20 Sep 2008

Retirement schemes likely to suffer in financial turmoil

12:07 pm on 20 September 2008

New Zealanders saving for their retirement are being warned of the potential for big losses from weeks of turmoil on world financial markets.

On Thursday, $1.3 billion dollars was wiped off the value of top New Zealand shares, though some of that loss was made up in Friday when the benchmark NZX 50 closed up 0.8%.

Australian stock exchange losses for the week are being put at around $34 billion.

Investment Savings and Insurance Association chief executive Vance Arkinstall says a few investments might even have slipped below the $1,000 government input for KiwiSaver.

But he says this should be rare, and the extent of each person's losses will depend on their degree of exposure to property and shares.

Personal finance writer Mary Holm says some schemes will have sustained big losses, but most New Zealanders are on conservative or neutral schemes, which favour interest-bearing investments over shares.