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Best Performing KiwiSaver Funds

FUND TYPE
FUND NAME
5YR AVERAGE
Conservative
Milford
Conservative
3.07%
Moderate
Generate
Moderate
4.22%
Balanced
Kiwi Wealth Balanced
6.32%
Growth
Milford Active Growth
9.76%
High Growth
Booster SRI High Growth
10.31%

*Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future performance.

*List is of the highest 5-year returns A-rated funds as per our Investment Selection Process

*All returns are after fees and tax (28% PIR) as of the quarter ended 31st December 2023.

*Source: National Capital Research February 2024

Is your KiwiSaver fund missing from the list?

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Best Performing KiwiSaver Funds - Current Overview

Here is a list of the current best-performing KiwiSaver funds in each KiwiSaver options category.
While choosing between KiwiSaver investment options involves considering multiple factors,
performance results are undoubtedly important. 

Fund Type Fund Name 5-Year Average
Conservative Milford Conservative 3.07%
Moderate Generate Moderate 4.22%
Balanced Kiwi Wealth Balanced 6.32%
Growth Milford Active Growth 9.76%
High Growth Booster SRI High Growth 10.31%

 

Best Performing KiwiSaver Funds Details - Dec 2023

Your KiwiSaver Investment Options & KiwiSaver Funds

There is an overwhelming number of KiwiSaver providers and KiwiSaver funds to choose from. Furthermore, we know reading about all the different KiwiSaver funds and how they differ is one of those chores you’re inclined to put off as it’s not the most exciting weekend task.

To make life a little easier, we've put together some detailed information on the best KiwiSaver funds based on each category’s annual returns. The data is based on National Capital research from the quarterly fund reports. It helps paint a clearer picture on your KiwiSaver investment options based on the top-performing KiwiSaver funds.

Thus, allowing you to compare your own KiwiSaver provider against the top performers and market index for all KiwiSaver funds. You can compare by accessing your fund performance via your provider's KiwiSaver login portal. Alternatively, we're able to summarise this for you when you apply for your own Free KiwiSaver HealthCheck. Weighing up your KiwiSaver investment options has never been more accessible. 

Jump to

 

Conservative KiwiSaver Funds Category

Milford Conservative Fund - Five Years Return: 3.07%

About Milford Conservative Fund

Milford's Conservative Fund is aimed towards investors looking for medium returns and greater capital protection with a minimum KiwiSaver investment period of 3 years. Amongst KiwiSaver Options, the investment has a lower risk that's diversified primarily with fixed interest securities and a reasonable allocation to equity. 

Fund's Annual Returns vs Market Index

The chart below shows the annual returns of Milford's Conservative Fund compared to the Market Index. The average annual return of Milford's Conservative Fund over five years as of 31 Dec 2023 was 3.07%, whereas the average annual return on the market index is 3.97%. Making it a current top performer amongst other Conservative KiwiSaver options.

Milford Conservative vs Market Index    

MilfordCons-vs-MarketIndex Dec2023
Asset Allocation Detailed Breakdown

Looking at the asset allocation gives you an idea of what the fund invests in and the proportions. It is a good indicator for investors as asset allocation impacts the volatility, risk, and return of KiwiSaver funds.

As of December 2023, the actual asset allocation of Milford Conservative Fund was as follows: 

MilfordCons-actual-investment-mix Dec 2023


Fees Compared to Industry Average

FEES

MILFORD  CONSERVATIVE  FUND

PEER GROUP - CONSERVATIVE FUND

Total Annual Fund Fees

0.95%

0.7%

Amongst all KiwiSaver options, is the Milford Conservative Fund right for you?

If you're in a conservative KiwiSaver fund, you prioritise stability and lower volatility over high returns. You are potentially aiming to withdraw from your KiwiSaver investment in the next couple of years for either your first home or retirement. In this case, you wouldn't want to witness a sudden drop in your KiwiSaver investment when you're finally ready to use your KiwiSaver funds.

