14 Jun 2016

'Merit' in greater KiwiSaver flexibility

7:20 pm on 14 June 2016

KiwiSavers appear to want more flexibility when they put money in the savings scheme.

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Photo: 123RF

A study by ANZ Bank of more than 2000 people shows about half want the option to increase the rate they put in by 1 percent at a time that suits them.

Under current rules, KiwiSavers can put in 3 percent, 4 percent or 8 percent of their pay.

The Commission For Financial Capability is considering possible changes to the scheme, including the option of changing regular contributions.

ANZ Bank's general manager of funds and insurance, Ana-Marie Lockyer, said there was merit in having flexibility to put in more or less.

"KiwiSaver is a 30-40 year savings commitment, people's circumstances will change over this sort of time frame.

"Ideally, we would enable people to increase their contributions to KiwiSaver when they get a pay rise or pay down their debt, equally, some people might prefer to reduce their contributions ... when money is tight," she added.

But Ms Lockyer said there were risks to making changes.

"Too much tinkering obviously won't help keep confidence in the scheme in the right way, but the right kind of tinkering that gives people the flexibility to be able to save through KiwiSaver to meet their retirement savings goals is encouraged," she added.

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