KiwiSaver provider Simplicity has announced that it is now offering KiwiSaver accounts free of annual fees to foster children.
Simplicity said it has been working with Clutha Southland MP Hamish Walker, who introduced a Private Members Bill into Parliament allowing foster parents to enrol children in their care into KiwiSaver. Previously, only natural parents or legal guardians of foster children could enrol children in KiwiSaver. In effect, this meant very few, if any, have been enrolled as many parents are absent, and legal guardians (usually the State) have had other priorities.
According to Simplicity managing director Sam Stubbs, the problem was brought to their attention last year by Megan Barclay, a foster mum, who had been frustrated at trying for years to open a KiwiSaver account for foster children in her care.
“Being able to open and maintain a long-term savings scheme like KiwiSaver is the right of every New Zealander,” Barclay told Simplicity. “Removing these barriers is an easy thing to do, and will create some financial security for foster children, especially when their start in life has had many barriers and challenges already.
“Let’s make it easy to do and help make young people living in care equal to everyone else in New Zealand.”
If the law passes, Simplicity said it will provide KiwiSaver accounts to all foster children free of annual member fees. A small fund management fee of 0.31% will apply.Firm backs bill allowing foster parents to enrol their children into KiwiSaver
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