Medical Assurance Society KiwiSaver Scheme 

There's a lot more to selecting a KiwiSaver fund than just checking past returns and fees. If your hard-earned money is invested in KiwiSaver, you need to ask the important questions to understand where and how that money is invested.

What questions are important to Investors?

Note: The following information is taken from MAS Kiwisaver Scheme's own website, fund updates, and the product disclosure statement published in March 2023.

Review of the MAS KiwiSaver Scheme

A short summary review of the KiwiSaver provider

Updated: 30th Aug 2023
Reviewed by: Erica Rodrigues 

MAS KiwiSaver Scheme review

The Medical Assurance Society (MAS) is a mutual society owned by its members. Its KiwiSaver Scheme has over 15,000 members and more than 80% of the medical profession are insured with MAS.

They offer seven different KiwiSaver Funds, ranging from a lower-risk Cash fund to higher-risk growth funds (Growth, Aggressive and Global Equities). A unique offering to the provider is that it also offers a range of insurance products (motor, house, contents, business, life and health).

MAS uses an active investment management approach across its funds. The provider is committed to investing responsibly and each of its funds are Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) certified. It is also a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), which focuses on helping the health of the planet.

Its responsible investing policy consists of limiting exposure to fossil fuels, weapons and tobacco industries, assessing ESG, and active ownership in companies.

MAS charges annual fund fees (which cover the Manager's basic fee and other administrative charges) that range between 0.51%-1.13%. There is a minimum manager's basic fee of $12.50 per quarter ($50 per annum) for those over the age of 25. It is free to switch between different funds within the scheme and there are no joining or exit fees if you decide to switch providers. The provider does not charge any performance fees for any of its funds.

In closing

Based on past performance alone, for the past five years, MAS has continuously performed higher than the average KiwiSaver fund after fees and taxes.

How does MAS compare to others?

Best Performing KiwiSaver Funds

Kiwi Wealth Balanced
Milford Active Growth
High Growth
Booster SRI High Growth

*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

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Latest News on MAS

Useful news related to the MAS KiwiSaver Scheme 


Who is MAS KiwiSaver?

Facts & History of the KiwiSaver provider


As a mutual society, MAS customers become Members. MAS is owned by their Members so they don't have to generate big profits for external shareholders. And because their advisers are paid a salary with no commissions, you can be sure they have your best interests at heart.

MAS was founded by doctors for doctors in 1921, and now more than 80% of the medical profession insured with MAS.

✅   New Zealand Based Provider


The Medical Assurance Society KiwiSaver Scheme has a total KiwiSaver Assets Under Management (AUM) of over NZ $1.1 billion and 15,118 KiwiSaver members (31st March 2023).

Who are the people looking after my money?

The investment team, structure and their alignment with clients

The Investment Team

Jason McCracken - Chief Executive

Jason is a highly experienced senior executive with a strong commercial, financial and operational track record spanning a 25-year career in New Zealand, Australia and Switzerland. He has held a wide range of senior roles in Australasia’s two largest insurance conglomerates (IAG and Suncorp). He was also Head of Insurance and Wealth Risk at ANZ NZ.

Brett Sutton - Deputy Chairperson

Brett is an experienced independent director. He is currently Chair of the Stevenson Group and Mint Asset Management, and Deputy Chair of the Co-Operative Bank. His previous employment experience included senior investment roles at the NZ Superannuation Fund and the Todd Corporation.

Suzanne Wolton - Board Member

Suzanne is a professional director, senior leader, speaker, chartered accountant, qualified hypnotherapist and financial services expert. She has more than 25 years' experience as a board member and senior executive in some of New Zealand's and the UK's leading organisations. 

Frank Frizelle - Board Member

Frank is Professor of Colorectal Surgery at Christchurch Hospital and Academic Head of Department of Surgery at Otago University. He is a Patron of the Canterbury Ostomy Society and serves as a Trustee for the Cotter Medical History, the Canterbury Charity Hospital and the Bowel and Liver trusts. Frank is also a director of Geordie Hill Station, Christchurch Colorectal and Southern Endoscopy which is a joint venture with Southern Cross Health Care.

Kate Baddock - Board Member

Dr Kate Baddock is Chair of the New Zealand Medical Association, a Fellow of the Royal NZ College of General Practitioners, and a member of both the Institute of Directors and Auckland Medicolegal Society. She gained her medical degree at the University of Otago and currently works as a GP and partner at Kawau Bay Health in Warkworth. 

Brendan O'Donovan - Board Member

Brendan has extensive experience in the financial services industry, spending more than a dozen years as a Chief Economist at several New Zealand banks and chairing Investment Committees. Through his service as Chairman of The Co-operative Bank and Chairman of Co-operative Life, he brings a wealth of governance experience. He has also been a Licensed Independent Trustee, as well as Specialist Advisor to Parliament’s Finance and Expenditure Select Committee. He has been involved with MAS in a governance capacity since 2012 as a Licensed Independent Trustee, and more recently as Chair of the Investment Committee.

How is the Investment Team Structured?

MAS works with investment managers to manage the assets of each Fund. The investment managers they currently work with are: 

  • Bancorp Treasury Services Limited 
  • JBWere (NZ) Pty Limited 
  • BlackRock (External Manager) 
  • Hunter Investment Management Limited (External Manager) 

The role of individual investment managers is reviewed annually. Factors taken into account in these reviews include investment style, resources, organisational strength and investment performance relative to objectives. 

