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FMA KiwiSaver tracker updated, showing part of COVID-19 impact

Page last updated: 17 Jun 2020

Media Release
MR No. 2020 – 16
17 June 2020

The FMA’s online KiwiSaver tracker tool has been updated with the quarterly fund information for March 2020, reflecting the volatility that hit markets in the first quarter of the year.

The tracker allows comparisons over both a five-year and one-year period. The five-year period shows that over 99% of funds were positive from April 2015 – March 2020. Comparing funds over a five year period provides a longer term perspective of investing though periods of volatility.

There are now around 270 KiwiSaver funds and, of those, 143 had negative returns for the year to end of March 2020.

Looking at the one year data, funds in the higher risk ‘growth’ and ‘aggressive’ categories were hit hardest by the COVID-19 market falls: 92 of these funds went into negative territory, while 18 funds in this risk profile were positive for the year to March 2020.

In the ‘balanced’ fund category, 39 funds were negative for one year returns, while 16 funds were positive.

As expected, the conservative and defensive funds were mostly positive, however 12 funds in these categories were negative over the one year period.

109 funds had positive returns after fees for the year to March. Of these, 25 funds lost 50% or more of their gross return to fees.

The FMA encourages members to look at the fees as well as the investment performance of their fund. Returns were strong and markets were rising up to February this year, so the amounts paid in fees could have been less noticeable.

The FMA Tracker presents data from the Disclose register, analysed by the FMA, to enable investors to see how much of their funds’ investment performance was absorbed by fees. There is a range of information taken from KiwiSaver providers’ quarterly fund updates, to help people compare and contrast different funds.

It is expected that data for the next quarter, ending 30 June, will show the rebound that has happened in the markets, beginning in early April.

The FMA KiwiSaver Tracker allows people to arrange and sort the data. It shows:

  • The risk profile, returns and fees for each fund.
  • A percentage figure for how much of the gross return is paid to the fund manager in fees (excluding fixed membership fees) and how much is paid to investors. Most KiwiSaver funds charge a percentage management fee, plus a fixed monthly member fee in dollars.
  • Data that currently covers the past year and average five-year returns before tax.
  • Funds that have been invested for less than a year and restricted schemes are excluded.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

There are 172 funds with five-year reporting data as of March 2020.

There are 134 funds with positive returns to March 2020, gross of tax, and gross (ie BEFORE) fees.

Media contacts:

Andrew Park
FMA Media Relations Manager
Andrew.park@fma.govt.nz
021 220 6770

Campbell Gibson
FMA Senior Adviser, Media Relations
Campbell.gibson@fma.govt.nz 
021 945 323