Financial Advice New Zealand is a professional membership body for financial advisers in New Zealand. It represents around 1600 members, of which roughly a third offer KiwiSaver advice as part of their core business.
Financial Advice New Zealand has no direct involvement with the provision of KiwiSaver products. However, one of our mandates under our Constitution is to work with financial service providers, and their industry bodies, to promote consumer focused products and services.
We support the goals of providing guidance to KiwiSaver managers and supervisors to ensure KiwiSaver fees are not unreasonable and provide value for money to consumers.
Whilst financial advisers can and do make their own assessment of product suitability for their clients based on their assessment of value, we recognise that currently only a small portion of consumers access advice (independent or otherwise) before determining their KiwiSaver product and provider. For these consumers in particular, the focus on reasonable fund fees and value for money is supported.
We recognise that fees can make a big difference to retirement balances for KiwiSaver members and have a compounding effect over time, especially for people with low balances. We support initiatives which seek to minimise this negative effect.
We encourage more people to gain independent advice around what for many is their second largest investment after their home. KiwiSaver is not a set and forget product and ongoing advice should be encouraged. Therefore we don’t support initiatives which may increase barriers to people seeking this advice when they first join KiwiSaver and throughout their lives.
Our feedback is primarily in these areas; advice fees and commissions.