Managing your savings

Choosing and changing your investment options

The New Zealand Defence Force has introduced investment choice in the Defence Force Superannuation Scheme. The same investment options are also available in the New Zealand Defence Force KiwiSaver Scheme and the New Zealand Defence Force FlexiSaver Scheme.

There are seven investment options to choose from. You can choose to invest in one option, or split your savings between different options.

Learn about the different investment options available. 

Investment risk profiler

Find out if you're in the investment option that best aligns to your desired level of investment risk. Launch the risk profiler >


Have you reviewed your investment strategy and are now are wondering what next?

How do I change my investment options?

You can change the investment option of your existing account balance and/or your future contributions at any time, and at no cost to you.

If you want to transfer all of your money to the same new investment options (that is, your current account balance and future contributions) you need to submit a change request for both your current account balance and your future contributions.

You can also choose to have your current account balance and your future contributions invested in different options. The choice is yours!

Changing your investments is easy.
  • Call us on 0800 333 787
  • Log in to your account

If you need further help choosing an investment option, please call NZDF’s appointed financial advisers, Milestone Direct Limited, on 0508 MILESTONE (0508 645 378), or email them at


Choosing the wrong PIR can have significant consequences, so it's best to get it right.
  • If you nominate a rate that is higher than it should be, you’ll pay too much tax and cannot claim the extra tax back.
  • If you pay too little tax, by choosing a rate that is too low, you’ll have to include your earnings on your tax return and pay tax at your marginal rate, which may be more than the top PIR of 28 per cent. You could also be subject to penalties.
  • If you don’t nominate a rate, your PIR will be set at the default rate of 28 per cent, which means you could be paying too much tax.
To check or update your PIR, log in to your account; go to 'personal details' and click the 'update your PIR' link.

If your PIR is correct then you don't need to do anything.

If you're not sure what your tax rate should be, you can work out your correct PIR by using the table below.

*Previous two income years refers to the two years prior to the tax year that the PIR is being applied to. An income year is generally the period from 1 April to 31 March of the following year. However, an income year can start and end on alternative dates if Inland Revenue consents. The tax year is always the period from 1 April to 31 March of the following year.

It is important you select the correct PIR and you need to notify us if your PIR changes. More information about obligations in relation to PIRs is published by Inland Revenue

Important information: Please note that any information in this material regarding legal, accounting or tax outcomes does not constitute legal advice or an accounting or tax opinion and prior to relying and acting on this information it is important that you seek independent advice from a qualified lawyer or an accountant regarding this information.


Contributing to your KiwiSaver account or the FlexiSaver Scheme account is easy.

Contributing into your KiwiSaver account

If you are a member of the New Zealand Defence Force or have a different employer, your contributions are deducted directly from your pay, so you aren't tempted to spend money you could be saving.

You can also make lump sum or regular contributions directly to your account, or make voluntary contributions via Inland Revenue.

Contributing into your FlexiSaver Scheme account

You choose when and how you contribute to your FlexiSaver Scheme account. Members of the New Zealand Defence Force can choose to contribute directly from their pay by advising the Payroll and completing the appropriate form. Minimum contribution amount is $20 per pay. There are no minimum contributions when you use online banking to contribute into your FlexiSaver Scheme account.

KiwiSaver regular contributions

You can choose to contribute at a minimum rate of 3%, or opt to contribute at a higher rate of either 4%, 6%8% or 10%of your before tax salary or wages.

Contributions to your KiwiSaver account are made by you, your employer and the Government. This helps you achieve your retirement savings goals faster!

Your options on how to contribute

Making voluntary contributions to your KiwiSaver account is easy. Choose one of the options below and just remember to always include your IRD number as a reference when contributing.



Type in or search for 'NZ Defence Force KiwiSaver Scheme' and select it

Please include the following details to ensure your payment reaches your KiwiSaver account:

a. Particulars: Your surname
b. Code: Your member number
c. Reference: your IRD number (add a leading zero if there are only 8 digits).


Type in or search for 'NZ Defence Force FlexiSaver Scheme' and select it

Please include the following details to ensure your payment reaches your KiwiSaver account:

a. Particulars: Your surname
b. Code: Your member number


Choose the 'pay tax' option on your online banking and include the tax type “KSS” and period “0


Download the New Zealand Defence Force KiwiSaver Scheme Direct Debit form or the New Zealand Defence Force FlexiSaver Scheme Direct Debit form.

Complete the form and return it to us at:

New Zealand Defence Force Saving Schemes
Freepost Authority Number 3629
PO Box 1849
Wellington 6140


New Zealand Defence Force KiwiSaver Scheme

You can withdraw your KiwiSaver savings when you qualify for New Zealand Superannuation (currently at the age of 65). However, if you joined KiwiSaver between the age of 60 and 65, you'll only be able to withdraw your savings after you've been a KiwiSaver member for five years. For members who join KiwiSaver Scheme after 01 July 2019, this 5 years lock-in period will not apply, for more information, please read the summary of KiwiSaver regulation changes.

For more information about withdrawals once you've reached retirement age, please download the KiwiSaver Retirement Withdrawals fact sheet.

Early withdrawals

Your KiwiSaver account is designed to help you save for your future and your savings are locked in until you qualify for New Zealand Super. There are a few instances where you may be eligible to make an early withdrawal from your KiwiSaver account. Find out more about Early Withdrawals below.

First Home Withdrawal

You may be eligible to withdraw your savings (leaving a minimum of $1,000 in your account) to put towards buying your first home once three years have passed since Inland Revenue received your first KiwiSaver contribution, or the date you first joined KiwiSaver.

Find out more about First Home Withdrawals
Serious Illness

You may be able to withdraw your KiwiSaver savings early if you are experiencing a terminal illness or permanent disability affecting your ability to work.

You can download the Serious Illness Withdrawal application form from the Documents and Forms section.

Significant Financial Hardship

If you are suffering significant financial hardship and can provide appropriate evidence of this, you may be able to withdraw some of your savings.

Significant Financial Hardship claims are given careful consideration by the Supervisor who has sole discretion as to whether or not to approve your claim.

Significant Financial Hardship may include financial difficulties that arise from a number of circumstances:
  • Your inability to meet minimum living expenses; or
  • Your inability to meet mortgage repayments on your principal family residence resulting in the mortgagee seeking to enforce the mortgage on the residence; or
  • The cost of modifying a residence to meet special needs arising from your disability or your dependant's disability; or
  • The cost of medical treatment for illness or injury to you or your dependant;
  • The cost of palliative care for you or your dependant; or
  • The cost of a funeral for your dependant; or
  • Your suffering from a serious illness (as defined by the KiwiSaver Act).
  • Find out more in the Significant Financial Hardship Guide

Permanent Emigration  

If you have moved overseas permanently, and have been living overseas for at least one year, you may be able to withdraw your KiwiSaver savings (including any Government contributions you have received since joining KiwiSaver).

If you’re permanently moving to Australia, the Trans-Tasman Portability scheme is in place. This means you are unable to withdraw your KiwiSaver savings as your KiwiSaver account is portable across the Tasman. Find out more in the Trans-Tasman Portability Guide.

To apply for a Permanent Emigration Withdrawal, please download the Permanent Emigration Withdrawal Form in the Documents and Forms section. You can also contact us to find out more about your situation and whether you qualify for a Permanent Emigration Withdrawal.

1The rates of 6% and 10% only become available from 01 April 2019.

This website is provided by Mercer (N.Z) Limited, as the Manager of the New Zealand Defence Force KiwiSaver Scheme, the New Zealand Defence Force FlexiSaver Scheme and the Defence Force Superannuation Scheme (the Schemes).