5 Jun 2016

Calls for more KiwiSaver competition

9:44 pm on 5 June 2016

Competition among KiwiSaver providers is weak, says a Treasury paper.

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Photo: 123RF

Treasury says the level of fees and returns is crucial in terms of how much money is in the pot at retirement, so in theory, at least, KiwiSaver providers should be competing hard in those areas to attract customers.

That's not happening: fees haven't fallen, and people pay little attention to returns.

Instead, they've increasingly favoured the major banks that dominate KiwiSaver, where they get a good deal by bundling up their mortgage and credit card with their retirement scheme.

Treasury suggests competition would be sharpened by a significant lift in people's understanding of how fees and returns affect their balances.

It also says members sensitivity to fee levels may change as fund balances grow in the future.

KiwiSaver: The facts

  • KiwiSaver funds under management are $32 billion at March 2016, and the average balance is about $10,040.
  • Management fees are about 0.87 percent a year (total expenses as a ratio of total assets) and this is little changed since the workplace savings scheme started in 2007.
  • Six KiwiSaver providers hold 86.3 percent of the market. The three largest hold 26 percent, 19 percent and 13 percent market share respectively.

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