KiwiSaver funds under management (FUM) verged on $60 billion as at the end of March this year, new figures from the Financial Services Council (FSC) have revealed.
The FSC KiwiSaver numbers – based on a survey by its twin organisation, Workplace Savings NZ (WSNZ) – found total market FUM hit more than $58.5 billion as at the end of March, representing a 12-month increase of 16.5 per cent (or almost $10 billion).
Overall KiwiSaver FUM was up about $6 billion in the March quarter after bleeding about $1.8 billion during a severe market downturn in the last three months of 2018.
Member contributions represented almost $1.3 billion of the total quarterly FUM gain as scheme member numbers breached the 2.85 million mark by March 31: a strong market bounce over the period added over $4 billion to the KiwiSaver bottom line.
Total scheme membership was up 2.9 per cent during the 12-month period, the FSC reports.
However, the FSC numbers deviate slightly from the official Inland Revenue Department statistics that put KiwiSaver membership at over 2.9 million at the end of March – equating to a year-on-year increase of 3.2 per cent.
In a statement, FSC chief, Richard Klipin, said KiwiSaver was primed for further growth following a raft of government reforms.
“Recent changes introduced by the government, including the changes in contribution rates, new options for over 65’s and savings suspension are all contributing to improving the scheme,” Klipin said in the release.
“The figures show average individual KiwiSaver balances growing to just under $19,250, up around $500 over the quarter. These additional savings combined with a sustained period of market growth in New Zealand means now is the time for Kiwis to save for their future.”
He said the KiwiSaver sector was also poised for further changes with the default provider review and the Commission for Financial Capability regular proposals on retirement income policies slated for later this year.
FSC members, which are heavily-skewed to large institutions, collectively managed almost $55 billion (over 93 per cent) of the KiwiSaver pool as measured in its survey on March 31.
The joint FSC/WSNZ annual conference has been scheduled for September 11-12 in Auckland, once again in the lush settings of the Pullman Hotel.