Suppose you feel unsure about whether or not you should be in a conservative fund. We keep track of the latest KiwiSaver funds performance results so you don't have to. Analysing the performance of all KiwiSaver investment options. By submitting a KiwiSaver HealthCheck, you’ll get personalised recommendations, so you don't have to make the decision alone. 

Moderate KiwiSaver Funds Category

Generate Moderate Fund - Five Years Return: 4.22%

About Generate Moderate Fund

Generate Moderate Fund aims to achieve over the long term a modest to moderate yearly return. This allows for modest to moderate movements of value up and down, including occasional negative yearly returns (after the fund charge and before tax). Thus being amongst the lower-risk KiwiSaver options.

Fund's Annual Returns vs Market Index

The chart below shows the annual returns of the Generate Moderate Fund compared to the Market Index. The average annual return of the Generate Moderate Fund over five years as of 31 Dec 2023 was 4.22%, whereas the latest annual return on the market index is 4.58%.

Generate Moderate Fund vs Market Index

GenerateMod-vs-MarketIndex Dec2023
Asset Allocation Detailed Breakdown

As of December 2023, the actual asset allocation of Generate Moderate Fund was as follows:

GenerateMod-actual-investment-mix Dec 2023


Fees Compared to Industry Average

FEES

OneAnswer Conservative-Balanced Fund

PEER GROUP - MODERATE FUND

Total Annual Fund Fees

1.14%

0.96%

Is the Generate Moderate Fund right for you?

Fees are only one of the many factors to be considered when looking into KiwiSaver funds; therefore, don’t be deterred by Generate Moderate Fund higher than average fees. If you’re in a moderate fund, you most likely value the stability of your KiwiSaver investment rather than the level of returns. However, you're willing to accept slightly more volatility than a conservative fund. You may be a few years away from withdrawing from your KiwiSaver investment.

If you're unsure about whether you are making the most out of your KiwiSaver options, take our KiwiSaver HealthCheck. See what your KiwiSaver options are, and feel more confident in your investment.

Balanced KiwiSaver Funds Category

Kiwi Wealth Balanced Fund - Five Years Return: 6.32%

About Kiwi Wealth Balanced fund 

Kiwi Wealth Balanced Fund, recently rebranded to Fisher Fund Plan Balanced Fund, aims to provide a balance between stability of returns and growing your investment over the long term by investing in a mix of income and growth assets. 

Fund's Annual Returns vs Market Index

The chart below shows the annual returns of Kiwi Wealth Balanced Fund compared to the collective KiwiSaver options Market Index. The average annual return of Kiwi Wealth Balanced Fund over five years as of 31 Dec 2023 was 6.32%, whereas the average annual return on the market index is 6.84%.

 

Kiwi Wealth Balanced Fund vs Market Index

KiwiWealthBal-vs-MarketIndex Dec2023
Asset Allocation Detailed Breakdown

As of December 2023, the actual asset allocation of Kiwi Wealth Balanced Fund was as follows:

KiwiWealthBal-actual-investment-mix Dec 2023
Fees Compared to Industry

 

FEES

Kiwi Wealth Balanced Fund

PEER GROUP - Balanced FUND

Total Annual Fund Fees

1.04%

1%

 

PEER GROUP - BALANCED FUND

Is the Kiwi Wealth Balanced Fund right for you?

When considering your KiwiSaver options and investing in a Balanced fund, it is important to ensure that the assets in the fund will give you the stability and returns you want out of your KiwiSaver investment. As everyone has different goals, being in a KiwiSaver fund that aligns with your individual goals could save you thousands.

Have you picked the right one amongst all the KiwiSaver investment options out there? That is why we offer a Free KiwiSaver HealthCheck to bring to light the best KiwiSaver investment options for you.

Growth KiwiSaver Funds Category

Milford Active Growth Fund - Five Years Return: 9.76%

About Milford Active Growth Fund 

The Milford Active Growth Fund strives for an annual net return of 10% for their investors over a recommended investment period of no less than five years. It is classified as a medium-to-high risk fund that diversifies by investing largely in equity and a reasonable amount of asset allocation in fixed interest securities.

