SuperRatings has released its top-rated KiwiSaver schemes for 2021. Eight providers were awarded the ‘Platinum’ rating for 2021, with competition continuing to intensify among the Platinum and Gold bands.
SuperRatings’ assessment criteria considers five key factors, including investments, fees, member servicing, scheme administration and governance. Schemes awarded a Platinum rating are well balanced across all key assessment criteria. We believe these schemes are well placed to deliver strong value for members and enhance retirement outcomes relative to their peers.
“The past year has seen all corners of the industry in a state of flux, with the ability to anticipate and adapt to change front and centre, while the challenges of executing this objective have been clear. COVID-19 has impacted investment markets and schemes’ portfolios, as well as business operations, with the complete picture still to emerge.”
“Fees remain a key focus in the New Zealand market, though it is pleasing to see the notion of ‘value for money’ continuing to gain traction. Furthermore, we will be closely monitoring the outcomes of the default provider review, with the tender process currently underway” said SuperRatings Executive Director Kirby Rappell.
“SuperRatings continues to believe the best way to determine value for money involves consideration of investment earnings, as well as the fees charged. We refer to this as the ‘Net Benefit’ outcome”.
Through our Net Benefit research, which models the dollar outcome a member receives in their account we have found that switching fund type can have a significant impact on a member’s retirement balance. With the proposed movement to a Balanced default fund pleasing to see instead of the current Conservative Fund type. In addition, sitting within a strong KiwiSaver Scheme on a Net Benefit basis is also important.
Switching between fund types across the market was elevated during the onset of the pandemic in March, with provision of information regarding the impacts of switching crucial to support member understanding. Interestingly, similar to the GFC we note there was lower switching between schemes during this time of volatility.
It has been pleasing to see schemes proactively engaging with members during this time of heightened uncertainty, with schemes offering additional online content, as well as webinars to provide members with reassurance regarding areas such as investment markets, switching funds and how their balance has been impacted.
We continue to see a rise in the provision of a range of channels through which members can contact their scheme, such as over the phone, click2chat and mobile apps. We note that contact centres were under significant pressure during the pandemic period with schemes having to essentially move these to the virtual environment quickly, which considering the efforts involved, went rather well based on our review of schemes this year.
The role of sustainable investing and ESG factors continues to gain prominence across the KiwiSaver market, with this being called out specifically through the default tender review. We see a range of strategies being pursued here and are supportive of a consideration of these factors. Interestingly, in Australia we have found that strong outcomes can be delivered through investment strategies with an ESG focus and this doesn’t have to come at a higher cost.
Overall, we see the KiwiSaver market maturing and look forward to seeing how schemes continue to navigate the uncertain environment we are operating in, with a focus on delivering strong retirement outcomes for members.
SuperRatings’ Scheme Rating Criteria
New Zealand’s Top Rated Schemes
Platinum Rated Schemes
ANZ Default KiwiSaver Scheme
ASB KiwiSaver Scheme
BNZ KiwiSaver Scheme
Fisher Funds KiwiSaver Scheme
Fisher Funds TWO KiwiSaver Scheme
Mercer KiwiSaver Scheme
Milford KiwiSaver Plan
New Zealand Defence Force KiwiSaver Scheme
Gold Rated Schemes
AMP KiwiSaver Scheme
ANZ KiwiSaver Scheme
Aon KiwiSaver Scheme
Booster KiwiSaver Scheme
Generate KiwiSaver Scheme
Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme
OneAnswer KiwiSaver Scheme
Simplicity KiwiSaver Scheme
Westpac KiwiSaver Scheme
SuperRatings Pty Ltd ABN 95 100 192 283 AFSL No. 311880 (SuperRatings) is a superannuation research house with specialist areas of expertise that was originally established in 2002. From 1 July 2011, SuperRatings became a fully owned subsidiary of the entity currently registered as Lonsec Fiscal Holdings Pty Ltd, a privately owned entity with a multi-brand strategy of providing leading financial services research and investment execution. SuperRatings believes that professional financial services institutions and members need informed opinions on the best superannuation and pension financial products. To meet this need, SuperRatings has in place an experienced research team, which draws on a robust research process to undertake in-depth assessment of superannuation financial products. No fee is paid by superannuation and pension funds to SuperRatings for reviewing and rating superannuation and pension financial products.