These days it is easier to get your child a passport or medical care than Kiwisaver. And neither of those are particularly easy!
So firstly let’s see whether this issue is legal and what grounds you do have to change it. An Inland Revenue spokesperson told Stuff.co.nz “The Care of Children Act 2004 specifies that a guardian must act jointly with any other guardians of the child.” But wait, it gets even more complex:
“If an under-18 has more than one guardian, all must agree to enroll that person to KiwiSaver — one cannot act in isolation. For example, if the under-18’s parents are separated and new partners have been appointed as joint guardians, all four guardians must agree.”
So it could be worse. This is why the Kiwisaver act says children under 16 must have all guardians sign. According to the Kiwisaver site, under 18’s need to join through a provider. Kiwisaver is beginning to seem more and more R18, at least for children without a relationship with all guardians!
Now you didn’t say how old your son is, but if he is 16 or 17, different rules apply. They only need to get one of their parents to co-sign their application form. And if they don’t have a legal guardian, they can just enroll themselves.
“It balances the need for the child to be involved in the process and the need for the child to have some protection in the form of parent/guardian oversight,” the spokesperson explained.
Financial adviser Mary Holm spoke openly about her disdain about these regulations. “I think the law’s too tough. It doesn’t seem right that some children — who may well be having a hard time anyway — are cut out of KiwiSaver because of an unco-operative guardian, while their classmates belong.”
In short: If your child is under 16, you need to fax the forms to his birth father and any other caregivers. If he’s over 16, you’re in the clear.
Please note: The information in this article is intended to be general in nature and is not personal financial advice. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information, you should consider the appropriateness of the information provided and should seek independent financial advice.