Fund's Annual Returns vs Market Index

The chart below shows the annual returns of Milford Active Growth Fund compared to the Market Index. The average annual return of Milford Active Growth Fund over five years as of 31 Dec 2023 was 9.76%, whereas the average annual return on the market index is 9.28%.

 

Milford Active Growth vs Market Index

MAG-vs-MarketIndex Dec2023Asset Allocation Detailed Breakdown

As of December 2023, the actual asset allocation of Milford Active Growth Fund was as follows:

MAG-actual-investment-mix Dec 2023

Fees Compared to Industry

 

FEES

MILFORD  ACTIVE GROWTH  FUND

PEER GROUP - GROWTH FUND

Total Annual Fund Fees

1.05%

1.11%

Is the Milford Active Growth fund right for you?

If you’re in a KiwiSaver growth fund, you’re most likely ok with seeing volatility in the value of your KiwiSaver options and aren’t planning on withdrawing from it anytime soon. You're generally more interested in returns but also know that it's important not to get caught up in headline figures. Because past performance does not necessarily predict future performance, researching what your fund is actually invested in and how the fund provider chooses each asset is equally important.

National Capital is constantly reviewing and researching each of these aspects to help you choose wisely between all KiwiSaver investment options. As well as this, National Capital wants to make sure you are informed on what you should do if your circumstances or the circumstances of your provider change. That is why we keep up to date with the latest information on KiwiSaver investment options.

High Growth KiwiSaver Funds Category

Booster SRI High Growth- Five Years Return: 10.31%

About Booster Socially Responsible Investment High Growth Fund

The Booster Socially Responsible Investment High Growth Fund has delivered a strong investment performance since its inception in 2007. They aim to deliver a higher growth KiwiSaver investment return over the long term through high investment in growth assets.

Fund's Annual Returns vs Market Index

The chart below shows the annual returns of Booster SRI High Growth Fund compared to the Market Index. The average annual return of Booster SRI High Growth Fund over five years as of 31 Dec 2023 was 10.31%, whereas the average annual return on the market index is 11.00%.  

Booster SRI High Growth Fund vs Market Index

BoosterSRI-High-vs-MarketIndex Dec2023

Asset Allocation Detailed Breakdown

As of December 2023, the actual asset allocation of Booster SRI High Growth Fund was as follows:

BoosterSRI-High-actual-investment-mix Dec 2023

Fees Compared to Industry

 

FEES

Booster SRI High Growth Fund

PEER GROUP - AGGRESSIVE FUND

Total Annual Fund Fees

1.31%

1.22%

Is the Booster SRI High Growth Fund right for you?

As an aggressive KiwiSaver funds investor, not unlike a growth investor, you probably have a high tolerance and capacity for volatility. Length of time is an important factor when considering KiwiSaver investment options. You are able to withstand fluctuations in your KiwiSaver funds due to the fact you are investing for a longer period of time. 

As with any fund, but importantly aggressive funds, the proportion of growth to income assets, where your money is invested, and who is actually managing it all greatly impact the performance of your KiwiSaver investment in the long run. If you are feeling unsure about your KiwiSaver options and as to which KiwiSaver fund you should be in you should consider completing a KiwiSaver Healthcheck.

KiwiSaver Options - Fund Types

When it comes to the best KiwiSaver funds, there are 5 main KiwiSaver options or fund types to choose from. 

Here is the list of the 5 different KiwiSaver options and their risk type:

KiwiSaver Options Risk Profile
Conservative 3/7
Moderate 4/7
Balanced 4/7
Growth 5/7
High Growth 5/7


Finding the best KiwiSaver funds for you depends on multiple factors such as your risk appetite, investment longevity, and goals. It can be overwhelming to pick amongst the countless KiwiSaver options available. Not only do you have to choose your provider, but also the right KiwiSaver fund(s). Then, you have the KiwiSaver contribution options to consider. What percentage of your salary do you want to invest? Will you invest the minimum 3% of your salary into KiwiSaver funds or more? 

Choosing among KiwiSaver options can be a simple process once you know exactly what you want from your investment. You can change between KiwiSaver options anytime as your needs and goals evolve. National Capital is here to help you keep track of the best KiwiSaver funds regarding performance. We’re also here to answer any questions from the basics to more specific when it comes to your KiwiSaver options.

