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KiwiSaver starting to change attitudes

There are signs emerging that KiwiSaver is making an increasing number of people think about retirement issues.

Friday, June 20th 2008, 7:29AM
According to Mercer's KiwiSaver Sentiment Index the proportion of Kiwis who say they've given some thought to retirement and have made 'some' preparations, has increased to 40%, up from 33% in October 2007.

Also only 13% of Kiwis now say they've given little thought to retirement, down from 20% in the October benchmark study.

Mercer's Business Leader in New Zealand, Bernie O'Brien, said it is pleasing to see the message on planning for retirement is starting to hit home.

"The need to sacrifice now for later is cutting through for a lot of New Zealanders, with the heightened momentum leading to increased levels of participation in workplace savings schemes overall, including KiwiSaver," O'Brien said.

"A saturation of media coverage and intense communication campaigns about KiwiSaver have contributed to this shift and it's good to see that despite recent fluctuating world markets, Kiwis are making educated decisions about funding their long-term financial future," he said.

Mercer's survey also classifies respondents into four different levels based on their affinity towards KiwiSaver.

These were positive and embracing, positive but reserved, sceptical and actively against.

The findings present:

  • an increase in the proportion of those in the actively against category (24%, up from 22% in the benchmark study);
  • a corresponding decrease of those in the sceptical segment, dropping from 31 per cent late last year, to 26 per cent;
  • improvements in the opposite direction, with 36 per cent who are positive but reserved about the scheme (up from 33% in October 2007) and;
  • 14% remain positive and embracing
.
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