26 Jun 2023

More investing education needed despite KiwiSaver interest in Gen Z, research finds

2:43 pm on 26 June 2023
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Photo: 123RF

The younger generation is taking encouraging steps to grow their retirement savings, according to the latest research.

A new ANZ Bank-commissioned survey of the Gen Z age group - that's 18 to 24-year-olds - showed one in four increased their KiwiSaver contributions in the past year.

ANZ managing director of investments Fiona Mackenzie said young adults were also the most likely group to have made changes to their KiwiSaver accounts in the past year.

This had included switching providers and making additional voluntary contributions.

"Gen Z are investors; they understand this is about growing their wealth and they've started early. Many are regularly contributing to a KiwiSaver account, which is great to see," Mackenzie said.

However, the high cost of living and with contract work common in this demographic, ongoing education was needed for better investment outcomes in the long term.

Getting more people saving was important, she said, with only 46 percent of all Gen Z members (born 1997 - 2012) making regular employee contributions.

A concerning factor revealed in the Horizon survey was that one in five people in the Gen Z age-group said they were already wary of investing.

"What leapt out at us was that 20 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds said they were already wary of investing and 24 percent of all members said the same," Mackenzie said.

The survey asked KiwiSaver members whether the fall in financial markets had left them more or less likely to invest.

Accordingly, 28 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds said they were less likely to invest. That compared to 20 percent of all KiwiSaver members.

However, in other results, 26 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds said the fall in financial markets had left them feeling more likely to invest, compared to 10 percent of all KiwiSaver members who were surveyed.

Mackenzie said small contributions to a retirement savings scheme made a big impact in the long term, and it was important to get retirement savings underway at a young age.

"There are lots of ways to make investing complex or hard, but there are also great ways to make it easy. One of those actions is opening a KiwiSaver account."

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