State Sector Retirement Savings Scheme and KiwiSaver

Following the closure of the Government Superannuation Fund to new members in 1992 retirement savings was left to individual agencies to provide. Unsurprisingly, at a time of financial constraint, the response was mixed.

The Public Service Tri-partite Forum (consisting of Ministers, Departmental Chief Executives, the State Services Commissioner and the PSA) was instrumental in getting a new scheme off the ground. In 2004 the State Sector Retirement Savings Scheme (SSRSS) was set up with the PSA involved in the establishment working groups and having representation on the advisory board.

Unlike the GSF it was a voluntary defined contribution scheme, with benefits being paid out of employer and employee contributions, plus earnings. Minimum employee contributions were 1 ½ % of gross base salary and would be matched by the employer up to a maximum of 3%. There was debate about extending the scheme to the whole of the state sector but in 2007 it was superseded by KiwiSaver, a scheme designed for employees in both the private and state sectors. KiwiSaver was also a defined contribution scheme but it offered government incentives as well as contributions from employers and employees. The SSRSS was closed off to new members in October 2008.

Sources: Glenn Barclay, PSA representative on the SSRSS Advisory Board, and

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