News eDaily04 May 2017

New Zealand:More than half of adults have a private super scheme

04 May 2017

Fifty-three percent of adults in New Zealand had a private superannuation scheme in the year ended June 2015, Statistics NZ has announced.

Stats NZ's report, “Private superannuation in New Zealand”, released last month, shows that the median value of an adult’s (aged 15 years and over) total private superannuation wealth was NZ$10,000 (US$6,940).

Private superannuation schemes include KiwiSaver and other schemes, both company-based and for the state sector. The figures are based on the household net worth statistics. The values exclude NZ Superannuation – the government pension paid to eligible people aged 65 or older.

The voluntary work-based savings scheme, KiwiSaver, started in 2007 and about half of all adults (48%) are in a KiwiSaver scheme. Women were more likely to have a KiwiSaver scheme (50%) than men (47%).

“Just 8% of adults are in non-KiwiSaver schemes, such as the State Sector Retirement Savings Scheme or a company-based scheme,” said Well-being and Housing team manager Litia Tapu.

The median value of non-KiwiSaver schemes was NZ$53,000 – six times more than the NZ$8,000 median value of KiwiSaver schemes. That is to be expected since people have typically been in non-KiwiSaver schemes much longer than in the relatively new KiwiSaver.

Non-KiwiSaver schemes had a greater difference in value between the sexes than KiwiSaver schemes. Men had a median value of NZ$69,000 compared with women’s NZ$42,000. Men were also more likely to have a non-KiwiSaver scheme than women – a contributing factor to the value gap.

Other factors contributing to the difference in men’s and women’s non-KiwiSaver savings are likely to include the gender pay gap and the effect motherhood has on pay. Lower pay for women, breaks in work to care for children, and lower contributions to super schemes all slow the accumulation of savings for women.

With an ageing population, and many people living longer, individual retirement savings are becoming more important. In 2014, 650,000 people were aged 65 and over in New Zealand. That’s about 14% of the total population. This number is projected to more than double by 2039, to 1,286,000 people, almost one-quarter of the population.

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