The vast majority (86%) of KiwiSaver members who saw their fees in dollar amounts in their annual statements this year rated the information as “quite or very useful”, an FMA survey has found. Members rated their current balance as the most useful information on the statement.
This year, for the first time, providers have had to display the fees a member paid in dollar amounts in the annual member statement.
While 50% did not notice the new fee information, among the 31% of respondents who did, 53% said they thought the fees were about right, 30% thought they were too high and 4% thought they were too low. 18% of those surveyed were unsure if they’d seen the new fee information or not.
Where members thought the fees were too high, around a third said they are considering changing their scheme or provider. The main way KiwiSaver members are assessing value for money is by checking their balance and comparing it with other schemes. However, almost four in ten KiwiSaver members were not using any information or tools to assess value for money.
78% of KiwiSavers polled had read their statements and 20% of them had read the statement thoroughly. The percentage of members who said they did not intend to read their statement also fell against a similar survey in 2016, while more members are checking their KiwiSaver is on track to produce the income they are planning for in retirement.
Liam Mason, FMA Director of Regulation said, “Readership of the statements remains high, and for many there was real value in understanding how much they’re paying in fees for their KiwiSaver. The information also prompted people to use comparison tools and consider shopping around for better value.
“While this is all positive, the number of people who didn’t see the fees information shows there is further work to do to encourage people to look at their statement thoroughly. I’d encourage everyone to check their statement to review their KiwiSaver.”
Buzz Channel completed the survey between 1st and 15th June 2018, just over 2,000 New Zealanders aged 18 years and over took part in the research. Of these 1,425 were KiwiSaver members (71%).
The margin of error in the total sample of 2,006 is +/- 2.2%. For the 1,425 KiwiSaver members it is +/- 2.6% (at the 95% confidence level).
The data has been weighted by gender, age, ethnicity, and region to ensure the sample is representative of the New Zealand population aged 18 years and over.
The 2016 survey of KiwiSaver annual statements, carried out by Colmar Brunton can be found here
The KiwiSaver profiles in this document represent responses of those in the survey. A full set of comprehensive KiwiSaver statistics is in the FMA’s annual KiwiSaver reports here.
An MBIE targeted consultation is currently underway with KiwiSaver providers on how to provide projections of a final balance and retirement income in KiwiSaver statements.