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KiwiSaver numbers pass 380,000 in first six months

Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Minister of Finance
Hon Peter Dunne
Minister of Revenue

9 January 2008 Media Statement

KiwiSaver numbers pass 380,000 in first six months

The number of New Zealanders signed up for KiwiSaver at the end of the scheme’s first six months is far more than was expected for its first year, Finance Minister Michael Cullen and Revenue Minister Peter Dunne announced today.

As at 31 December, 381,000 New Zealanders were actively saving for their retirement through KiwiSaver. That compares to an initial forecast of 276,000 by 1 July 2008.

“The verdict on KiwiSaver is in,” Michael Cullen said. “New Zealanders want to save for a better retirement and they know KiwiSaver makes that easier than ever before.

“New Zealand has a savings problem. We were recently ranked 108 out of 131 countries for our national savings rate. If that poor performance were to continue the consequences for our economy and for our living standards in retirement would be significant.

“KiwiSaver will address imbalances in the economy, create a domestic pool of capital to help local business expand and succeed, and will lift living standards in retirement.”

“One of the things that is particularly exciting is the continued popularity of KiwiSaver among younger New Zealanders,” Peter Dunne said. “Over 55 per cent of KiwiSavers are under 45 years old and over 20 per cent are younger than 25 years old.

“Starting the savings habit early will mean that these young people will be able to generate very significant savings by the time they retire and in some cases will be able to use their savings to buy a first home.”

Crown payments to KiwiSaver scheme providers in December totalled $104 million. Overall more than $300 million has now been transferred since the scheme’s launch on 1 July 2007.


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