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KiwiSaver: A Billion Dollar Business

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Brian Dalley
Brian Dalley

KiwiSaver is a billion dollar business that all Kiwis under the age of 65 can get a slice of, yet only one million have joined the scheme.

In my KiwiSaver update I included a photo of Nickleby the Magician to draw attention to just how amazing the returns on investment can be.

Like many, I have sat on the sideline waiting for the tinkering to end and paying very little attention to KiwiSaver until I came across this little quotation, “for every week you wait, it is costing you $20”.

“That’s madness” I thought, “and really the only tinkering is going to be reducing or removing benefits as it doesn’t need to be made better to attract people.” One day I believe the scheme will be made compulsory.

Not only did I join KiwiSaver, I also made application to IRD for use of the KiwiSaver trademark licence in order to promote KiwiSaver on my website. As you could image, if you have had any dealings with IRD, that took a little while, but to be fair they were only crossing the ‘i’s’ and dotting the ‘t’s’.

This must be the best investment plan I have ever come across. For the critics out there, and there always are critics, I challenge you to name one scheme that will match what KiwiSaver does?.

If you are working and you invest $20 a week, the government will much that investment and your employer will raise that by another $20. What’s more the government got so excited they offered to kick-start your investment with $1000.

Just over one million Kiwis have signed up, therefore there must be at least the same number who haven’t. That is equivalent to $20,000,000 a week, or over $1 billion a year doing nothing.

Amazing when you think about it. The Lotteries Commission put over $30,000,000 up for grabs and people queued in cold weather with the hope that maybe just by some minute chance they could strike the big one.  Yet there is a vault with over a billion dollars for the taking, some of it, I may add, with your name on it.

Here is a magic trick for you: $1000 - now you see it, now you don’t.

The government could save around $3 billion dollars by canning the $1000 kick start. With a savings scheme that stands head and shoulders above the rest, even without the $1000 kick-start, do they really need to put icing on a cake that is already sweet enough? Use it or lose it, you have been WARNED.

So just how good are the returns? Let’s do a little exercise in basic math to see. Although it may look like magic, it isn’t.  Say over a five year term you invested $20 a week and the rate of return per annum was 6% compounded.

A wise man was sent out to invest in his local bank. After five years, without any effort, he made $748.30. Just to show I am not sexist, I then sent a wise female out to invest the same amount of money, and wait for it, she made $2391.80.

Was it one of those unexplained male / female phenomenon’s, or was it simply that the female took note of what was being said?  This is why I suggested to my business partner, Nicky Tegg, that she concentrates on speaking with mums and schools.  After all it is often the lessons learnt early in life that shapes our future.

It really is a ‘no brainer’, however one dear soul did have very strong views when I went to hand him an information pack. “There is a down side”, he said, “unless you intend using it to buy your first home you’ll have to wait until age 65 to reap the rewards”.

To me, that doesn’t ring true. The down side, as I see it, would be if one didn’t save for retirement at all.

For more information on KiwiSaver and to register for updates contact or

Brian Dalley holds a New Zealand Inland Revenue KiwiSaver Trademark License Agreement. 

You can read more of his views and opinions on his website

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