It’s been a tough year for KiwiSaver balances. During the pandemic, world markets experienced a quantitative easing-induced sugar rush. However, since then, they have crashed, dragging down most KiwiSaver account balances with them.
According to research from the Financial Markets Authority, carried out in July, the proportion of KiwiSaver members reporting that their investment return had decreased in the previous 12 months almost doubled, from 25% in 2020, to around 50% in 2021.
And that could prove to be an optimistic figure. Because even many big Conservative funds are down, around -7.5% according to the ones Canstar researched for a recent story.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Most funds – even the worst performing over the short-term – have made long-term gains, which is the whole idea behind investing in KiwiSaver.
Plus, recent market turbulence has spurred more KiwiSaver members to engage with their funds. More people are reading their annual reports, and three quarters of members have made an active choice of fund.
It is against this backdrop of greater KiwiSaver awareness and interaction that Canstar releases its 2022 awards for Outstanding Value KiwiSaver Schemes, which credit the KiwiSaver funds that deliver the best returns to their customers.
Our KiwiSaver Star Ratings involve a sophisticated and unique ratings methodology. Canstar’s expert research team delves deep and compares the costs, features and performance of KiwiSaver funds. And, importantly, we don’t just look at short-term results.
KiwiSaver is intended as a long-term investment. And our research reflects this, rewarding providers for their average returns over the past five years.
For this year’s ratings, we’ve expanded on the number of providers we research. In total we cover:
- 18 Providers
- 22 Schemes
- 128 Total Funds
Each of the eligible KiwiSaver funds is rated across three main categories:
Most importantly, this covers annual returns, but it also looks at consistency of performance. This means how returns fluctuate year to year – whether they are consistent or vary wildly.
Features include: the range of investment options offered by a KiwiSaver provider, the financial advice, tools and support provided, and ease of member access.
Annual cost to members, including fees and total fund charges.
Fisher Funds KiwiSaver | Milford KiwiSaver
This year, three schemes, from two providers, share top honours in our Outstanding Value | KiwiSaver Award:
- Milford KiwiSaver Plan
- Fisher Funds KiwiSaver Scheme
- Fisher Funds TWO KiwiSaver Scheme
When researching this award, we compare the cost, features and performance of KiwiSaver funds (over a minimum of five years) across balanced, conservative and growth profiles. Then, we acknowledge the scheme or schemes that demonstrate outstanding value across all three fund profiles with our top award.
Canstar’s Best KiwiSaver Funds
Part of choosing a KiwiSaver provider is determining which fund type is best for you, your financial goals and your appetite for risk.
If you are expecting to make a withdrawal in the near future, it’s recommended that you choose a more balanced fund. This reduces your risk, and the chances of your KiwiSaver balance dropping suddenly just before you access your funds.
However, if you’re just starting on your KiwiSaver journey, a riskier growth fund could help boost your initial investment.
If you are considering changing your fund or risk profile, check out the different funds that earned our top 5-Star ratings for Outstanding Value across the following fund categories:
Best Cash Funds
ANZ KiwiSaver Scheme – Cash Fund
Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme – Cash Fund
Superlife KiwiSaver Scheme – NZ Cash Fund
Best Conservative Funds
Fisher Funds KiwiSaver Scheme – Conservative Fund
Fisher Funds TWO KiwiSaver Scheme – Cash Enhanced Fund
Fisher Funds TWO KiwiSaver Scheme – Conservative Fund
Generate KiwiSaver Scheme – Moderate Fund
Milford KiwiSaver Plan – Conservative Fund
Best Defensive Funds
ANZ Investments NZ OneAnswer KiwiSaver Scheme – NZ Fixed Interest Fund
Superlife KiwiSaver Scheme – NZ Bonds Fund
Best Balanced Funds
Booster KiwiSaver Scheme – Socially Responsible Balanced Fund
Fisher Funds KiwiSaver Scheme – Balanced Strategy
Fisher Funds TWO KiwiSaver Scheme – Balanced Fund
Milford KiwiSaver Plan – Balanced Fund
Best Growth Funds
Aon KiwiSaver Scheme – Milford Active Growth Wholesale Fund
Milford KiwiSaver Plan – Active Growth Fund
Best Aggressive Funds
Booster KiwiSaver Scheme – Geared Growth Fund
Booster KiwiSaver Scheme – Socially Responsible High Growth Fund
Summer KiwiSaver Scheme – Summer New Zealand Equities
For our full Outstanding Value KiwiSaver Awards and Star Ratings click the button below:
Milford: Canstar’s Provider of the Year KiwiSaver 2022
As you can see from the above award and ratings, Milford earns 5-Star Outstanding Value Ratings for:
- Milford KiwiSaver Plan – Conservative Fund
- Milford KiwiSaver Plan – Balanced Fund
- Milford KiwiSaver Plan – Active Growth Fund
These accolades, in addition to the fact that Milford also rates highly for customer satisfaction, is why Milford, once again, is Canstar’s Provider of the Year | KiwiSaver.
To read more about why Milford is our Provider of the Year for the third consecutive year, click on the button below.
About the author of this page
This report was written by Canstar’s Editor, Bruce Pitchers. Bruce began his career writing about pop culture, and spent a decade in sports journalism. More recently, he’s applied his editing and writing skills to the world of finance and property. Prior to Canstar, he worked as a freelancer, including for The Australian Financial Review, the NZ Financial Markets Authority, and for real estate companies on both sides of the Tasman.
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