As no one can predict the future, being a smart investor consists of analysing existing and previous data for guidance. We understand that your full-time job isn’t to keep track of all the KiwiSaver investment options out there. However, ours is. With the goal of empowering one million Kiwis to become financially secure, free advice on KiwiSaver options is key. We use a combination of highly experienced financial advisors and technology to aggregate and track results of KiwiSaver investment options. Therefore, making the choice between KiwiSaver funds an easy one for all.

How should I choose my KiwiSaver fund?

We have looked at the best performing KiwiSaver funds based on their 5-year returns, however, looking at the past performance of a fund is just one aspect when choosing the best KiwiSaver fund. Other questions you should be asking when considering your KiwiSaver options include:

  • How and where is my money invested? 

  • What is the level of volatility (risk) of these KiwiSaver funds? Does it align with my volatility tolerance and capacity?

  • How do the fees compare to other KiwiSaver funds with a similar rate of return?

  • What is the provider's process when selecting investments and making changes in the funds?

There are a lot of KiwiSaver options out there. Our research team at National Capital compares KiwiSaver funds and looks at over 100+ funds to recommend the best KiwiSaver provider for you. 

Why Use National Capital to help choose between KiwiSaver funds?

  • Detailed Research: We research various factors of the best KiwiSaver funds – from asset allocation all the way to ethical investing.

  • Answers: How do I know my money is safe? What risks are being taken?

  • Monitoring: We’re constantly monitoring the landscape and KiwiSaver options.

  • Expertise: Our team specialise in KiwiSaver investment and research.

  • No cost to you: We get paid by the KiwiSaver providers.

  • Gift of Time: We do the hard work, so you can focus on life.

Our KiwiSaver investment recommendations look at the big picture and not just the scorecard. We sift through KiwiSaver options and recommend the best performers that match your lifestyle. So, what are you waiting for?

Best Performing KiwiSaver Funds - Frequently Asked Questions

Common questions regarding KiwiSaver investment options and the best-performing KiwiSaver funds.

KiwiSaver Funds - Frequently Asked Questions
Why did my KiwiSaver funds drop in value?

Several factors could cause fluctuations in your KiwiSaver investment value. Market movements, economic conditions, and the types of investments making up your KiwiSaver funds can influence its value.

Market Volatility: The value of your KiwiSaver funds can go up and down quite a bit. This is because the financial markets where your money is invested can be very volatile. Sudden changes are caused by things like big news stories, the state of the economy generally, or investor confidence. The best KiwiSaver funds aim to navigate through market volatility and come out on top.

KiwiSaver Investment Options: Funds offer different types of investment assets, such as shares, bonds, property, and cash. Each of these assets has its level of risk and potential return. If you choose to invest in higher-risk assets, like shares, your investment may go up or down a lot. By choosing lower-risk KiwiSaver options that invest mostly in bonds or cash, your investment may not change much in value. 

Fund Performance: It's important to know that not all Kiwi Saver options perform the same, as they’re managed differently by each provider. Factors that influence fund performance include where the managers invest your money, their fees, and the state of the economy. So, it's important to understand how your fund is doing compared to the best KiwiSaver funds out there.

Contributions and Fees: The fees charged by Kiwi Saver options providers can have a big impact on your returns. These fees cover things like managing your investments, running the scheme, and providing other services. Although they may seem small, even small fees can add up over time and eat into your investment returns. That's why it's important to understand how fees work and choose between KiwiSaver investment options that charge competitive fees.

Why do different providers perform better in different KiwiSaver funds?

You may be looking for the best KiwiSaver provider. However, as you can see, various winners depend on the funds and Kiwi Saver options in the market. This is because each provider offers a range of KiwiSaver funds. While one of their funds may be a top performer, another may lag behind. 

There are over 25 schemes with multiple funds available, so your KiwiSaver investment options are plentiful. Thus, choosing between the multitude of options can be overwhelming. While a friend may sing praises about a scheme, it may not necessarily be the right one for you. That is because people and their goals differ, therefore what works for them also differs. 

