal reduces the balance in your accounts to less than $5,000 your remaining balance will be paid to you and your membership of UniSaver will cease.
Any withdrawal is subject to the rules about locked accounts (see below).
To make a partial withdrawal, complete form 14 retained member - withdrawal [PDF, 96 KB] and send it to Mercer.
You can withdraw the total balance of your accounts by completing form 14 retained member - withdrawal [PDF, 96 KB] and sending it to Mercer. Any withdrawal is subject to the rules about locked accounts (see below). You will also be charged a termination fee. The current fees for retained members are listed here.
Withdrawals from locked accounts
You are only eligible to make withdrawals from your locked accounts if you have reached the age 65.
There is an additional requirement if you joined the locked section before 1 July 2019. In this instance, when you fill in a withdrawal form, you will be asked to confirm that you are opting out of the requirement to have completed 5 or more years' membership of the locked section (or another complying superannuation fund or KiwiSaver scheme) before becoming eligible to make a withdrawal. As a result, from the date of the withdrawal, you will no longer be eligible for government contributions.
If you are eligible, you can make a partial or total withdrawal from your locked accounts using form 14 retained member - withdrawal [PDF, 96 KB]. You will need to complete the statutory declaration included on the form the first time you make a withdrawal from your locked accounts.
You can transfer the balance of your locked in accounts to another complying superannuation fund or KiwiSaver scheme at any time. Again, complete form 14 retained member - withdrawal [PDF, 96 KB]. You don't need to complete the statutory declaration.