According to the most recent statistics, there are just over 3.1 million active KiwiSaver members, who have $83.7bn invested with 27 KiwiSaver providers. Between those providers there are 305 different funds, which offer a wide range of investment options, growth strategies and different levels of risk.
Over the past year, the amount invested in KiwiSaver funds has risen a staggering $20.2bn, on the back of some remarkable market growth. However, as a KiwiSaver member you should be in it for the long-haul and carefully pick your fund and provider on a range of criteria, including:
- Your age
- Whether you intend to use KiwiSaver as a means for a first home deposit
- Your appetite for risk
- Your retirement lifestyle aspirations
- Fees and value for money
While Canstar has a free comparison tool that can help you make the right personal choice: just click on this button…
… it is interesting to take a look at how KiwiSaver members have invested their money. To this end, we’ve put together a list of the top ten most popular KiwiSaver schemes, by total number of members. Plus, for a bit of fun, we’ve also listed the ten schemes that earned the biggest returns for the 12 months to June. (All figures correct as of end 31/05/21).
Top 10 KiwiSaver Funds By No. Members
1 ANZ KIWISAVER GROWTH FUND
No. Members: 265,564
Growth in Past Year: 29.59%
Invests mainly in growth assets (equities, listed property and listed infrastructure), with a smaller exposure to income assets (cash and cash equivalents and fixed interest).
2 ASB KIWISAVER CONSERVATIVE FUND
No. Members: 215,899
Growth in Past Year: 6.51%
Aims to provide modest total returns, with a negative return expected less than one in every 25 years. Invests in income and growth assets with a target investment mix of 80% income assets and 20% growth assets.
3 WESTPAC KIWISAVER CONSERVATIVE FUND
No. Members: 185,347
Growth in Past Year: 8.99%
Aims to provide stable returns over the short to medium term. Fund invests primarily in income assets, but also has an allocation to growth assets. More volatile than Wespac’s Default Fund, but lower than the bank’s Moderate Fund.
4 ASB KIWISAVER GROWTH FUND
No. Members: 154,634
Growth in Past Year: 26.84%
Aims to provide high total returns, with a negative return expected less than one in every four years. Invests in income and growth assets, with a target investment mix of 20% income assets and 80% growth assets.
5 FISHER FUNDS KIWISAVER GROWTH FUND
No. Members: 114,822
Growth in Past Year: 29.19%
The fund aims to grow your savings with more focus on capital growth over the long term. Invested in mainly growth assets.
6 WESTPAC KIWISAVER GROWTH FUND
No. Members: 109,746
Growth in Past Year: 26.98%
Aims to provide higher returns over the long term. The fund invests primarily in growth assets but also has an allocation to income assets. Volatility is expected to be the highest of Westpac’s KiwiSaver funds.
7 ANZ KIWISAVER BALANCED FUND
No. Members: 99,799
Growth in Past Year: 18.01%
Invests in similar amounts of income assets (cash and cash equivalents and fixed interest) and growth assets (equities, listed property and listed infrastructure). It aims to achieve a positive yearly return (after the fund charge and before tax) that over the long term is 3.2% over inflation, allowing for a negative return 4.1 years in every 20.
8 WESTPAC KIWISAVER BALANCED FUND
No. Members: 95,890
Growth in Past Year: 20.75%
Aims to provide medium returns over the medium to long term. The fund has a higher benchmark allocation to growth assets than to income assets. Volatility is expected to be higher than Westpac’s Moderate Fund but lower than the bank’s Growth Fund.
9 ANZ KIWISAVER BALANCED FUND
No. Members: 92,824
Growth in Past Year: 23.68%
Invests mainly in growth assets (equities, listed property and listed infrastructure), with some exposure to income assets (cash and cash equivalents and fixed interest). The fund aims to achieve a positive yearly return (after the fund charge and before tax) that over the long term is 4% over inflation (allowing for a negative return 4.7 years in every 20).
10 AMP KIWISAVER DEFAULT FUND
No. Members: 88,875
Growth in Past Year: 6.87%
The fund has a diversified portfolio that primarily invests in lower-risk income assets, with a conservative allocation to growth assets. The fund is limited to a growth asset allocation of between 15% and 25%. The fund aims to preserve the value of your investments and achieve modest returns.
Top 10 KiwiSaver Funds By Recent Returns
As is clear from the above figures, it’s been a great year for those with growth and balanced funds, with returns from 25% to 30%. However, which KiwiSaver funds really stood out over the past year? Here’s a list of the best performers. But when looking at some of the huge numbers here, up to 83%, it’s worth noting each fund’s return since inception, as these figures give a much needed sense of perspective.
|Fund Name||Past year return net charges and tax||Return since fund started net|
|NZ FUNDS||GROWTH STRATEGY||83.84%||
|LIFECYCLE: AGE 0-54||75.6%||10.33% (2010)|
|SUPERLIFE||OZ MID CAP||67.55%||
|OZ RESOURCES||59.75%||13.45% (2015)|
|SUPERLIFE||US SMALL CAP||55.24%||
|OZ FINANCIALS||52.24%||2.91% (2015)|
|NZ FUNDS||LIFECYCLE: AGE 65||49.76%||
|OZ SHARES||46.56%||4.19% (2007)|
Compare KiwiSaver Providers with Canstar
If you’re comparing superannuation funds, the comparison table below displays some of the products currently available on Canstar’s database for a KiwiSaver member with a balance of $50,000 in a Growth fund, sorted by Star Rating (highest to lowest), followed by company name (alphabetical) – some may have links to providers’ websites. Use Canstar’s KiwiSaver comparison selector to view a wider range of super funds. Canstar may earn a fee for referrals.
To read more about our latest KiwiSaver Awards click this link or to compare KiwiSaver providers, 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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