Introduction... Distinctive Features of the Benefits Environment... Key Changes in Recent Years...

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1 Table of Contents Introduction... Distinctive Features of the Benefits Environment... Key Changes in Recent Years Statutory/Mandatory Programs Retirement Benefits... 6 Death Benefits... 8 Disability Benefits... 8 Workers' Compensation Benefits Health Benefits Parental Benefits Family Allowances Unemployment Allowances Social Security Supplemental Programs Retirement Death and Disability Benefits Health and Wellness Benefits Paid Time Off Other Benefits Financial Summary Accounting and Reporting Tax Aspects Glossary of Abbreviations and Useful Websites... Contact Us... Limitation... Terms and Conditions... Towers Watson Global HR, Compensation and Benefits Information:

2 Statutory/Mandatory Programs Statutory Programs Mandatory Programs Statutory programs are set up and operated by the government with all employers required to comply typically through payroll deductions. With the sole exception of workers' compensation, the social security system is funded out of general tax revenue. The system provides a wide range of social welfare benefits including old age, survivors' and disability pensions, cash sickness, maternity, healthcare, parental leave, workers' compensation benefits, and unemployment and family allowances. All legal residents are eligible for benefits, subject to a length-of-residency requirement, depending on the benefit concerned. Mandatory programs are required to be implemented by companies. They are not managed by the government but typically by providers selected by the company or individual. The government introduced a new occupational retirement savings plan, referred to as KiwiSaver, in 2007 with the aim of increasing the level of retirement savings for the general population. All new employees are automatically enrolled in the scheme unless they choose to opt out within the first eight weeks of employment. Employers are also required to contribute to the individual's KiwiSaver account or equivalent company retirement plan. Employers are not otherwise required to provide their employees with retirement, health or welfare plans. Retirement Benefits - Statutory Reforms Eligibility The Superannuation Pension is funded from general revenue and partial pre-funding via the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. The plan is legislated by the Superannuation Act 2001 and is administered by the Ministry of Social Development. The Superannuation Fund is a sovereign wealth fund intended to pre-fund future superannuation costs by investing government contributions and the return on investment over the long term. The fund was established in 2003 with an initial investment of NZD 2.4 billion. The fund's total assets as of June 30, 2014 were NZD billion, with a rate of return since inception of 9.78% per annum (vs. a risk-free rate of return of 5.06% per annum). In 2009, the government suspended its regular full payments to the Superannuation Fund, due to a rising budget deficit. Partial payments will be made, depending on financial and budgetary considerations. The government has indicated it projects resumption of regular payments in 2020/21. All permanent legal residents are covered by the social security system; however, individuals who have been resident for a relatively short period of time may not qualify for an old-age pension. Benefit Entitlement Claimants must have attained normal retirement age and have at least ten years of residency after age 20, including five years after age 50. Periods of time spent in certain countries such as Australia, Canada, the Netherlands or the United Kingdom may be counted as periods of qualified residence under reciprocal arrangements has with those and other countries. The benefit is generally not subject to income or asset testing, with the exception of married pensioners where one of the partners is not qualified for a pension. Benefits may also be reduced for retirees receiving a social security pension from another country. 5

3 Death Benefits - Statutory Reforms Eligibility Covered Earnings Benefit Formula Payment Form Survivors' benefits are covered by Jobseeker Support, Sole Parent Support and Orphans' Benefit. The benefits are funded from general revenue and legislated by the Social Security Act. The plans are administered by the Ministry of Social Development. From 2013, Jobseeker Support and Sole Parent Support replaced the Widow's Benefit. Spouse or civil partner and orphaned children of the deceased are eligible provided they have at least two years' residency (not applicable to orphans). Spouse To qualify, the spouse must be in one of the following categories: Raising a dependent child (i.e. under age 18); Married for 15 years and formerly had one or more dependent children; Spent 15 years or more, married or widowed, supporting and caring for a dependent; Age 50 or older and widowed after age 40, provided marriage was for at least ten years; or Married for at least five years and widowed after age 50. The law recognizes traditional marriages as well as civil unions (same sex or opposite) and domestic cohabitation. Children The children's benefit is payable to dependent children under age 18, subject to income testing of the child's non-personal income such as money from a trust fund. Not applicable as social security benefits are flat-rate uniform payments unaffected by former levels of compensation from employment. Spouse The benefit is income tested. As of April 1, 2013, the maximum net weekly Jobseeker Support benefit is: NZD for a single parent with dependent children. A widow with no children or whose youngest child is age 14 or above must work or train for at least 15 hours per week or be actively looking for part-time work of at least 15 hours per week. A funeral grant (NZD 2, as of April 1, 2015) may also be payable depending on the deceased's estate and the income and assets of the deceased person's partner. Children As of April 1, 2015, the maximum net weekly orphan's benefit varies depending on the child's age, as follows: Under age 5: NZD ; Age 5 to 9: NZD ; Age 10 to 13: NZD ; and Age 14 and up: NZD Bi-weekly payment. Benefit rates are established annually as of April 1 based on changes in the Consumer Price Index in the calendar year prior, as well as national net average ordinary weekly earnings. Funded by general revenue. 8

