Reflecting on KiwiSaver: the people's views

Ten years on, KiwiSaver has become a household name. This milestone is an opportune time to reflect on its success and, as New Zealand’s largest provider, ANZ Investments wants to ensure KiwiSaver remains a successful vehicle to help New Zealanders save for retirement. So we teamed up with UMR Research to survey 1,000 people on their views.

Results are in and here’s what our respondents would like to see. 

The great news is that two thirds of respondents are already KiwiSaver members, but what can we do to convince the rest to sign up? The industry is discussing the possibility of making membership compulsory and ANZ strongly supports this. When we put it to the people, 60% agreed with 88% of this group also pushing for compulsory contributions for those earning a wage.  

With some of the lowest saving rates in the world, we know New Zealanders need to get better at saving for retirement – but for many of us, this is not an easy task.  

Knowing how much you’ll need in retirement can be difficult, and 65% of respondents confirmed this by telling us they hadn’t worked out how much they would have saved by the time they retire. So it’s perhaps no surprise that 55% of respondents thought it should be compulsory for KiwiSaver providers to give members free ‘financial health checks’ to help keep them on track. Even more people (62%) want their KiwiSaver providers to give them advice on the best way to withdraw their KiwiSaver savings to ensure these last throughout retirement.

When it comes to starting a family, we know women are more likely to take career breaks, and as a result, 75% of them stop contributing to KiwiSaver. This can seriously dent their retirement nest-egg. To support new parents, ANZ makes employer contributions for staff on parental leave and more than half of our survey respondents, particularly those aged 35 and under, said this should be the norm for all employers .  

With more 65-year-olds staying in the workforce and delaying retirement, two thirds of respondents supported the idea that companies should continue to make employer contributions for those over the age of 65. Over 40% also said this age group should be eligible for government incentives (like member tax credits), even though they’re also eligible for NZ Super. 

These are all ideas that the government and industry need to consider. ANZ’s other recommendations on the future of KiwiSaver can be found in our Dollars and Sense: A Decade of KiwiSaver report.

The full survey results can also be found here.

Published September 2017

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