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Budget initiatives 'a great start', says AMP

Budget initiatives 'a great start', says AMP

The Governmentís initiatives outlined in the latest Budget for the universal KiwiSaver workplace savings scheme and the moves to improve the taxation of managed funds are a crucial step in the right direction.

New Zealandís level of savings is the lowest in the OECD and, as a nation, we save less than countries that have a lower standard of living than we do. Yet the reality is, says Greg Camm, Managing Director, AMP Financial Services, that New Zealand has one of the most innovative and pragmatic populations on the planet.

'It really has begged the question, why isnít the average Kiwi better off?' says Mr Camm. 'So, these initiatives are encouraging. They are a first step on the road to bringing us closer to a New Zealand where everyone is able to participate fully in society and, ultimately, enjoy the future they want.

'Achieving that vision is possible ñ but to do it we need policies such as these that both encourage asset accumulation and enable New Zealanders to become more sophisticated in planning for their own financial future. The $1,000 Government contribution is a good start to encourage this, however we look forward to seeing more moves in this direction in future.'

As the leading provider of workplace savings, AMP knows firsthand that workplace savings schemes are successful in achieving significantly higher personal wealth.

'Itís about shifting New Zealandersí attitudes to long-term saving,' says Mr Camm, 'and providing all New Zealanders with access to opportunities and, ultimately, the future we all want ñ a comfortable, secure retirement, greater control over our own destiny and overall financial well-being. This choice should - must - be available to all Kiwis.' '

The Government is taking the right steps but itís important to keep things simple. We are particularly pleased to see that integration with existing workplace schemes has been a key consideration so far and look forward to this continuing as development progresses.

Simplicity for both employees and employers will be crucial in the success of these initiatives.'

As far as the Governmentís investment tax changes announced in the Budget, AMP also applauds that move for too long, New Zealanders have faced disincentives to investing, particularly in the area of managed funds.

'Having a real stake in the future of New Zealand through shareholding is an essential ingredient in any long-term savings plan. It's not just about property!'

About AMP

AMP is the leading provider of workplace savings schemes and has extensive experience in helping New Zealand companies design and install employee benefit programmes. The New Zealand Retirement Trust (NZRT) managed by AMP is New Zealand's largest workplace master trust with:

•770 participating employers

•24,000 members

•$740m in assets

Through NZRT, clients gain access to five highly respected fund managers with different investment styles. AMP is also one of three preferred providers for the State Sector Retirement Savings Scheme (SSRSS).

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