2 Jun 2023

Booklet offers plain speaking to demystify financial, insurance terms

9:45 am on 2 June 2023
A person looking at stockmarket changes on a tablet.

Investment and KiwiSaver are among topics covered in the glossary. Photo: 123RF

The Retirement Commission is urging the financial sector to do away with confusing jargon to make financial matters more accessible.

It has published a new glossary, De-jargoning Money, with plain language translations for terms such as credit, interest-bearing and maturity.

The glossary covers everything from general terms for everyday banking and spending, lending and loans, insurance and estate planning, investment and KiwiSaver to ethical and sustainable investing.

Retirement Commissioner Jane Wrightson said the document was made for organisations and institutions working across the finance and insurance sectors to use when explaining personal finance.

"It's critical we focus on standardising industry language, removing jargon, banishing outdated terms, and trying to avoid the many acronyms.

"We know that many terms are not readily understood by New Zealanders and this is a chance to reshape and demystify our customer and consumer-facing language."

Wrightson said using more consistent language across the sector would improve financial outcomes for people.

"More than ever, our language needs to be simple, and it should be driven by the needs of the people we serve."

De-jargoning Money was the result of 18 months' worth of research and consultation with representatives from banks, insurance providers, financial mentors and community groups, among other services.

The commission has also tested the glossary with more than 1500 ASB customers and 960 students aged 13 to 15.

Wrightson hoped it would be taken up across the industry, saying it would help both customers and companies in the financial sector.

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