Our most popular KiwiSaver blog posts are when we publish a commentary on the investment returns on KiwiSaver funds. We use the publicly available Morningstar KiwiSaver Performance Survey, which is updated each quarter. Here is the latest survey.
The Morningstar survey uses information direct from the fund managers and the fund managers can choose to participate in the survey or now. Some high profile fund managers have found reasons to not participate, which makes direct comparison quite difficult. The Morningstar surveys have been operating since the fund managers received KiwiSaver contributions on 1st October 2007, so have an extensive database of information.
Since 1st October 2013, all KiwiSaver providers are required to provide detailed information to the public (and usually on their websites), that enables a more direct comparison of what their returns are, what their fees are and how they work. It appears however, that this information is not always easy to find.
Enter the new comparison website KiwiSaver Fund Finder on the excellent 'Sorted' website. This is run by the Commission for Financial Literacy and Retirement Income.
You can find out a lot of information about the KiwiSaver providers and use the 'Do it Yourself' approach to checking how your KiwiSaver is working. There are a number of calculators on the Fund Finder, including:
We’ve grouped KiwiSaver funds based on the riskiness of their investments. The value of riskier funds tends to rise and fall more, but over long periods those funds usually grow more, too.
The fees shown are those charged by providers for the year ended 31 March 2013 on the average KiwiSaver balance on 30 September 2013. Over the years, fees have a big effect on how fast your savings accumulate.
When it comes to telling you how fast your KiwiSaver account is growing, helping you decide which fund to be in, or offering alternatives or assistance, some providers give you more of a hand than others.
The finder shows a fund’s returns – after fees and tax – between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2013. Note that past performance won’t necessarily continue. In fact, in some situations previous good performers tend to do worse than average later on.
There are two ways of switching with KiwiSaver: staying with your provider but moving to one of their other funds, or moving to a new provider. It’s easy to switch but it’s not always wise.
This is a useful website, and we suggest that you take the time to play around with it, particularly if you don't have an adviser that you can discuss these issues with.
However, at Moneyworks, we are quite concerned about the number of commentaries focusing on fees. We have written a blog post on this topic, that we recommend that you review when you are working out how your KiwiSaver is going and which is the best option for you.
If you have any thoughts or opinions that you would like to share, visit us at our Twitter, Facebook or Linked In pages, and comment.
For more blog entries that you might be interested in:
By Carey Church
This website is operated by Moneyworks NZ Ltd and is not endorsed by, or affiliated with, the New Zealand government or Inland Revenue. Moneyworks NZ Ltd is using the KiwiSaver trade mark and logo under licence from Inland Revenue. To view the official New Zealand government KiwiSaver website, please click Here