The Medical Assurance Society (MAS) re-joined the retail KiwiSaver market late in June launching the revamped scheme with minor surgery to fee and asset allocation settings.
Formerly a restricted scheme, the new open-to-all MAS KiwiSaver has cut fees on its conservative, moderate and balanced funds by 0.2, 0.15 and 0.05 per cent, respectively: all three used to carry a 1 per cent annual management charge.
MAS also increased the growth dose by 5 per cent in all but the conservative option of its risk-weighted portfolios.
“We regularly review the target asset mix for our Funds to optimise the potential for returns while balancing investment risk,” MAS says. “As a result of the latest review, we have increased the target growth asset allocation by 5% across some of our Funds. Growth assets can include international shares and Australasian shares.”
The changes, too, come with the ‘suggested investment timeframe’ for most of the portfolios pushed out by between one to three years.
As reported in May, MAS subsidiary Medical Funds Management gained a managed investment scheme licence earlier this year ahead of the KiwiSaver reboot.
Mike Davey, MAS chief member advocacy officer, said last month the scheme, which has since 2013 been confined to targeting workers in the medical and associated industries, would now begin marketing to the broader public.
“For MAS, the new licence supports our ambition to grow in the New Zealand market as we celebrate our 100-year anniversary, particularly with those that want their insurance and retirement savings to make more of a difference,” Davey said at the time.
Public Trust is licensed supervisor of the restructured MAS KiwiSaver while other service providers stay in place including: investment managers Bancorp and JB Were (the latter is also custodian); Link for administration; and, MMC as unit-pricer.
BlackRock and Hunter serve as respective underlying managers for international equities and global fixed income.
As at May this year, MAS managed about $2 billion across its insurance, traditional superannuation and KiwiSaver funds with the latter accounting for about half of the assets.
Headed by Martin Stokes, MAS was founded in 1921 as a mutual to provide insurance and other financial services to the local medical profession. In July this year, Brendan O’Donovan – who was licensed independent trustee (LIT) for the group’s KiwiSaver scheme for almost nine years – was appointed to the main MAS board.
Only restricted schemes require a LIT, a governance position created under the Financial Markets Conduct Act to impose some independent oversight in lieu of a full licensed supervisor.