KiwiSaver scheme transfers spiked to their highest level in more than six months during June, the latest Inland Revenue Department (IRD) statistics reveal.
According to the IRD figures, inter-scheme transfers (excluding mergers) hit a peak of almost 17,900 members in June, about 5,300 more than the preceding month.
With the exception of November 2014, when the figure topped 19,200, monthly member transfers have ranged between about 10,000 to 14,500. Last October the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) highlighted KiwiSaver transfer practices as an area of special interest, with a report on the subject expected some time this year.
Over the 12 months to the end of June, just under 160,000 KiwiSaver members (excluding mergers) have switched schemes, about 10,000 less than in the previous period.
The latest IRD stats also cover the first full month since the $1,000 ‘kickstart’ was disestablished. And, as expected, the KiwiSaver member growth rate slumped significantly during June compared to the May figures.
According to the IRD statistics, slightly more than 11,100 new members signed up for KiwiSaver in June, compared to 17,016 the previous month – an almost 35 per cent differential.
The June figures were also 25 per cent down on KiwiSaver membership growth over the preceding 11 months, which averaged about 14,800.
For the first time since the regime launched in 2007, too, the number of under-18 year-olds enrolled in KiwiSaver fell during June, with about 550 fewer minors now registered as members. The removal of the ‘kickstart’ was widely tipped to kill off growth in the under-18 KiwiSaver market as no other incentives are available to this age bracket.