Money Talk column

Commission for Financial Capability 11 April 2016

Not just a gravy train. Hardly anyone these days questions whether KiwiSaver is a good deal for members. The average employee’s contributions are doubled by employer and government contributions. Savings that would otherwise total $100,000 will total $200,000 in KiwiSaver. Meanwhile, non-employees who contribute $1043 a year get $521 from the government, multiplying their savings by 1.5. For them, $100,000 becomes $150,000. That’s still pretty good. And the first home incentives add to the attraction for many. However, economists question the value of the scheme for New Zealand as a whole. Are they right?

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The Investor 2 March 2013

KiwiSaver about to move into high gear. KiwiSaver — which has lurched around a few sharp bends in its short life — is about to shift up a gear. From April 1, the minimum employee and employer contributions will both rise from 2 to 3 per cent of pay.

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The Investor 16 February 2013

Financial misbehaviour disappointing. Ironically, a survey on New Zealanders’ financial behaviour was released just days before Christmas — a time of much financial misbehaviour, when everyone’s saying, “I don’t care what it costs, I’ve just got to buy something for Uncle Fred.”

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The Investor 26 January 2013

Let’s not make KiwiSaver compulsory. The words “compulsory” and “KiwiSaver” seem to be appearing more and more often in the same sentence. I don’t like it — but I seem to be in the minority.

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The Investor 1 December 2012

Self-insurance eases the pain. Have you ever thought, as you pay hundreds of dollars yet again for car or house insurance that you never claim on, that it would be better to bank the premiums and use that money if something went wrong?

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The Investor 17 November 2012

KiwiSaver thriving …especially among those in their twenties. KiwiSaver is thriving. Most people know by now that more than 2 million — over half the eligible people — are members. But a new report tells more. Far more people are now staying in the scheme after auto enrolment; many are switching from default schemes to something more suitable; and a full three quarters of New Zealanders in their early twenties are on board.

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The Investor 3 November 2012

KiwiSaver’s flexibility is a plus… …up to a point. KiwiSaver is many things — mostly good. But I hadn’t thought of it as a type of insurance policy until recently, when I was talking to an authorized financial adviser in Christchurch.

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The Investor 20 October 2012

Are bonds really that beautiful? Bonds are beautiful. That’s certainly the message when you look at a recent Reserve Bank list of returns on 11 different types of investments, including New Zealand, Australian and international shares, property, farms, bonds and cash.

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