Thinking about changing funds? Stay on target with your KiwiSaver and NZRT

27 March 2020

As New Zealand works to stop the spread of Coronavirus, we’re doing our bit to keep everyone safe by following the Government’s guidance, and our teams have moved to working remotely.

The Government has confirmed that financial services are essential, which means we're staying open for business, and will continue to provide the help and support you need during this time.

Our contact centre remains available from 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. There may be slightly longer wait times, but we’ll continue to provide the help you need.

 


 

Need a little help?


Should I change funds?

What should I know if I’m thinking about changing funds?

How do I know I’m in the right fund?

Can I withdraw my savings if I’m experiencing financial hardship?

How is KiwiSaver different from a bank savings account?

What should I do if I’m 65 years or older?

 


 

Recently, world markets have had a number of ups and downs in response to the Coronavirus outbreak, and we can expect this to continue for some time.

If you’ve been checking your KiwiSaver or NZRT balance, then the recent market movement and the impact it’s had on your savings, after a long period of growth, might make you consider changes to your investments.

But that’s not always the best idea. Here’s how you can stay on target with your KiwiSaver and NZRT.

Remember KiwiSaver is an investment

Unlike a bank savings account where you set money aside, in KiwiSaver you buy things that have value, like shares in a company.

When markets drop, it means share prices have fallen. With KiwiSaver, most people are putting in the same amount regularly, so they end up buying more shares during a drop (when they cost less). Once the market recovers, those shares are worth more (because they increase in value) – and your KiwiSaver grows faster.

Are you in the right fund?

KiwiSaver members choose which type of fund or funds they put their money into. Some are considered higher risk, but often deliver higher returns over the long term. Others are considered lower risk, but usually deliver more consistent returns.

For example, if you were 45 years of age and invested $20,000 in a KiwiSaver fund, by 65 your balance would have grown to $85,000 in a conservative fund, $100,000 in a balanced fund and $111,000 in a growth fund.1

During a market drop, it can be tempting to change to a lower risk KiwiSaver fund, but this isn’t always the best idea. No matter what is happening in the market, it’s important to be in a fund which suits your needs. Find out more about Funds.

KiwiSaver – a long game


If you are thinking about changing funds, the first question you should ask yourself is: “When am I going to need my money?” For most of us KiwiSaver is a long game. It's not time to make a hasty decision. The secret to grow your KiwiSaver is to be in the fund or funds that suits your needs and make regular contributions.

Stick with your savings plan

A ‘unit price’ reflects the value of a fund. A fund’s unit price may move up or down as the value of its investments change. For example, a fund might be invested in shares in a company, and when the value of those shares drops, this is reflected in a lower unit price.

When you contribute money to your KiwiSaver, that money is used to purchase units in a fund or funds. When markets drop, as they have done recently, the value of the units your KiwiSaver is invested in decrease as well, and this has an impact on your savings.

The good news is, if you’re regularly contributing to KiwiSaver, you’re able to benefit from market movements by continuing to buy units at discount prices. When markets recover, those units will be worth more, and your KiwiSaver can grow faster.

If you are thinking about changing funds, it’s important to understand that the process involves selling all your units in your current fund and buying units in another. The process can take several days, and the price you pay is what the units are valued at by the end of this period. If markets move while you are changing funds, this can have an impact on your balance, so it’s important to avoid making a hasty decision and stick to your long-term savings plan.

Financial hardship

If you are experiencing or are likely to experience significant financial hardship, you may be eligible to withdraw some of your savings from your KiwiSaver account.

In response to the Coronavirus outbreak, we’re working on ways to help Kiwis with financial hardship withdrawals, while following the Government’s guidance on self-isolation. Learn more about withdrawals for financial hardship.

A little help for the over 65s

If you are 65 years or older, you may be eligible to access the money in your KiwiSaver account.

The recent market movement and the impact it’s had on your savings, might make you think it’s a good time to withdraw your savings or change to a more conservative fund. But this might not be in your best interests – it may be better to wait until share markets recover. Download our guide on what to do when investment markets fall.


Please stay safe, and like Kiwis are so well known for, keep looking after each other.

 

If you would like more help please contact us, or speak with your Adviser.



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Important information
1This calculation assumes a salary of $50,000, a 3% regular contribution from you and a 3% contribution from your employer and is based on our retirement calculator tool, which is intended as a guide only and does not constitute investment advice. While care has been taken to ensure the information supplied is accurate no person accepts any liability for any loss or damage arising out of the use of this calculator. Results do not reflect actual returns and are not predictions of future returns (which are subject to investment and other risks, including loss of income and principal invested). Returns are not guaranteed by any person and fees are subject to change.