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More than $3.6 billion wiped off value of KiwiSaver in one year

Tamsyn Parker, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 15 Feb 2023, 10:34am
Photo / 123RF
Photo / 123RF

More than $3.6 billion wiped off value of KiwiSaver in one year

Tamsyn Parker, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 15 Feb 2023, 10:34am

The value of KiwiSaver assets fell from $90.2 billion to $86.5b over the 2022 year after sharemarkets worldwide had a rough ride and New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX50 index fell 12 per cent, Morningstar figures show.

But despite the big drop, the last three months of 2022 were in positive territory, helping the total value bounce back from $83.5b in the September quarter.

Greg Bunkall, Morningstar data director of global fund data, said the New Zealand equity market experienced positive performance over the December quarter, and the S&P/NZX 50 Index returned 3.7 per cent.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, The a2 Milk Co, and Ebos Group were among the top contributors to the quarter performance, returning 23.1 per cent, 20.6 per cent, and 16.7 per cent respectively.

Over the 2022 year most KiwiSaver funds went backwards.

The average return for conservative funds was -7.3 per cent, while for balanced it was -11.4 per cent and growth category funds averaged -13.6 per cent.

Cash funds were one of the few categories to have positive returns over the year with the Milford KiwiSaver Cash fund up 2.3 per cent although some higher risk focused funds did perform very strongly.

SuperLife’s Australian Resources fund managed the top performance with a return of 18.8 per cent over the year.

Bunkall said it was most appropriate to evaluate performance of KiwiSaver funds over the longer term.

Over 10 years, the aggressive fund category remains the best performer with an annual average return of 8.4 per cent.

Growth funds were averaging 8.1 per cent, balanced 6.4 per cent and conservative 4.2 per cent.

It was the first full year of performance for the newly appointed default funds. Money switched from the old providers to the new providers in December 2021 and also moved from conservative to growth funds.

Bunkall said the default funds had a rough year with Kiwi Wealth’s default scheme returning a -14 per cent over the 2022 year and the best performing default fund SuperLife returning -10.6 per cent.

Westpac’s default fund is the largest at $554m while Simplicity’s fund is the smallest at $389.4m.

Simplicity and SuperLife are new default appointments while the other four were reappointments, so they kept some of the default members moving them from their conservative funds to the new growth funds.

Across the 22 providers monitored by Morningstar, seven had a drop in their rankings over the quarter with only Milford moving up from the seventh-largest to sixth place.

ANZ remains the largest provider with $17.7b and 20.5 per cent of the market although this has fallen steadily in recent years. In December 2019 ANZ had 24.3 per cent of the market.

ASB is the second largest with $13.7b or 15.9 per cent market share while Westpac is the third largest with $9.16b or 10.6 per cent market share.

The rankings are set to be shaken up when Fisher Funds completes its merger with Kiwi Wealth after buying out the business last year.

Those two had $7.26b and $6.35b respectively as of December 2022 and combined will nearly be on par with ASB.

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