According to the most recent statistics, there are just over 3 million active KiwiSaver members, and $60bn invested with over 30 KiwiSaver providers. Between those providers there are 270 different funds, which offer a wide range of investment options, growth strategies and different levels of risk.
Recently, due to the pandemic and the stock markets’ roller-coaster ride, there has been much talk about KiwiSaver investments. Those who rushed to move their money from growth funds to conservative funds back at the beginning of April might now be regretting their decisions. They would have set their losses in stone at the market’s lowest point and missed out on the subsequent gains.
Such knee-jerk, short-term financial decisions are to be avoided. 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 other 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. (All figures correct as of end March, 2020).
1 ANZ KIWISAVER GROWTH FUND
No. Members: 267,977
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: 233,279
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: 193,761
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: 138,036
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: 112,555
The fund aims to grow your savings with more focus on capital growth over the long term. Invested in mainly growth assets.
6 ANZ KIWISAVER BALANCED FUND
No. Members: 100,441
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.
7 WESTPAC KIWISAVER GROWTH FUND
No. Members: 97,995
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.
8 AMP KIWISAVER DEFAULT FUND
No. Members: 95,285
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.
9 WESTPAC KIWISAVER BALANCED FUND
No. Members: 94,852
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.
10 ANZ KIWISAVER BALANCED FUND
No. Members: 90,644
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).
While there is nothing earth-shattering about our KiwiSaver top 10, there are a couple of interesting points:
- Of those funds on our list, only three had positive returns for the period covered in the statistics. In the year to the end of March 2020, the two conservative funds and the default fund made very small gains. We’ve not included the return figures on the above list, because they are completely skewed by the stock market COVID-19 nosedive that occurred at the end of March. Quarter two’s numbers should be far more representational. However, what the numbers do prove is that if you don’t want to lose your money, conservative funds are your best bet.
- That AMP’s default fund is No. 8 on the list, with 94,852 members, shows that there are 94,852 Kiwis who should really be taking a closer look at their KiwiSaver options!
If you are in the same position: sitting in a default fund due to complacency, it’s high time you explored all your KiwiSaver options. Do you know the difference between a conservative and growth fund? Do you know who won Canstar’s most recent award for KiwiSaver Provider of the Year?
If you want to explore your retirement savings options, Canstar makes the job easier, with our easy-to-use comparison tool. All you have to do is click on the button below!
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