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Survey highlights need for New Zealanders to plan for retirement

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

ANZ Investments is urging New Zealanders to ensure they are on track for a comfortable retirement, following the release of research showing most people will have to live on just New Zealand Superannuation after 10 years of retirement.

The research, commissioned by the Financial Services Council (FSC), found there is a $218 average after tax weekly gap between what the retired think they need to live comfortably and what they will have.

The research by the FSC also found that those who do expect to have enough to live comfortably are those whose assets are more diversified. However, this is not the case for many New Zealanders.

"We agree with the FSC that people saving for their retirement need more education on the best ways to maximise their savings and to broaden their investments. It’s never too early to start planning," said ANZ General Manager of Wealth Products Ana-Marie Lockyer.

That view is shared by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). "These results reflect what our own work has shown makes people more confident they are prepared for retirement. Starting early, at least 10 years out, and getting help from an adviser, provider or a mix of sources got the best results," said Paul Gregory, the FMA’s Director of External Communications and Investor Capability.

ANZ is working with the FMA and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) on a behavioural insights trial designed to help people aged 55-64 make informed decisions about their retirement.

"The results from the behavioural insights trial with ANZ will help refine our view of what prompts KiwiSaver members to better prepare for their retirement," said Mr Gregory.

Randomly selected members are receiving targeted communications encouraging them to either check they are on track for retirement by using ANZ’s online calculators, or seek financial advice. Six months into the pilot, the results show few are taking matters into their own hands and even fewer are seeking professional advice, even when the advice is free.

"We’ve targeted those 10 years out from retirement, hoping to encourage active choices around the level of contributions they are making and how best to maximise their assets. However, results suggest there is still strong apathy when it comes to retirement planning," Mrs Lockyer said.

The FSC study found nearly four in 10 retirees regret not having more financial advice. Among those aged 65 and older, 19% wanted advice on how to invest their KiwiSaver funds and 22% would like providers to offer more advice about how to draw down their savings.

"ANZ agrees with the FSC and the FMA that there is a need for financial advice to be more accessible. We are working hard to make our members aware of the range of options that are available - from class to personalised advice, online, face-to-face and on the phone," Mrs Lockyer said.

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