$6.3 billion wiped off KiwiSaver

Morningstar reveals another bad quarter for KiwiSaver funds

Market turmoil during the past six months has wiped $6.3 billion from KiwiSaver funds, $4.6 billion of it in the past three months.

Morningstar’s KiwiSaver survey for the June quarter 2022 reveals KiwiSaver funds now hold $82.2b in assets, compared with $87.3b in the March 2022 quarter and $89b in December last year. However, this year’s June quarter figure is only slightly down from June 2021, when KiwiSaver funds held $83b in assets.

In explaining the downturn, Tim Murphy, Morningstar’s Asia-Pacific director of manager selection, painted a gloomy but by now familiar picture of world markets racked by war, global GDP contraction as the Chinese and Russian economies slow, household spending falling short of expectations in the US and higher-than expected global inflation.

In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX50 was down 10.2%, with large caps Fletcher Building, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and Mainfreight reporting negative quarters. Only Spark showed a positive return (4.8%). The Australian sharemarket also performed badly.

“KiwiSaver funds generally reflected the challenging underlying market conditions experienced over the June quarter,” Murphy said.

Top performers for the quarter included QuayStreet Income (-2%, conservative fund), Juno (-3.5%, moderate), InvestNow Castle Point 5 (-3.7%, balanced), QuayStreet Growth (-5.3%, growth) and Aon KiwiSaver Russell (-7.9%, aggressive).

Of the six default funds appointed last year (BNZ, Booster, Kiwi Wealth, Simplicity, Super Life and Westpac), Morningstar said there had not been enough time to properly assess performance. But in the year to date, four of the six had trailed the balanced category average.

Morningstar says it prefers to assess fund performance on long-term returns. Over the past 10 years, aggressive KiwiSaver funds returned an average of 9.3%, growth 9%, balanced 7.3%, moderate 5.2% and conservative 4.5%.

Morningstar reports fund returns after fees but before tax.

The six largest KiwiSaver funds account for 69% of the assets on the Morningstar database. ANZ is the biggest with $17.1b in assets, ASB has $13.2b, Westpac $8.8b, Fisher Funds $6.4b, Kiwi Wealth 6.3b and AMP $5.4b.