Back to the question at hand regarding the best performing KiwiSaver options. As different providers offer a variety of funds, the people in charge of each fund also differ. Thus, the team managing the Milford Active Growth KiwiSaver Fund may be the best performing in the growth category. Meanwhile, in the moderate category, the Aon Russell LifePoints team outperforms the dedicated Milford team and the industry overall.

In summary, the first decision regarding your KiwiSaver investment options should be to pinpoint the fund category suited to you. This will be based on your risk appetite, age, ethics and beliefs, and stage of your life. Only then, can you compare schemes and consider selecting one based on performance. 

Here at National Capital, we use a combination of technology and manual specialised analysis to provide custom recommendations. We’re aiming to simplify the process and really tailor your KiwiSaver options down to a handful suited to you. Our advice is free and there’s absolutely no obligation to follow through with any recommendations. Our aim is to simply get Kiwis to make an active decision on their Kiwi Saver options.

What makes some KiwiSaver funds a good investment over others?

KiwiSaver funds that offer solid and consistent returns over a long period of time are typically what you look for. You’ve landed on the perfect web page that periodically tracks and adjust the best performers in each fund category. You can assess your KiwiSaver options yourself or you can get in touch with us for a guided walkthrough. We take into consideration your personal circumstances to narrow down the best Kiwi Saver options tailored for you.

Fees, also play a role in the difference between your KiwiSaver investment options. If the difference in the performance of two competing KiwiSaver funds is only slight and the fees differ significantly, your best option is the cheaper one. However, this also depends on a case-by-case basis as the fee structure is often determined by total savings. 

A track record is also an important factor in choosing between Kiwi Saver options. We generally recommend funds with a long proven track record over another with higher returns but under 5 years old. This is because investing is a long-term game. Anyone can get lucky in the short term. What differentiates the best from the rest is consistently high returns over a period of more than 5 years. 

Naturally, your financial goals also come into play when choosing the fund that is right for you. No matter how high the returns are in growth funds, the volatile nature of these funds isn’t good for some. It isn’t only a matter of risk tolerance. If you are withdrawing from your savings often, it can lead to major losses if withdrawn at the wrong times. 

Your KiwiSaver investment options are plentiful. If you need guidance on choosing the right one for you, National Capital is here to help.

How do I know if my KiwiSaver fund is underperforming?

For the best performing KiwiSaver funds to exist, others will have to underperform in order for a natural order to form. Here we assess all KiwiSaver options and rank out the top performers in each fund category. 

Through your KiwiSaver login, you can check out your existing returns on investment. How does your provider compare against the industry average and the best in your fund category? Your KiwiSaver options are plentiful, but are you in the right one? 

If you’re happy with the current performance and it compares well, great! On the other hand, if you see that your returns are well below other KiwiSaver funds you should investigate further. How long has your fund been underperforming? If it is just a short period of time, it may well be an anomaly. However, if your fund has been outperformed over years of investing, it may be time to reconsider your KiwiSaver options. 

All companies providing KiwiSaver investment options display their past performance for public record. These results are generally updated quarterly on their respective websites. Thus you can take it into your own hands to compare results versus the top performers listed on this page. We have chosen a period of 5 years as a good measure to track fund performance and consistency. Alternatively, you can complete our Health Check application and we can provide you with the best Kiwi Saver options automatically.  

Remember, there are many other factors to consider when looking at your KiwiSaver investment options. Rather than making a rash switch, talk to us in order to make an informed decision. 

Are KiwiSaver funds in general a good investment option?

According to Stats NZ, the household savings ratio as a percentage of net disposable income has been historically low. Before the Covid-19 pandemic began, it was averaging under 1% of disposable income. That changed since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out largely due to the insecurity people were facing in uncertain times. 

For one reason or another, it is safe to say that Kiwis struggle with saving. This is exactly why KiwiSaver investment options are a great way to save and secure long-term financial freedom. Granted, investing in KiwiSaver funds isn’t the only way to guarantee a financially comfortable retirement, and it shouldn’t be. Your investment portfolio should be diversified and KiwiSaver options are a great tool to have on your belt. 

