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Kiwis Give Big Tick to Kiwi Saver

Kiwis Give Big Tick to Kiwi Saver

New research of over 2000 New Zealanders released at the Financial Services Council’s annual conference today shows that there is overwhelming public support for strengthening KiwiSaver and improving Kiwis access to the savings scheme.

The findings show that New Zealanders across the board want KiwiSaver to be beefed up including more options for how they contribute to and access their KiwiSaver schemes.

67% of those surveyed supported increasing both employer and employee contributions increasing gradually from 3% to 4% by 2021. The poll also showed that despite concerns about an increased contribution rate costing employers, a majority of business executives, managers, business proprietors and self-employed people support a gradual increase to 4%.

“After ten years of KiwiSaver we are maturing in our understanding and appreciation of the scheme. Given the universal support this research shows we now need to have a constructive policy debate on contribution levels and how we can increase them in a sustainable manner,” said Richard Klipin, CEO of the Financial Services Council.

“With support for strengthening KiwiSaver so high there is a clear challenge for our political leaders two weeks out from the election to show their roadmap for backing what voters want and growing KiwiSaver.

“It is important that these findings are given serious consideration at policy level.”

A clear majority of respondents also wanted the ability to choose automatic increases in contribution rates and to have extra choices to increase contributions.

Having extra choices for KiwiSaver contribution rates was backed by voters for all parties with 83% of National voters, 64% of Labour voters, 85% of NZ First and 74% of Green voters in favour.

The research also reflects Kiwis’ changing attitudes to work and retirement with the majority of respondents supporting letting those who were 65 years and over join KiwiSaver and decoupling KiwiSaver access from pension age.

Over 2.6 million New Zealanders are now signed up and more than $40 billion is under management in KiwiSaver funds.

“The research provides an opportunity to understand New Zealanders views on the KiwiSaver scheme and how they want it to evolve. It’s now up to industry and Government to take the findings on board and work to improve KiwiSaver,” Mr Klipin concluded.

The research, ‘Growing the KiwiSaver Pie’ is the first of three pieces of research commissioned by the Financial Services Council on KiwiSaver and carried out by Horizon Research. It is one of the largest ever undertaken on New Zealanders views on KiwiSaver.


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