ASB is an Outstanding Value KiwiSaver Scheme winner. So, we caught up with Jonathan Beale, ASB general manager wealth, private banking and wealth & insurance, to find out more about how investors can make the most of their KiwiSaver fund, as well as some tips on how to choose a fund.
What sets ASB apart from the rest of the market?
We have a very clear value proposition about low fees and consistent top quartile returns. A major focus is also on guidance and advice to help people make the right decisions about saving for their retirement, or for their first home. Our mobile functionality allows customers to easily change funds, check their balance or add money how and when they want to. We communicate with our customers in a way that provides them with advice on the best way to grow their KiwiSaver. It’s a complex product and at ASB we believe that we need to make it easy for our customers, so they can get on with living their lives.
What advice do you have for KiwiSaver members who are in a default fund?
Firstly, decide what you want from your KiwiSaver. Is it to purchase your first home or for retirement? Once you have decided that, then use our “what’s the right fund for me?” tool. We then recommend the most appropriate fund for you based on your goal and time frame. Once you are in the right fund, look at your balance and decide how much of your pay you can contribute, remembering the more you contribute the better for you.
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What should potential first home buyers saving for a deposit consider when choosing a KiwiSaver fund?
Like all KiwiSaver members, they should think about when they are going to buy a home. The time-frame is important, as this will dictate which fund will be the most appropriate. They should ensure that they are making enough contributions to get the full member tax credits – it’s helpful that the IRD will assist them in saving for their deposit. Using a KiwiSaver calculator will enable them to see what their first home deposit could look like; how much more could they have if they saved faster? Or could they reach their first home goal sooner?
Both partners should be in KiwiSaver if they are buying a house together, as both KiwiSaver funds can be used towards the deposit.
What do KiwiSaver members need to know about the debate between fee levels and returns?
Fees are an important part of the equation when it comes to KiwiSaver. The higher the fee, the lower the return. Contrary to what people might think, a higher fee does not mean higher returns. There is a wide variation in KiwiSaver fees, however at ASB, we believe in offering great value based on strong fund performance, advice, low fees and the ability to manage your KiwiSaver digitally.
What tips do you have to help KiwiSaver members boost their investment balance?
Firstly, check you are in the correct fund – we have a simple tool to do that. Then make sure you are contributing enough to get the member tax credit of $521. After that, look at what the costs are at 3%, 4% and 8%, and see if you can afford to increase your contributions. Breaking this down into weekly amounts makes it feel less daunting.
Canstar’s verdict: Why ASB KiwiSaver Scheme is a Canstar Outstanding Value Scheme
ASB is a winner of Canstar’s first-ever Canstar Outstanding Value KiwiSaver Scheme award for its ASB KiwiSaver Scheme.
“The ASB KiwiSaver Scheme has some of the lowest fees across the balance profiles considered within Canstar’s price scenarios,” Canstar NZ general manager Jose George says.
“Notably, they are price leaders for the Growth profile, with total fees $86 below the market average,” Mr George says.
But, ASB is also performing well when it comes to returns.
Over the most recent five-year period, annual returns across all its funds are considered consistently within the top quartile of the KiwiSaver market.
ASB is also a market leader in the member access and function categories, Mr George says.
For these categories, Canstar considers factors including, ease and convenience of setting up an account, phone and call centre access as well access to online publications and information.
To find out more about how KiwiSaver providers and funds stack up, check out Canstar’s 2018 KiwiSaver report.
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