The finance industry says it is improving the KiwiSaver system but it is a work in progress.
A report by Consumer NZ found New Zealanders preferred non-bank providers such as Simplicity and Milford ahead of the schemes offered by most New Zealand banks.
The report suggested people’s attitudes were soured by a market-led subsidence of KiwiSaver values.
But there were other concerns, separate from market fluctuations, such as a lack of transparency about fund performance and the fees people pay.
“Three out of four KiwiSavers didn’t know what they paid in fees while 60% didn’t know how well their fund was doing compared with others on the market,” Consumer NZ wrote.
The chief executive of the Financial Services Council (FSC) Richard Klipin welcomed surveys and reports on KiwiSaver for “shining a light” on the industry.
But he defended his members against criticism.
“KiwiSaver companies are working really hard to serve their clients in really tough times …. and the Consumer NZ report provides an insight into some of the opportunities available to continually lift the bar.”
Klipin said both consumers and product providers were on an evolutionary journey and that would continue.
“I do think there is an underlying issue with financial capability in New Zealand, that we all have a responsibility to address, and that is to help New Zealanders be better with money.”
So, did the Consumer NZ report suggest the industry not done well enough up til now?
“I think it is a work in progress.”