KiwiSaver broke through the $40 billion mark during the March quarter as three bank-owned providers also recorded numerically-significant fund-odometer readings.
According to data from Australian research house, Strategic Insight (SI), the KiwiSaver market grew 5.8 per cent over the first three months of 2017 to hit $40.65 billion compared to $38.4 billion as at the end of last year.
The SI figure covers most KiwiSaver providers whereas Morningstar, which earlier this month tabled total KiwiSaver funds under management (FUM) of $38.8 billion as at March 31, surveys 15 providers.
During the March quarter ANZ, ASB and Kiwibank sister entity, Kiwi Wealth, hit respective milestones of $10 billion, $7 billion and $3 billion in a period where total net KiwiSaver funds flow peaked at just above $1 billion (coupled with investment returns of about $1.2 billion).
The BNZ KiwiSaver scheme, once again, reported the highest quarterly growth rate, stacking on 10.5 per cent during the period – the only provider to break double digits – to finish with over $1.16 billion under management. Currently the ninth-largest KiwiSaver provider, BNZ is closing in on nearest rival Booster ($1.2 billion), which added 5.5 per cent in FUM over the latest quarter.
Of the big 10 providers reported in the SI data Milford (9.2 per cent), Kiwi Wealth (6.4 per cent), ANZ (5.9 per cent) and Westpac (5.8 per cent) also grew at or above the total quarterly KiwiSaver market growth rate of 5.8 per cent. As per recent trends, Mercer (3.8 per cent) and AMP (4.3 per cent) lagged somewhat behind their competitors in the top 10 group.
The March quarter was kinder in aggregate to providers outside the largest 10 providers with SI figures showing the ‘others’ – representing less than 20 schemes – grew by 7.4 per cent during the period. However, collectively the top 10 providers still represent almost 93 per cent of all KiwiSaver money, the SI data shows, with ANZ alone accumulating $555 million over the three months compared to the $202 million increase distributed across all the minor players.
Meanwhile, KiwiSaver membership growth continued apace over the first three months of 2017 with a net 31,070 members added to the savings pool since the end of December 2017, according to the latest Inland Revenue Department (IRD) industry statistics. Month-on-month, KiwiSaver membership was up more than 11,000, the IRD data shows, ending March with close to 2.73 million members.
March also saw 12-month highs in the number of KiwiSaver scheme transfers (16,552) and first home withdrawals, where almost 6,000 members sucked out just over $124 million during the month to fund property purchases. The March first home withdrawal figure was more than double the previous peak of 2,788 members (who shifted out $53.3 million from KiwiSaver) recorded last November by the IRD and about triple the February experience.