Fund Types & Scheme Providers

When making the big decision to invest your money, KiwiSaver schemes offer a variety of fund types to suit your particular needs. Choosing the type you want to buy into should be based on key factors such as; the risk and return associated with the fund, the service level and the fees charged.

Fund Types & Scheme Providers

Fund Types

When making the big decision to invest your money, KiwiSaver schemes offer a variety of fund types to suit your particular needs. Choosing the type you want to buy into should be based on key factors such as; the risk and return associated with the fund, the service level and the fees charged.

The risk level of a fund depends on the type of underlying investments, as some have the potential for higher returns over a longer period of time, but could change in value on a short term basis. Others may have more consistent returns but are unlikely to increase in value to the degree more ‘high risk’ options will.

These fund types are generally described as:

  • Defensive - a low risk choice
  • Conservative - low to medium risk
  • Balanced - medium risk
  • Growth - medium to high risk
  • Aggressive - which is high risk

Another popular option is age based investing where your scheme provider automatically rebalances your funds to meet your time horizon and risk appetite as you move towards retirement.

Finding out the best fund to meet your short and long term goals is important and speaking to someone who understands these types of funds will help insure that your goal is achieved.

All KiwiSaver funds are managed funds. Your savings are pooled with other investors then allocated across a variety of investments in order to manage the risk and return.

If you are at all concerned about the type of companies or businesses that are invested in, there is a comprehensive list clarifying “ethical” options you may enquire about. Everyone has a different idea of what is important to them, and KiwiSaver has socially responsible options to acknowledge a variety of approaches. It is possible that these options may not be the best for your needs in terms of risk or return and we are here to make sure you are making an informed decision.

Scheme Providers

KiwiSaver providers are different organisations who promote their own schemes.

You may only belong to one scheme at a time. All KiwiSaver schemes are registered with the Financial Markets Authority (FMA), which plays a critical role in regulating capital markets and financial services in New Zealand.

You have the choice of a large variety of schemes offered by several providers. You are also able to change your KiwiSaver scheme provider. Some schemes may charge a small fee to leave a scheme and it is also important to understand you may be out of the market for a small period of time while your funds are cashed in and transferred from one scheme to another.

Because KiwiSaver is not guaranteed by the Government, or anyone else, your investment choices come at your own risk. However, FMA regulates all schemes and additional measures are in place to ensure your best interests are met. Some of these include requirements for reasonable fees, providers being closely monitored, and specific additional reporting requirements.

Let us navigate the process of finding the best scheme for you. We have expertly trained advisers who understand the complexities of each fund and are happy to answer any questions you may have.

If you join KiwiSaver either directly or by default through employment, the scheme provider will become your primary contact. You will need to contact them if you have any enquiries regarding your account.

There are many providers to choose from, including major banks, investment managers, insurance companies and specialist managers.

If you don’t decide on a specific provider, Inland Revenue will allocate one of nine Government-appointed default providers.

Since your provider becomes your main point of contact on all matters relating to your KiwiSaver membership, it is wise to choose carefully. Banks can be hard to navigate and there is no guarantee you will be dealing with the same person each time you make an enquiry or wish to change an aspect of your savings. Choose carefully to make sure you are getting the best support with your investments.

We here at Lifetime have the knowledge and the consistency of contact to keep you in the loop and up to date. We will help make the KiwiSaver process as smooth as possible for you while attaining your desired outcome. For a personal perspective, talk with one of our KiwiSaver specialist advisers.

KiwiSaver has been the most successful public private partnership in New Zealand’s recent history and has persuaded more than 1.7 million New Zealanders to commit to long term savings for retirement, well beyond the initial expectations of Government. (FSC, 2016).

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