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KiwiSaver comparison rules released for comment

Tuesday 9th October 2012

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Commerce Minister Craig Foss is seeking submissions on draft rules he wants to impose that would lift disclosure requirements for KiwiSaver funds to make it easier for investors to make direct comparisons.

Public submissions on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's draft regulations for KiwiSaver providers are open until Nov. 5, with the new rules set to come into play next year. The draft regulations would require KiwiSaver schemes to publish consistent and comparable information about their funds. That would include information on returns, fees, asset and portfolio holdings, liquidity and liabilities, key personnel, and any potential conflicts of interest.

"At the moment, it is difficult for KiwiSaver members to make direct comparisons between funds," Foss said in a statement. "Ensuring reporting standards are consistent will allow members to make better informed decisions about where to invest."

Foss first signalled his intention to make it easier to compare KiwiSaver funds in this year's budget, as well announcing a review of the scheme's default providers.

Under the regulations, KiwiSaver providers would have to publish one comprehensive disclosure statement every year, and four smaller, quarterly reports.

The government put off a planned automatic enrolment of all workers into KiwiSaver this year, saying that would put the 2015 operating surplus at risk.

KiwiSaver has undergone a raft of changes under the National-led administration was elected in 2008, with the government last year halving its contribution to accounts and increasing the minimum employee and employer contribution to 3 percent from April next year to help shift the savings burden from the government and onto private sector. It had previously cut the minimum employee contribution to 2 percent from 4 percent.

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