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KiwiSaver information available, if you can find it

Information is now accessible for KiwiSaver investors who want to find out about funds’ fees, performance and where money is invested.

Tuesday, October 22nd 2013, 6:52AM

by Susan Edmunds

But whether the average KiwiSaver member looks at the information, or understands it if they do, is another matter entirely, says Stuart Auld of research firm Morningstar.

The new KiwiSaver reporting requirements came into force this week and require information to be released in a standardised way every quarter. Funds had to have their information displayed online by yesterday, and most left it right until the last minute.

The rules were meant to kick in in July but were pushed back three months.

Auld said there had not been enough information distributed in the market for the average consumer to even know the information was available. “There hasn’t been a lot of publicity from the FMA to say ‘go and look for it’.”

And on many of the providers’ websites, the information was not obvious. Auld said he would expect there to be links from the main homepage.

The biggest concern was that there was no quality analysis done on the data that was being provided, he said. “One of the questions we asked the FMA was whether someone was going to go through and double check the information. The FMA said that policy that sort of thing wasn’t part of their role.”

What was available was also presented in a way that was not “easy peasy” for most consumers to understand, Auld said. 

"We don’t disagree with the information that’s contained. The only thing we think is that it would be more helpful being able to compare, and with some definitions and glossaries. It’s like anything, you need to dumb stuff down. There’s a danger that you provide too much information – if you provide it in a general way, you can still supply detailed stuff when required, so people don’t have to wade through it.”

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