A great reason why KiwiSaver funds are a good investment option is due to the ease of the entire process. Once you are enrolled and have selected amongst the available Kiwi Saver options, you don’t need to do anything else. The percentage of your salary is taken automatically from your payslip and invested into your account. Thus, for a nation that finds saving difficult to do, this is a hassle-free investment opportunity. Moreso, the minimum 3% of your salary invested is greater than the average household savings rate of 1%. 

If one of your financial goals is to retire comfortably, you should be carefully considering your Kiwi Saver options. Naturally, that depends on what your account balance is when you are retiring. Thus, the earlier you analyse your KiwiSaver options, the more accurately you can focus on your retirement goals. We’re able to project your account balance when you retire by entering your contribution rate and annual returns. Get in touch with us to see if you’re where you want to be for retirement.

What is the difference between categories of KiwiSaver funds?

As already mentioned, there are multiple KiwiSaver investment options to choose from. You have KiwiSaver funds ranging from Conservative to Aggressive and Balanced funds in between. As the names suggest, different fund types have different risk and reward strategies that they implement. Choosing between funds and Kiwi Saver options is largely dependent on your risk tolerance. However, you must also consider your circumstances and financial goals, both long and short term.

KiwiSaver funds generally come with a Risk Profile rating that you should look for before making a decision. The lower the risk rating, the lower the potential returns, and vice versa. Lower risk funds also offer more stable investments that don’t fluctuate as frequently and rapidly as their higher risk counterparts. Low-risk assets typically include investments in fixed interest securities and moderate exposure to equities. On the other hand, high-risk KiwiSaver options primarily invest in international equities with potentially high returns but also high volatility.

The official IRD website mentions that there is a range of KiwiSaver funds to suit your needs. It also touches on the fact that different KiwiSaver investment options are available with different amounts of potential risk and return. However, it stops short of offering financial advice on which fund is the right one for you. 

That is where National Capital comes in. We offer free tailored advice to make the choice between Kiwi Saver options one that you’re confident about. Although your risk appetite may be high, your life circumstances may be suited to a more pragmatic investment. Take our free assessment test and get custom recommendations on the best KiwiSaver investment options available to you.

Is it a good idea to split my savings between multiple KiwiSaver funds?

There are a lot of Kiwi Saver options to choose from and this can make it hard to decide. Some people may not know that you can indeed split your savings in multiple funds offered by your provider. 

This is to give you multiple KiwiSaver investment options regarding risk and reward. If you are nearing retirement and have a sizeable amount of money saved you may want a stable KiwiSaver investment. Normally, stability comes with a lower ROI in the form of Moderate and Cash KiwiSaver funds offered. However, if your risk tolerance is naturally high, you may seek to split your savings between a High Growth Fund and a Moderate Fund.

You may also be in your teens or early twenties and seek to split your savings between multiple KiwiSaver funds. At this age, your risk tolerance is generally higher than someone nearing retirement. This is partly because your balance is much lower (less to lose), and because there’s plenty of time until retirement. With your first home purchase in mind, your savings can be split between a High Growth and Growth Fund. This is because you want to be in funds that offer the highest returns possible in a short period of time. The part invested in a Growth or Moderate Fund is to hedge against the high volatility of High Growth Funds.

The split ratio of savings in different funds is also completely up to you as part of your KiwiSaver options. For example, you can invest 80% into a High Growth Fund and 20% into a Moderate Fund. Alternatively, you may have 60% in Moderate, 20% in Growth, and 20% in a High Growth Fund. This allows you the flexibility to match your KiwiSaver investment more precisely with your short and long-term goals.

What is a good return on KiwiSaver funds?

A good return depends on the investment mix of the particular funds you are invested in. Combined with market volatility and risk, you cannot expect a guaranteed return on investment but can get an idea from past performance.

