KiwiSaver funds under management (FUM) topped $30 billion for the first time in the September quarter, according to the latest figures from Australian-based research house, Plan for Life.
As at September 30 this year total KiwiSaver FUM exceeded $30.7 billion, the Plan for Life report says, up almost 4 per cent or $1.4 billion over the quarter.
However, funds flow over the three-month period was down over $100 million compared to the record September 2014 quarter when more than $1.5 billion entered the system.
The year-on-year decline reflected the tough investment conditions during the September 2015 quarter with Plan for Life recording earnings of $0.24 billion compared to $0.59 billion over the same period in 2014.
KiwiSaver contributions spike during the September quarter as the government pays out the annual member tax credit (MTC) to providers in July. According to Inland Revenue Department (IRD) statistics, the MTC added $626.6 million to KiwiSaver accounts during the September quarter.
The removal of the $1,000 ‘kickstart’ payment this May had only a negligible effect on the September quarter flows, the IRD figures show. Following the May budget move, kickstart monthly payments maintained average levels above $16 million (peaking at $19.1 million in June) before tapering off in September to about $1 million, according to the IRD statistics.
Of the 10 KiwiSaver providers named by Plan for Life, BNZ recorded the highest growth rate during the September quarter of 12.3 per cent – albeit from a low base of almost $590 million to finish the period with over $660 million.
AMP scored the lowest growth rate during the quarter, adding just 0.8 per cent to FUM while ANZ, Milford and Westpac all reported growth of 4.6 per cent over the three-month period.
ANZ strengthened its hold on the number one KiwiSaver provider position by FUM breaking through $7.5 billion as at September 30. Meanwhile, fourth-placed Westpac closed the gap on the third-largest provider, AMP, by about $125 million in the September quarter – only $184 million now separates the third- and fourth-biggest providers compared to $309 million at June 30.
Outside the top 10 players, FUM grew by 4.8 per cent on average during the September quarter compared to 3.9 per cent for the total KiwiSaver market, the Plan for Life figures show.