As KiwiSaver providers brace for some horror March quarter statistics they can, at least, reminisce about a solid end to 2019 that saw a few schemes break through milestones.
According to figures released by Australian research house Plan for Life (PFL) last week, Smartshares, Booster, Milford Asset Management and ANZ all clicked higher on the billion-dollar counter during the December quarter.
The NZX-owned Smartshares scheme joined the seven-figure club for the first time over the period, growing from $982 million at the end of September to just above $1 billion three months later.
Meanwhile, both Booster and Milford ticked through the $2 billion threshold during the December quarter. Milford also jumped ahead of Booster in the funds under management (FUM) race over the period, peaking above $2.1 billion compared to $2.06 billion for the latter scheme.
ANZ, the largest KiwiSaver provider, leapt from almost $14.8 billion in FUM in September to over $15.2 billion at the end of 2019 – albeit growing a lower clip (3 per cent) than nearest rival ASB, which was up 4.4 per cent during the quarter to $11.6 billion.
The billion-dollar breakthroughs, however, don’t reveal much about market trends that continued roughly as per recent history during the final three months of last year.
Generate and Milford both reported double-digit growth over the quarter of 14.5 per cent and 10.6 per cent, respectively.
However, BNZ, which has been among the fastest-growing schemes for years eased off a little over the period – up only 6.5 per cent (almost half its September quarter result).
And for the first time, too, the PFL table names Simplicity on the leader board (booting Aon into the anonymous realm of ‘others’). The mostly-passive KiwiSaver scheme, which launched in 2016, was also the fastest-growing during the December quarter, rising almost 17 per cent to record FUM of $991 million.
Total KiwiSaver FUM grew 4.3 per cent over the quarter and almost 27 per cent for the 12-month period to close 2019 at more than $66 billion.
The December PFL numbers will likely mark a KiwiSaver peak for the foreseeable future, which, given the current market volatility is about 20 seconds – just enough time to wash your hands.