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Women Can Bridge The $61 Billion KiwiSaver Retirement Gap Through Smarter Investing

National Capital KiwiSaver Value for Money Report 

National Capital has analysed data* that showcases the huge discrepancies between women's and men’s KiwiSaver funds and what this could look like at retirement age 65.

Women, on average, earn 25% less salary than men. This, combined with a less growth-oriented investment strategy favoured by women, means that the gap at retirement between men and women could reach a significant $61 billion.

National Capital considered the average female New Zealander within the cohort aged 41-45, with an average 30% salary gap. This translates to a comparative advantage of approximately $50,000 in KiwiSaver funds for men within the same age bracket.

Below is a breakdown of expected retirement funds for males and females aged 18-65 and their differences at retirement.

Amount projected at retirement (aged 65) for each age group and gender
Age GroupSalary Gap


Total expected balance at retirement


Total expected balance at retirement

Difference in monetary value at retirement 
18-24 years old19%$90.82 Billion$75.18 Billion $15.63 Billion 
25-30 years old17%$64.95 Billion $53.96 Billion $10.98 Billion 
31-35 years old27%$61.44 Billion $51.08 Billion $10.36 Billion 
36-40 years old22%$46.62 Billion $39.01 Billion $7.60 Billion 
41-45 years old30%$31.70 Billion$25.82 Billion $5.87 Billion 
46-50 years old33%$25.90 Billion $21.27 Billion$4.63 Billion 
51-55 years old30%$17.86 Billion $15.08 Billion $2.78 Billion 
56-60 years old45%$12.72 Billion$10.26 Billion$2.46 Billion 
61-65 years old6%$6.47 Billion$5.55 Billion$917 Million
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Ilma Mani, National Capital Financial Advisor and KiwiSaver expert says “The gender pay gap isn't disappearing quickly, so while we work on bigger, systemic changes, women should also consider what they can do right now.

Research shows that women are often better investors than men. Women should take advantage of this strength. By focusing on investments that aim for higher growth, women can compensate for earning less money. Women tend to handle ups and downs in the market well, which helps them make better investment decisions and get better results.

However, while aiming for higher growth, seeking financial advice is crucial to ensure that investments align with personal volatility capacity and tolerance levels.”

National Capital offers personalised advice and support with a free National Capital KiwiSaver Health Check.


*Study based on FMA KiwiSaver Annual Report 2023 and Retirement Commission (TAAO) Kiwisaver balances. Salary data is based on information from Stats NZ and MJV’s demographic study with a salary growth of 2%, inflation of 2% and KiwiSaver contribution of 3%. The investment strategy does not change. Returns are after tax and fees.

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