Latest news / Ngā rongo kōrero hou rawa

Constabulary members not able to suspend contributions

We’ve become aware of incorrect information included in a response from the Police Association to a letter published in the May 2024 issue of Police News. The response incorrectly stated that the PSS trust deed allows constabulary members to suspend contributions when in fact this option is only available to non-sworn members. The June issue of Police News will carry a correction.

Missing the best days in the market

The volatility experienced this year is not unusual or extreme by historical standards. For example, in March 2020, share prices as measured by the S&P 500 index jumped by as much as 9.38% in single day and fell as much as 11.98%. Sharemarkets move in broad cycles known as bull and bear markets. A bull market is when share prices are generally rising and investors are optimistic. A bear market is when share prices are generally falling and investor sentiment turns negative. The trouble is that it’s very difficult to predict when these cycles will begin and end.

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Accessing funds to alleviate significant financial hardship

Late last year, several media outlets reported a rise in the number of significant financial hardship applications from KiwiSaver members as cost of living pressures began to bite. We’ve noticed a similar trend.

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Market update

The final chapter of 2023 started as the previous one finished, but soon recovered to see equity markets rallying back towards their 2023 highs. Both equites and bonds saw strong returns after a poor start in October, with November providing the strongest set of monthly returns in over three years.

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Take care when switching investment options

You can change your investment choice online by signing in to your account or downloading a form from our website. You can choose one (or more) of five investment options, each with a different mix of assets, or Super Steps where the mix of investments changes automatically based on your age. You can choose a different strategy for your current account balances and for future contributions (unless you select Super Steps where this doesn’t apply). Make sure you read this part of the form carefully and double check your choices before you submit the change online or send in the completed form.

Who gets your money if you die?

We will pay your benefit to your legally nominated personal representative(s) if you die while you are an active member of PSS or while you are entitled to a deferred benefit from the scheme. ‘Personal representative’ means the person(s) granted probate (where the deceased left a will) or letters of administration (where the deceased did not leave a will).

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Withdrawals from age 65

With the support of the Commissioner and service organisations, we've amended the trust deed to allow members to access their savings from age 65 while still in service.

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Expert financial advice when you need it

PSS offers all members (including retained members) access to a limited financial advice service provided by Mercer. Its financial advice team can help with questions about PSS and KiwiSaver, choosing the best investment option for your circumstances, saving for a first home, managing your PSS funds in retirement and more. The team can provide specific advice in relation to your savings in PSS and general information on other types of financial products.

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Planning for retirement

It’s never too early – or too late – to start planning for retirement. The Financial Services Council’s retirement planning guide might be a useful starting point to help get you thinking about how you might create an income in retirement.

Buying back your super after parental leave

You’re eligible for employer contributions while on parental leave and some other kinds of leave without pay. You just need to pay the member contributions you’ve missed. For most members, Police contributes around $1.35 (after tax) for every dollar you make up, so it’s well worth making up your contributions if you can. 

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Boost your savings by making voluntary contributions

The scheme is a popular way of salting away extra cash either for a first home or for retirement. Around one in 10 members choose to make additional voluntary contributions which totalled more than $4 million last year. You can make additional voluntary contributions of between 1% and 10% of salary. Complete the following form and return it to Payroll.

Regulations mean that we can’t accept contributions from retained members.

PSS and KiwiSaver

Most PSS members are also in KiwiSaver. Many choose to take a savings suspension, but still top up their KiwiSaver account by $1,042.86 each year (around $20 a week), so they qualify for the full government contribution of $521.43. If you’re not already in KiwiSaver, there’s nothing to stop you joining so you can take advantage of this extra money from the government. However, you will have to contribute 3% of your salary for a year before you can take a savings suspension. Read more about PSS and KiwiSaver.

A registered charge will slow benefit payments

As you know, you can use your savings as security for a loan with the Police and Families Credit Union or other lender. If you do, a charge is registered against your account. This gives the lender the option of having any outstanding balance repaid at the time you make a withdrawal from the scheme. When you apply for a benefit, Mercer contacts the lender. The lender assesses the security of the loan and either authorises Mercer to process the payment or contacts you if an amount needs to be repaid or retained in your account as security. If there’s a charge against your account, Mercer needs to follow this process whether or not you have repaid the loan. Expect your payment to be delayed by up to a week while the charge matter gets sorted.

Proof of bank details required for benefit payments

We can only pay benefits into an account in your name. This means we cannot pay benefits into family trust accounts, business accounts or accounts in someone else’s name. That’s why we need to ask for supporting evidence of your bank account details when you make a withdrawal, and it also helps prevent a slip-up in transcribing your account number. The evidence needs to show the name the account is in and the bank account number. The simplest way is to take a screenshot from your internet banking or a photocopy of the top of a bank statement or ask your bank to print and sign a verification of account slip. Once Mercer has this information on file, you won’t need to provide it again unless you change your account. This extra step is designed to help protect members against fraud. It’s also required by our auditor.