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Retirement Commissioner moves to Commerce portfolio

Retirement Commissioner moves to Commerce portfolio

The Government is to move the Retirement Commissioner into the Commerce portfolio as part of its focus on improving financial literacy for mum and dad investors.

Commerce Minister Simon Power announced this tonight in a speech to the Institute of Finance Professionals NZ awards dinner in Auckland.

Mr Power said the prevalence of ‘low-ball', or unsolicited offers in recent months showed that financial literacy is an area which the Government should be focused on.

"The work on financial literacy complements our work to improve the quality and consistency of information received by investors as part of the regulatory reform programme.

"With that in mind, Cabinet has decided that the functions and objectives of the Retirement Commissioner align better with the Commerce portfolio than with Social Development.

"So tonight I can announce that on July 1, the responsibility for the Retirement Commissioner will shift to the Commerce portfolio.

"I will be looking to work with both the public and private sectors over the next few months to identify further steps to enhance investor literacy."

Mr Power said it doesn't matter how much the Government improves financial literacy, or how much regulation it changes, in the end the Government cannot remove all risk from investment decisions, and nor does it intend to try.

"However, the Government is determined to provide the regulatory settings that produce the best choices and outcomes for investors and issuers, and an environment that encourages capital markets and growth.

"In addition, there is no doubt we can do a lot better in our attempts to lift financial literacy."

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