5 Jan 2015

Scrutiny for KiwiSaver providers

5:20 am on 5 January 2015

KiwiSaver providers will face extra scrutiny this year as regulators crack down on unscrupulous companies, especially those who entice savers to switch products.

New Zealand dollar

Photo: 123rf

The retirement savings scheme run by banks and investment funds has enrolled more than two million people and is now worth more than $23 billion.

Despite this, Financial Markets Authority (FMA) research shows people are still confused by the scheme.

Chief executive Rob Everett said it would be cracking down on how KiwiSaver was promoted and sold, making sure companies made clients fully aware what they were buying into.

Some were finding themselves in schemes, or being enticed to switch to new scheme, they did not understand, Mr Everett said.

The FMA would be working closely with the Commission for Financial Capability to improve investor education.

KiwiSaver, which would notch up six years in April, was one of seven strategic priorities the FMA plans to focus on in 2015, he said.

Other priorities include cracking down on sales tactics, ensuring frontline regulators like the NZX are as effective as possible, and dealing with conflicts of interest within financial firms.

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