Tax and fees


Tax on your member contributions

Member contributions are calculated on your before-tax salary but deducted from your after-tax income. This means member contributions are deducted from your pay after tax.

Tax on your employer contributions

Employer Superannuation Contribution Tax (ESCT) is deducted from employer contributions before they are credited to your account. The amount of tax varies depending on the total amount of:

ESCT is not applied in the same tiered way as personal income tax rates and only one rate applies to the total amount of the employer contribution.

ESCT rates

Total income plus employer contributions Tax rate %
Up to $16,800 10.5
Between $16,801 and $57,600 17.5
Between $57,601 and $84,000 30.0
Between $84,001 and $216,000 33.0
$216,001 and over 39.0


The return you get from an investment is only one side of the equation. The other, of course, is cost. We monitor UniSaver’s costs and expenses closely. The size of the scheme means we can negotiate very competitive investment management fees with our investment manager and the fees associated with other service providers. Fixed costs are shared among approximately 10,000 members, which also helps keep them low on a per member basis.

DIAGRAM Total fees 2000px9

This graph shows the total fees for $100,000 invested in UniSaver's three main funds against the average for KiwiSaver schemes with a similar mix of assets included a survey by Morningstar – an independent company that monitors fund performance, including fees. It includes both investment management fees (deducted from investment returns) and administration fees (deducted from members' accounts by KiwiSaver schemes - only retained members of UniSaver pay an administration fee).

Investment management fees

Investment management fees are deducted from investment returns before they are applied to your accounts. They include the costs charged by Russell Investment Group Limited for acting as UniSaver’s investment consultant and investment manager. Fees are also charged by the managers of the underlying funds in which the investments are made. This table lists the estimated total fund charges per annum as a percentage of net asset value.

Investment option Annual fund charges %
Growth 0.75
Balanced 0.68
Conservative 0.54
Cash 0.30
UniSteps (age 49) 0.72
UniSteps (age 54) 0.68
UniSteps (age 59) 0.63
UniSteps (age 64) 0.59

Administration fees

Administration fees meet the cost of running the scheme. They cover a range of professional services, such as investment, audit and legal advice, as well as the cost of providing member services. This includes things like maintaining member and general scheme records, operating the member helpdesk and website and reporting to and communicating with members. Administration fees are charged to members by way of a reduction in the scheme's investment returns. Retained members pay an annual administration fee of $52.32.

Service fees

We charge the following service fees to your account:

These service fees were updated on 1 January 2021.

Any amounts deducted from your accounts are shown on the annual account statement we send you each year. 

Find out more

You’ll find detailed information about the fees charged by our service providers at


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