Kiwis take longer to choose a movie than check KiwiSaver

Many New Zealanders spend longer choosing a movie to watch than reading and acting on their annual KiwiSaver statement.

A recent survey of 1100 New Zealanders for the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) found four out of five people took up to 10 minutes to choose a movie, but just over half of those questioned spent the same time reading their KiwiSaver annual statement.

More than 2.8 million New Zealanders are signed up to KiwiSaver and now is the right time for members to engage with their investments. That’s because all providers send an individual annual statement at this time of year.

The statement has all the information in one place that members need to check they are on track. It details how much is in their KiwiSaver, the investment returns achieved over the year, how much they paid in fees, as well as other key information.

“For many New Zealanders, KiwiSaver may be their first investment – we want to do all we can to help them make the most of it,” said Gillian Boyes, Investor Capability Manager at the FMA.

“A few more minutes checking your statement can make a huge difference to what you get in the end. For example, an 18-year old switching into a growth fund rather than staying in a conservative fund, could potentially end up with around $135,000 more in their fund by the time they turn 65.

“The FMA has simple online tools like the Health Checker to help you get the most from your KiwiSaver, if you don’t know where to start.”

The survey revealed that one in five people didn’t know how to check their KiwiSaver performance.

Men were more likely than women to state that their fund was performing better than expected, yet women were, in fact, more likely to check how their KiwiSaver had performed.

The survey is part of an FMA campaign to encourage people who may have their ‘heads in the sand’ about their KiwiSaver investment, to reflect on the fees and returns displayed in their statements and to improve their KiwiSaver settings by using the FMA health checker tool.

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