KiwiSaver is an investment

So what does that mean?

We’re all familiar with saving money in the bank. You put money in, the bank pays you some interest, and you can take out your original money plus the interest when you’re ready.

Your KiwiSaver account (or your New Zealand Retirement Trust (NZRT) account) is a bit different. Here are two things it is useful to know in order to understand your KiwiSaver/NZRT account as an investment.

Firstly, the money you contribute to your KiwiSaver or NZRT account is invested into a managed fund which is different to putting dollars in the bank.

Secondly, the fund you choose can have a big effect on the amount of money you have at the end of your retirement journey.

A managed fund: a way to own a little bit of lots of things

A managed fund is an investment where lots of investors (like you!) pool their money together. A professional investment manager decides what to buy with the money – usually a mixture of shares, bonds and even putting some of the money into the bank. Being part of a managed fund means you own a small slice of a range of assets.

Choosing the right fund can make a big difference to your retirement journey

If you’d put $100 into the AMP Default Fund (a conservative fund) five years ago, and added no other money, that $100 would have grown to about $128* today. If you’d put that same $100 into the AMP Growth Fund, it would have grown to about $147* today. Many people will be KiwiSaver or NZRT members for ten, twenty, thirty, forty or even fifty years. Over that time, having your money in the best fund for you can make a huge difference to how much you have for your first home or your retirement.

Click here to use our fund quiz tool and see if you’re in the right fund for you. If you’ve never chosen a fund for your KiwiSaver or NZRT money, do yourself a favour and have a try.

* Calculated using the five-year average annual return for the fund as at 30 September 2019. Past performance is not indicative of future returns. Returns are after total fund charges and before tax.

More about assets and managed funds

The beauty of managed funds is that you as the investor don’t need to understand the different types of assets in the fund – the investment manager takes care of that for you. But if you are curious, here is a quick explanation of the three main types of assets in most managed funds.


A share is a portion of a company. Once you own a share, it could increase in value if the company does well, or decrease in value if the company does poorly. The share increasing in value is the main way investors expect to see their money grow when they own shares.
In some cases, companies pay out a portion of their profits to their shareholders. This is called a “dividend”.
Shares can also be called “equities”, “stocks” or “growth assets”.


A bond is when an investor lends money to a company or government for a certain amount of time. At the end of the time, the company or government pays back the original money plus the agreed interest.
Bonds can also be referred to as “fixed interest” or “income assets”.


Cash is money in the bank or very safe, short term bonds issued by governments.
Can also be referred to as short term investments or income assets.

Conservative funds

Conservative funds, like the AMP Default Fund, have more cash and bonds and fewer shares. A conservative fund aims to protect your money from ups and downs but is likely to grow slowly.

Balanced funds

A balanced fund has a balanced mixture of assets. It will go up and down a bit and grow at a medium rate.

Growth funds

The AMP Growth Fund includes more shares and less bonds and cash. Growth funds go up and down more than conservative funds, but usually grow more over time.  

If you’d like to see the asset mix in your chosen AMP fund or funds, you can download the Fund Update Booklet and find your fund.

Important information

AMP Wealth Management New Zealand Limited is the issuer and manager of the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme and the New Zealand Retirement Trust (NZRT). The New Zealand Guardian Trust Company Limited is the Supervisor of both schemes.

While care has been taken to supply information on this website and within the chatbot tool that is accurate, no entity or person gives any warranty of reliability or accuracy, or accepts any responsibility arising in any way including from any error or omission. The content provided is intended to be used as information only and does not constitute personalised advice. Before acting on any of the results provided, we recommend that you seek advice which takes your individual circumstances into account.

Past performance is not indicative of future returns.

A disclosure statement is available from your Adviser, on request and free of charge.