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ING responds to new KiwiSaver figures from IRD

ING responds to new KiwiSaver figures from IRD

Top KiwiSaver provider ING is pleased to see that a growing number New Zealanders are choosing to actively save for their retirement.

"The KiwiSaver scheme is still in its infancy at the moment, and the fact that 600,000 New Zealanders have already signed up is a positive sign. As New Zealand's largest KiwiSaver provider, we are seeing steady increases in the number of people joining each month, which show that more people are taking note of the benefits they can realise as members of the scheme especially as the employer contribution kicked in the first of April," Steven Giannoulis, GM Investor Services, says.

"As the largest provider with well over 100,000 KiwiSavers signed up as of March, we can see from our statistics that the majority of KiwiSavers are actively choosing to join, as opposed to being allocated to a default scheme. This level of active choice indicates that New Zealanders are realising that life expectancy and quality of life in our later years is improving and our retirement savings will therefore need to stretch out across a longer period. If New Zealander's want to ensure that they will have enough retirement savings in place to live comfortably in later life, they need to start planning early - or face working past the traditional retirement age of 65," Mr Giannoulis says.

Regarding the skew in age towards older New Zealanders, Mr Giannoulis had this to say:

"While the babyboomer generation is likely to have had the benefit of being part of a company superannuation scheme for at least part of their working lives, generation x'ers have been part of the 'cash is king' working environment. Over recent years, it seems some New Zealanders have shunned investing in more traditional pension schemes and focused more on alternative forms of investment such as property or the share market. It is good to see through KiwiSaver that more traditional forms of retirement saving vehicles are back in the spotlight," Mr Giannoulis says.

With the current turbulent markets, and the deterioration of the property market, ING says it is encouraging to see long-term thinking.

"Given the turbulent markets, people are looking for security and good long-term returns on their investments. The important thing to note with KiwiSaver and other superannuation schemes is that these tend to be long term investments, and therefore investors need to ensure that they are focused on the end-game rather than short-term fluctuations," Mr Giannoulis says.

"Although the Government's recent education campaign around KiwiSaver has helped inform the market and bring saving for retirement into the media spotlight, New Zealander's need to ensure that they are actively planning for their retirement if they want to enjoy their 'golden years'. With the incentives the Government is offering New Zealander's as part of the KiwiSaver scheme, it is worth people at least speaking to their financial advisors, or doing their own research, to see if KiwiSaver is right for them so that any decisions that are made, are at least informed," concluded Mr Giannoulis.


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