Based on National Capital’s research, here’s the 5 year average returns on different fund KiwiSaver options:

  • Conservative Fund: 2.6%
  • Moderate Fund: 3.6%
  • Balanced Fund: 6.4%
  • Growth Fund: 8.3%
  • High Growth Fund: 7.65%

Conservative funds have a lower risk level and therefore tend to provide lower returns than other Kiwi Saver options. They may be a good option for people close to retirement. Or  people who don't want to see the value of their investments fluctuate too much.

Balanced funds are a moderate-risk investment and tend to provide moderate returns. These funds may be a good option for people who want to see some growth in their investments. And also don't want to take on too much risk.

Growth funds have a higher risk level and therefore tend to provide higher returns than other types of KiwiSaver funds. They may be a good option for people who have a longer time horizon until retirement. And are willing to accept more volatility in the value of their investments.

As previously mentioned, you have the ability to mix and match your KiwiSaver investment options. You can split your savings in multiple KiwiSaver funds and therefore should expect different returns from each fund type.

Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer regarding what is considered a good return on KiwiSaver funds. It all depends on your circumstances and KiwiSaver investment options.

Are KiwiSaver funds safe?

Your KiwiSaver funds are held in a trust and managed by professionals. The funds are used by your chosen provider to be invested in various assets, including shares, property, and cash. Even if their business goes under, they can’t use your funds to resolve their financial troubles. 

On the other hand, the value of your investment will go up and down depending on how the markets perform. However, KiwiSaver options are expected to grow with time.

Your money is also diversified across a range of different investments, which helps to reduce risk. Different KiwiSaver investment options lead to a diversified portfolio to hedge against any single investment going down in value.

Your money is saved until you retire or purchase your first home and you can't access it earlier. This can be seen as a good thing because it stops you from spending your savings spontaneously. But it can also be seen as bad because you can't access the funds any time you want.

Kiwi Saver options are managed by professional fund managers. They invest your money in various assets trying to grow your savings. It can provide peace of mind for some savers, knowing that experts are looking after their money.

While there is no guarantee that you will profit from it, the vast majority of people are doing well.

So, it is justified to say that your Kiwisaver investment is in safe hands.

How many KiwiSaver funds are there?

Most providers will have between 5 and 6 KiwiSaver funds for you to choose from. What differentiates them is the range in risk, volatility, and potential return rates. 

With any single provider, your KiwiSaver options may range from cash to aggressive funds. Here’s a list of your KiwiSaver investment options with the majority of the big providers: 

  • Cash Fund (Risk Profile: 1/7)

  • Conservative Fund (Risk Profile: 3/7)

  • Moderate Fund (Risk Profile: 4/7)

  • Balanced Fund (Risk Profile: 4/7)

  • Growth Fund (Risk Profile: 5/7)

  • Aggressive Fund (Risk Profile: 6/7)


Choosing between these KiwiSaver investment options should really depend on your circumstances. If you’re young and intend to invest long-term, then you may consider one of the higher-risk KiwiSaver options. On the other hand, if you are about to retire, you are looking for stability in your KiwiSaver investment. Therefore, picking one of the lower-risk options. 

Lower-risk funds typically invest in assets that are deemed to be much less volatile and exposed to external shocks. Those investments are typically held in cash or government bonds for a low yet stable return. 

Higher-risk funds will typically invest in listed companies around the world and multiple industries. These types of companies are usually left much more exposed to the overall economic environment and thus more volatile. However, there is the opportunity for higher returns when invested in the right companies in the long run.

Which KiwiSaver funds do most people put their savings into?

According to the Finacial Market Authority’s 2022 Annual Report, growth funds are the most popular KiwiSaver investment choice. Below is a table showing the different types of KiwiSaver funds as classified by FMA. Keep in mind that Aggressive funds are also grouped with Growth funds. 

