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Satisfaction with KiwiSaver providers drops

Customer satisfaction with KiwiSaver providers has dropped in Consumer NZ’s annual survey.

Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin said almost all of the 13 providers rated in the survey saw their customer satisfaction ratings fall.

“Overall, 48% of KiwiSavers were happy with the service they were getting from their provider, down from 52% last year,” Ms Chetwin said.

Satisfaction scores for three of the biggest providers – AMP, ANZ and ASB – were significantly below the industry average.

“Only 36% of ASB customers were very satisfied with the service they were getting. AMP scored 37% and ANZ 41%,” she said.

Just two providers achieved satisfaction scores above 60%: Milford and Westpac both rated 66%.

But it wasn’t all good news for Westpac: the KiwiSaver scheme rated below average for keeping customers up-to-date about their investments.

Ms Chetwin said the fall in ratings was likely influenced by sharemarket volatility, which had led to a bumpy 12 months for some funds.

But the quality of information consumers got about their funds also affected satisfaction, she said.

Consumer NZ’s survey found:
• 75% didn’t know what they paid in fees each year
• 66% didn’t know how their fund performed relative to the rest of the market
• 44% weren’t confident their KiwiSaver funds would be enough to support them in retirement.
Overall, just 45% thought their provider did a good job keeping them up-to-date about their investment.

Ms Chetwin said consumers also lacked information about whether their funds were being ethically invested.

“For many, returns are just as important as knowing their money is invested responsibly. The majority said they’d be concerned if their cash was being invested in stocks such as gambling, pornography and weapons, but didn’t know whether their fund manager excluded investment in these areas.”

Ms Chetwin said KiwiSaver providers needed to do better at providing meaningful information about their investment approach.

“Demand for responsible investment is growing rapidly, but KiwiSaver providers aren’t meeting this demand,” she said.

Satisfaction scores
Milford: 66% (Milford is Consumer NZ’s “People’s Choice” winner in this year’s survey)
Westpac: 66%
SuperLife: 60%
BNZ: 57%
Fisher Funds: 57%
Booster: 55%
Kiwi Wealth: 51%
Generate: 49%
Fisher Funds Two: 44%
ANZ: 41%
AMP: 37%
ASB: 36%
Mercer: 34%

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