7 Mar 2012

Many believe they won't have enough retirement savings

7:42 pm on 7 March 2012

A survey by investment and insurance companies suggests most New Zealanders will not have enough money saved to retire comfortably.

Of about 2500 people questioned, 80% thought their savings would run out before they died.

The survey was conducted by the Financial Services Council, the former Savings and Investment Association, which represents companies managing KiwiSaver accounts and other investor savings.

The council's chief executive, Peter Neilson, says 63% of those surveyed believe an extra $500 a week for couples on top of superannuation is needed for a comfortable retirement.

However, only one third of them would achieve that level of income by the age of 65. The rest said they were not saving enough.

Mr Neilson said Australian retirees will have, on average, twice the income of New Zealand retirees due to that country's compulsory savings system.

However, Retirement Commissioner Diana Crossan remains opposed to a compulsory savings scheme, saying forcing New Zealanders to put part of their income into superannuation could be a hardship for low earners.

It would also take away choices for those who may want to put money into their business, or to pay off a mortage, she says.

Ms Crossan says people should plan for their retirement from the time they start work.