Fund Type

Number of Members

$ Amount In Each Fund

Multi-Sector Funds

Active

4,841

$61,715,141

Conservative

855,157

$18,196,257,563

Balanced

775,378

$23,798,558,580

Growth

1,460,621

$38,523,719,885

Single-Sector Funds

Cash

215,760

$3,398,854,330

Fixed Interest

55,812

$522,892,668

Shares

89,711

$1,316,667,921

Property

7,629

$92,242,248

Socially Responsible Funds

36,307

$891,080,605

Other

11,015

$449,199,175

Totals

3,512,231

$87,251,188,116


As we can see, Growth funds are the most popular choice amongst KiwiSaver investment options, followed by Conservative and Balanced. Interestingly, there are more members in Conservative funds, however with a lower total investment dollar value than Balanced Funds. This indicates that members who hold their KiwiSaver investment in Balanced funds will have a higher balance than those in Conservative funds on average. 


It is also worth noting that some people decided to spread their savings across multiple Kiwi Saver options. The total KiwiSaver investment member number is not 3,512,231. This number includes members investing in more than one of the KiwiSaver options. According to IRD, the actual total number of members is currently at 3,204,352.

Can I withdraw KiwiSaver funds as a lump sum?

For the majority of Kiwis, KiwiSaver funds can only be withdrawn during the purchase of their first home or retirement. In both of these scenarios, they can withdraw their KiwiSaver investment as a lump sum should they choose to. Whether it is a good idea or not, depends entirely on your circumstances and financial goals. 

People withdrawing their KiwiSaver investment to purchase their first home will usually do so in a lump sum. This is typically necessary to get as big of a deposit as possible and get financing with favourable terms. However, if they don’t need to, it is one of their KiwiSaver options to withdraw as little as they want. According to Kainga Ora, at least $1,000 must remain on your account after withdrawing. 

Once you’ve reached the age of retirement (currently 65), you are also eligible to withdraw your KiwiSaver funds. Again, as part of your Kiwi Saver options, the choice to do it as a lump sum is yours. However, for many retirees, it is recommended that they stick with their KiwiSaver investment options. The best KiwiSaver funds will continue providing annual returns and thus it can be beneficial to your long-term security. 

Of course, the key purpose of KiwiSaver investment options is to provide you with some financial security post-retirement. Naturally, you will rely on withdrawing KiwiSaver funds to help maintain a certain lifestyle when you stop working. Some providers like Westpac, have certain minimum withdrawal requirements. For regular withdrawals, they require a minimum of $100 a month and a minimum of $500 for lump sum withdrawals. You should check with your provider about their withdrawal policies to avoid any related fees. 

To discuss the best KiwiSaver funds or the most appropriate Kiwi Saver options for you, contact National Capital today. 

How does the performance of KiwiSaver funds compare to other investment options, such as individual stocks or traditional savings accounts?

Some of the best KiwiSaver funds tend to deliver annual returns of around 8% in the long term. However, it’s a big world out there and you have many choices available in addition to KiwiSaver investment options. 

One of these alternatives to KiwiSaver investment options is trading individual stocks. Trading single stocks can indeed provide much higher returns than a diversified portfolio like the various Kiwi Saver options offer. However, investing in single stocks is much riskier and volatile. Furthermore, it takes a good understanding of the financial markets, timing, and analysis of the companies you invest in. 

Another alternative to KiwiSaver options is a traditional savings account. A savings account will pay interest on the savings you have accumulated over time. This option typically offers lower returns than KiwiSaver funds, however, it provides high liquidity as you can withdraw money instantly. Savings accounts may also not always keep up with inflation, which can erode the purchasing power of your saved amount. 

Other investment options do not come with the government incentives that KiwiSaver options come with. Those incentives being a yearly government contribution and regular employer contributions. With other investments, you are normally solely relying on performance alone.

In summary, the choice between KiwiSaver investment options and other alternatives depends on goals, risk tolerance, and investment knowledge. The best KiwiSaver funds offer a really good annual return as well as a hands-off approach to investing. On the other hand, savings accounts offer stability and liquidity while individual stocks can offer higher returns at higher risk. That is not to say that you should only invest in Kiwi Saver options. Depending on your financial goals and circumstances, a balanced approach could mean investing in all three of the aforementioned options.

The right KiwiSaver fund will make a big difference to your KiwiSaver investment payout.

Spending 10 minutes to complete our HealthCheck form may be the most important thing you can do for your KiwiSaver funds right now.

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