4 Supplemental Programs Retirement Prevalence Supervisory Bodies Eligibility Retirement Age Service Definitions Covered Earnings The majority of supplemental retirement plans in are registered superannuation schemes. The main requirements for a scheme to be registered are that it is governed by a trust deed and it meets various disclosure requirements. These schemes receive no advantageous tax treatment of any significance compared to other forms of saving in, and benefits are therefore determined by the philosophy of the employer and market practice. The provision of supplemental occupational pensions is low and declining. According to the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) 2013 Superannuation Scheme report, the percentage of the workforce covered by occupational retirement plans has dropped from 13.9% in 2002 to 10.0% by Coverage of KiwiSaver, the voluntary retirement savings scheme introduced by the government in 2007, continues to grow with over half of the workforce enrolled in the scheme as of Private-superannuation plans are divided between retail plans (open to the general public) and employer-sponsored plans. The total number of plans declined from 512 in 2011 to 457 in 2013, with the number of employer-sponsored plans dropping from 204 in 2011 to 156 as of the end of The FMA attributes the reduction in number of employer plans as the result of more employers joining multi-employer plans to reduce administrative costs. Most retail and employer plans are small. Only 66 employer plans have total assets in excess of NZD 50 million but they account for 90% of all superannuation scheme assets. Financial Markets Authority (FMA). Eligibility for membership is determined by the employer, and practice varies widely. Membership is normally voluntary, although a few employers make membership compulsory. Members are most commonly full-time employees, although part-time employees are eligible to join some schemes. Plans may also restrict membership to employees with a minimum period of service, generally between three months and two years. Normal Retirement Age Commonly age 65, based on normal retirement age for social security. Early Retirement Age Early retirement may be permitted with the employer's agreement. Late Retirement Age Not common. Pensionable service is calculated from the date of joining the plan. In some cases service prior to joining the plan (e.g., from the date of employment with the organization) is included in the determination of the resignation benefit. Salary for benefit purposes is normally basic pay, exclusive of bonuses, allowances, overtime and other variable receipts. If employees whose earnings include a significant commission element are members, some allowance may be made for the commissions. 16

5 Benefit Formula Payment Form Funding Vehicles Vesting and Portability Normal Retirement There is no typical retirement benefit. Defined contribution (DC) plans pay a benefit equal to the account balance - i.e. contributions and investment returns. Defined benefit (DB) plans typically pay a multiple of the member's final average salary. In both cases, the benefit is generally paid as a lump sum when the member leaves service and there is no residual employer benefit obligation. Early Retirement Lump sum plans generally pay a benefit based on membership or contributions to actual retirement date with no other reductions. DB pension plans usually pay a reduced pension from actual retirement date to make an appropriate actuarial allowance for the longer period of payment. Lump sum or annuity. A majority of DB plans have provisions for discretionary pension increases. Registered Superannuation Schemes Registered superannuation schemes are governed by a trust deed. These are funded and are expected to have sufficient assets to cover vested liabilities and generally aim to have sufficient assets to cover accrued liabilities. There are no investment restrictions on retirement fund assets, other than the normal fiduciary requirement of prudence. The main areas of investment are fixed interest, equity and property. There is no constraint on offshore investments. Unfunded Arrangements There are a few unfunded retirement benefit arrangements that are defined by individual agreements. However, these are generally restricted to special cases and/or senior management. Book-reserved plans have never been popular in and are rarely found. Vesting Typically, vesting of the employer's portion of the benefit commences at or before five years of membership and reaches a maximum at or before ten years for DC plans. There has been a trend toward reducing both the period before vesting commences and the period before maximum vesting. Portability Due to the low level of occupational retirement coverage and variety of plans, portability of benefits is not a major issue. Many retirement plans (both DB and DC) require contributions from members. The prevailing trend for DC is to allow a variable level of member contributions, with benefits varying accordingly. 17

6 Financial Summary Accounting and Reporting Tax Aspects Accounting standards are based on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), referred to as equivalents to IFRS, and are applicable to most companies. Some domestic small companies may still use the old Reporting Standards. The Financial Reporting Act 2013 took effect from April 1, 2014 and comprehensively restates and rationalizes the obligations applying to companies, overseas companies, limited partnerships, and other forms of business organization. is a relatively high-tax environment, generally as a result of the imposition of indirect taxes such as the Goods and Services Tax. Income tax is levied on most forms of income received by individuals, companies and estates. Income includes earnings from property, labor or effort, pensions, estates, trusts, the value of benefit allowances received in cash or kind, unemployment benefits, other income-tested benefits paid by the Income Support Service, and earnings-related compensation paid when a taxpayer is unable to work because of personal injury or incapacity. Employer Superannuation Plans Employer contributions to occupational retirement plans are deductible. to a registered superannuation scheme are deductible; however, they are also subjected to an employer superannuation contribution tax (ESCT) at NZD 0.33 on the dollar (or NZD 0.64 on the dollar under the Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) if the scheme was not registered). Fringe Benefits The FBT is imposed on employers in respect of many of the benefits provided to employees in relation to past, present or future employment. The rate of FBT depends on the individual's marginal tax rate and is generally either 43% or 49%. It is an expense that is deductible to the employer. This effectively means that, for an employee, the net benefit of a fringe benefit is receiving an equivalent tax payment, including the FBT element, and paying income tax at their top marginal tax rate (generally, 30% or 33%). Medical Insurance Medical insurance premiums are deductible to the employer but are liable for FBT, which is also deductible. Where payments from the policy are made directly to the employee, they are not assessable as long as they are not related to loss of earnings. Type of Benefit Company Deductible Employee Deductible Lump Sum Benefits Taxed Annuity Benefits Taxed First-pillar pensions (social security) Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable Yes Second-pillar pensions (registered Yes No No No superannuation plans) KiwiSaver Yes No No Not applicable Survivors' and disability insurance No No Yes Yes Medical Insurance Yes No Not applicable Not applicable 21

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