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KiwiSaver vs investment funds

KiwiSaver and investment funds (also called ‘managed funds’) are very similar. In fact, KiwiSaver funds are actually a type of managed fund. But KiwiSaver was designed specifically to help you save for your retirement, so it has some special benefits – and also some limitations – that investment funds don’t have.

In this article, we look at both the similarities and differences between KiwiSaver and investment funds, and how they can work together to help you achieve your investment goals.


With both KiwiSaver and investment funds, your money is pooled with other investors’ money and invested in a range of assets including shares, bonds and listed property, depending on the fund you choose. You pay an annual fund charge to the fund manager, which covers all the work and expenses involved in managing the fund your money is invested in.

Both KiwiSaver and investment funds typically offer a choice of funds, each with a different mix of investments depending on your attitude to risk, investment timeframes and financial goals. Returns for both KiwiSaver and investment funds can go up and down depending on the performance of your fund.


There are three main areas of difference between KiwiSaver and investment funds:

  • Contributions
  • Access to your money
  • Buying your first home


With both KiwiSaver and investment funds, you can make regular and lump sum contributions anytime. However with KiwiSaver, you could also benefit from the employer and Government contributions.

  • Employer contributions: 
    if you're employed and contributing to KiwiSaver from your pay, your employer is generally required to contribute at least 3% of your before tax-pay.

  • Government contributions:
    if you're eligible, the Government will also contribute 50 cents for every dollar you contribute to your KiwiSaver account, up to $521.43 a year.

Access to your money

With investment funds, you can request to withdraw some or all of your money at any timedisclaimer.

With KiwiSaver, your money is generally locked in until you turn 65, unless:

  • You're experiencing significant financial hardship, 
  • You're emigrating permanently,
  • You have a serous illness, or
  • You're using your KiwiSaver savings to buy your first home.

Find out more about early withdrawals from KiwiSaver

Buying your first home with KiwiSaver

If you're eligible, you can use your KiwiSaver savings to either buy your first home or buy land to build your first home on. If you've been making regular KiwiSaver contributions for at least three years, you may also be eligible for a First Home Grant from Kāinga Ora.

Find out more about buying your first home with KiwiSaver.

Investment funds aren't locked in, so you're able to use your investment towards buying your first home too, as well as any other goals.

How can they help you achieve your financial goals?

While they are similar in many ways, KiwiSaver and investment funds have their own special benefits and features – so they can work together to help you achieve your goals.

For example, KiwiSaver offers benefits such as employer and Government contributions, but your money is generally locked in until age 65. If you have additional funds to invest, you may want to consider putting them in an investment fund which offers you access to your money whenever you need it, giving you greater flexibility.

Summary of key features

  ANZ KiwiSaver Scheme ANZ Investment Funds
Actively managed by our Investment Management team

Diversified (access to a wide range of investments)
Choice of funds to invest in
Add to your investment anytime
Access your money anytimedisclaimer
Employer and Government contributions
First home benefits

Free financial advice

If you need help choosing the right investment option for you, talk to one of our financial advisers. They can provide free advice tailored to your individual situation.


Find out more


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ANZ New Zealand Investments Limited is the issuer and manager of the ANZ KiwiSaver Scheme, ANZ Default KiwiSaver Scheme and ANZ Investment Funds. Important information is available under terms & conditions. Download the guide and product disclosure statement.

Our financial advice provider statement has some important information you should know about ANZ and our financial advice services. Please take the time to read it.

Once your withdrawal request is received, it will usually take up to five business days for your withdrawal to be processed and paid to your bank account. A minimum withdrawal amount of $500 per lump sum withdrawal or $100 per fund for regular withdrawals apply.