MAS may remove an investment manager and appoint a new investment manager at any time.

Conflicts of Interest Policy

In order to avoid, mitigate and manage potential conflicts, MAS has adopted a Conflicts of Interest Policy. The key principle is that any potential conflicts of interest are avoided where possible. If that is not possible, then they are clearly disclosed by any person making decisions on behalf of the Plan and mitigated to the greatest extent possible.

Trade Allocation & Execution Policy

Trades for the Funds, other than foreign currency hedging, are executed by JBWere NZ (Pty) Ltd. Their Trade Allocation and Execution Policy ensures that all clients are treated fairly and equitably when trades are  allocated across Funds with respect to priority of execution of orders and in the allocation of trades. 

Foreign exchange hedging is undertaken by BNZ and the method of trade execution is set out in an agreement for foreign currency hedging services.

Proxy Voting

For Australasian equities MAS has employed Institutional Investor Services to vote on their behalf. For the responsible investing mandate component of international equities, the sub-contracted manager (BlackRock) votes according to their policies.

How do I know my money is safe?

Governance & Compliance processes

All KiwiSaver Scheme Providers must ensure they meet regulatory standards and act with customer interests in mind.

KiwiSaver Scheme Managers must exercise care, diligence, and skill in the investment of scheme assets, and act in accordance with the stated investment policy and objectives. The FMA monitors that KiwiSaver Schemes are compliant with their obligations. Additionally, KiwiSaver Scheme Trustees also have a responsibility as front-line supervisors for monitoring the management and administration of these schemes.

MAS' Custodian 

A custodian plays a key role in protecting your investments. They hold your money and investments (i.e. keep custody of them) on your behalf. So they are the legal holder of your assets while you are the beneficial and ultimate owner. 

MAS’ custodian is JBWere (NZ) Nominees Limited. 

MAS' Supervisor

A supervisor is a  licensed entity independent of a KiwiSaver scheme provider that supervises the provider’s management of the scheme. KiwiSaver schemes are trusts, and (except for restricted KiwiSaver schemes) the terms of the trust deed states that the supervisor (or another custodian) must hold all contributions and investments in trust for the investors.

MAS’ supervisor is Medical Funds Management Limited.

Investment Monitoring

Each month MAS receives performance reporting from the investment managers. They monitor the performance of each Fund against its market index for the month, quarter and year. They also monitor the performance of each asset class against the relevant benchmark index over the same time frames. 

Each quarter they monitor the performance of each Fund against other similar KiwiSaver funds over the previous three months and the previous year. MAS also monitors the performance of each asset class against that of other appropriate investment managers over the quarter and year. 

Each year they monitor the performance of the Funds against: 

  • Fund objectives. 
  • The relevant market index over one, three and five years. This includes consideration of the volatility of Fund returns versus the market index. 
  • Other similar KiwiSaver funds over one, three and five years. 

Each year we also monitor the performance of each asset class against: 

  • The relevant market index over one, three and five year periods. This includes consideration of the volatility of Fund returns versus the market index.
  • Other appropriate investment managers over one, three and five years.

How do they decide where to invest?

The investment processes followed by the manager

Investment Beliefs 

MAS’s investment philosophy is based on six key beliefs. They believe: 

  • Asset allocation is the key driver of returns. Markets rise over time but also mean revert, meaning the ability to take strategic tilts, within parameters, delivers the best opportunity for returns. 
  • Risk is rewarded with higher long-term returns although it can lead to higher volatility of returns over the short term. 
  • Diversification across and within asset classes reduces risk and volatility, however too much diversification may be costly. 
  • A return premium exists for illiquid assets. The acceptance of a long-term timeframe means investment in illiquid assets is fine, so long as there are sufficient liquid assets to provide regular cash flow, plus reserves for emergencies and other opportunities. 
  • Fees and costs are a drag on performance and should be kept to a minimum. 
  • While markets are competitive, active management and conviction-based tilts can add value. Tactical currency management can also add value.

Investment Strategy 

Each Fund has different levels of risk and provides different potential returns. The choice of authorised investments for each Fund takes into account the Fund’s risk profile, objectives and investment strategy. 

The investment strategy of a Fund takes into account: 

  • Investment objectives; 
  • Benchmark asset allocation; 
  • Benchmark asset allocation ranges (or limits); and 
  • The index that the Fund’s performance will be measured against.

Does MAS Invest responsibly?

Social and Ethical Considerations

Socially responsible investing (SRI) or Environmental, Social and Governance investing (ESG), also known as sustainable, socially conscious, “green” or ethical investing, is any investment strategy which seeks to consider both financial return and social/environmental good to bring about social change regarded as positive by society.

Basically, SRI investing is investing in companies that have a positive impact on society, based on a number of factors.

Responsible Investment Policy

The Plan’s investments are made according to the following guidelines: 

  • The Funds will not invest in companies whose principal business activity is the manufacture and sale of armaments or tobacco, or the exploration, extraction, refining or processing of fossil fuels. In addition, the Funds will not invest in any utility that primarily burns fossil fuels. 
  • Environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices of a company will be evaluated when considering investing in securities of that company. 
  • MAS appoints agents who will regularly engage with companies regarding their ESG practices and carefully consider all voting matters.

Ethical Exclusions

MAS has committed to excluding companies whose principal business activities are:

  • The manufacture and sale of armaments;
  • The manufacture and sale of tobacco; or
  • The exploration, extraction, refining or processing of fossil fuels or who are utilities that burn them.