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People engaging with KiwiSaver

New Zealanders signing up to KiwiSaver are proving more actively engaged with superannuation than their Australian counterparts, says the head of Mercer New Zealand Bernie O'Brien.

Thursday, October 25th 2007, 6:27AM

by Rob Hosking

Mercer this week released a survey of New Zealand attitudes to KiwiSaver which shows a high level of knowledge about KiwiSaver.

Just over half of those surveyed expected to join KiwiSaver over the coming year.

O'Brien, who was in Australia when that country introduced its compulsory workplace superannuation scheme, says New Zealanders are already further down the track in their attitudes to superannuation than Australians were at this stage when compulsory super started.

"The Australian system was about employers making contributions, not employees. That makes a big difference - psychologically it's a whole different process."

"That means New Zealanders are already taking a higher degree of interest in their superannuation than Australians were at the same stage."

There are still large gaps in knowledge, however, and O'Brien says both the industry and the government have to move to plug those gaps.

"I think its incumbent on providers to get out there and promote awareness. "People are going to see that as marketing but a lot of us have information on our web sites which is not just marketing our products," he says.

Rob Hosking is a Wellington-based freelance writer specialising in political, economic and IT related issues.

« First KiwiSaver cheques mainly govt moneyDunne says KiwiSaver should be compulsory »

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