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Family and friends NZers source of KiwiSaver advice

A KiwiSaver model is needed that makes it possible for financial advisers to provide the level of advice the KiwiSaver members need, in a way that is also cost-effective for advisers, says the author of a new report on the scheme.

Thursday, April 18th 2013, 4:14PM

by Susan Edmunds

The Financial Services Institute of Australia commissioned Claire Matthews, of Massey University’s Centre for Banking Studies, to compile its latest report, KiwiSaver and retirement savings in 2012.

It showed that the level of participation in the scheme had increased, up to just over 62% of the working-age population.

Smaller providers were gaining ground but more KiwiSaver members have their accounts with a bank. A third reported that there accounts were in bank funds.

Just over 20% had changed funds and most had moved for “bank-related” reasons. Many said they wanted all their dealings to be with one bank.

Being able to easily check their balances was one reason suggested for moving to a bank KiwiSaver scheme, but only 41% of members checked their balances more than once a year.

More than 30% said friends and family were their preferred source of advice on KiwiSaver.

Matthews said some people were not looking for advice for a financial adviser and others were not able to get it because advisers found it unprofitable.

She said banks were doing a lot of work on growing their KiwiSaver balances and were putting increasing value on them as a useful part of their product ranges.

“Kiwibank saw value in buying Gareth Morgan Investments and BNZ has chosen to go into the KiwiSaver market, which it didn’t initially.”

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