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Simplicity Kiwisaver Calls for Industry Transparency

19 September 2016

Simplicity Kiwisaver Calls for Industry Transparency

New nonprofit KiwiSaver scheme Simplicity today called on the Kiwisaver industry to address widespread deficiencies in their disclosure regimes and start being honest with their customers.

“Alarming reports of widespread misleading fee disclosure practices is an opportunity for the entire Kiwisaver industry to come clean and commit to full transparency and disclosure,” ’ said Simplicity Managing Director, Sam Stubbs.

"New Zealand can become a world leader in disclosure and transparency of fees if we learn from this experience,” Mr Stubbs said.

Mr Stubbs said that one of Simplicity Kiwisaver’s founding principles was to be totally transparent about fees charged to customers.

“Fortunately, there are some Kiwisaver providers that are setting a good example. However there are too many providers who are deliberately obfuscating the true picture in terms of fees they are charging their Kiwisaver customers, and it’s time they fronted up and told the entire truth,” Mr Stubbs said.

Mr Stubbs said it was inevitable that the lack of transparency demonstrated by some Kiwisaver funds would mean the introduction of regulation on fees disclosure.

“Given the widespread misleading practices on fees disclosure from some kiwisaver providers, the regulators really have no choice but to ensure that every KiwiSaver knows exactly what they pay in fees," he said.

“Our power, phone, and rates bills all tell us the exact cost we are being charged in dollars and cents, and KiwiSaver schemes should be the same”, he said.

‘“It's a relief to see that some KiwiSaver providers are doing the right thing by disclosing their entire fees, and they are to be applauded for their integrity,” he said.

"This is the reason we chose a nonprofit model for Simplicity, to give the returns back to Kiwis and be 100% transparent. It is too tempting to be lean with the truth when the profits from poor transparency are so high" said Mr Stubbs.

Simplicity highlighted recently that lifetime fees for the average KiwiSaver member will be $54,700, higher than for their lifetime bills for power ($37,200) or their mobile phones ($35,900).

"These are amongst the highest fees in the world,” said Mr Stubbs.

Mr Stubbs pointed out that KiwiSavers can now switch schemes online in less than 2 minutes.

"If your KiwiSaver provider has been charging you fees they haven’t told you about, you can switch providers without telling them. With Simplicity, this takes less than two minutes”, he said.

Because of it’s nonprofit and 100% online business model, Simplicity charges the lowest fees of any KiwiSaver scheme, including all default funds. It also shows all charges in dollars and cents, from the day the member joins.


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