KiwiSaver Moves To Balanced Fund: What Changes To Expect

Dec 3, 2021
By Staff writer

KiwiSaver is moving the savings of default members from conservative to balance funds, starting 1 December 2021. As the default provider, Inland Revenue allocates your fund from a list of six providers, each with varying fees.

Default members are those who have KiwiSaver but have not made a choice on how and where to invest their savings. The change enables them to take advantage of the competitive share market. It’s the middle ground between an aggressive fund and a conservative fund.

If you’re one of the affected members, what changes should you expect?

Changes apply automatically

The great thing is, you don’t need to process anything to apply this change. Your current provider applies these changes automatically. If you’re happy with this investment decision, no need to do anything. IRD will contact you to confirm the changes made.

However, you can always consult your provider for options that may match better with your needs. Depending on your provider, you can choose from growth, conservative, aggressive, and balanced. Each one has its risks and benefits, so be sure to consult with a professional.

Read: Types Of KiwiSaver Funds: Which One Is Best For You?

Ethical investments by providers

Although there’s a change with how your funds are invested, it will remain to be invested ethically. It won’t be invested in fossil fuel production and extraction as well as illegal weapons. You can rest assured that your investment aligns with your values.

The government has recently updated its list of default providers based on several factors such as investment performance, service, and fees. From nine providers, some lost the ‘default’ status and some have gained it. Starting December 1, the default providers are:

  • BNZ
  • Booster
  • BT Funds Management
  • Kiwi Wealth
  • Simplicity
  • Smartshares

Moving forward, they won’t be charging fixed annual or monthly fees moving forward. KiwiSaver members are also likely to pay fewer fees starting next week.

On the other hand, AMP, ANZ, ASB, Fisher Funds and Mercer are stripped of their default fund licences. 


Better returns for your investment

This move from conservative to balanced means better returns for your investment.

In his interview on the AM Show Murray Harris from Milford Asset Management said, “For the past 14 years since KiwiSaver started in ‘07, those funds have been invested mostly in cash and bonds… so investors in default ones have actually missed out on great returns in share markets.”

While this means a more risky and unpredictable investment, he noted that the significant 3% better return for a balanced fund, every year for the last 10 years. Many Kiwis are missing out on this great return investment opportunity, and the government is keen to leverage that.

No impact for non-default members

If you’re not a default member, there won’t be any impact on how you invest in your KiwiSaver. Nonetheless, it may be fitting to look out for better options for higher returns. Besides the default providers, there are plenty of providers in the market, offering a wide range of choices.

For the June 2021 quarter, Morningstar's KiwiSaver Survey lists the best options on different funds over 3-month total returns.


  • ANZ Default Conservative (Default) - 2.3%
  • OneAnswer Conservative - 2.1%
  • ANZ Conservative - 2.0%
  • AMP ANZ Conservative - 2.0%
  • Mercer Conservative (Default) - 1.8%


  • OneAnswer Conservative Balanced - 3.0%
  • ANZ Conservative Balanced - 3.0%
  • ANZ Default Conservative Balanced - 3.0%
  • Milford Moderate - 2.8%
  • Mercer Moderate - 2.8%


  • ASB Positive Impact - 4.9%
  • Milford Balanced - 4.5%
  • Aon ANZ Balanced - 4.4%
  • Kiwi Wealth Balanced - 4.4%
  • SuperLife Balanced - 4.1%


  • AMP ANZ Growth - 5.9%
  • Generate Growth - 5.8%
  • Aon Milford - 5.7%
  • OneAnswer Growth - 5.7%
  • ANZ Default Growth - 5.7%


  • Milford Aggressive - 7.8%
  • Booster SRI Growth - 6.3%
  • Generate Focused Growth - 6.3%
  • Kiwi Wealth Growth - 6.1%
  • SuperLife High Growth - 6.0%

If you aren’t sure which fund best fits your needs, talk to a professional financial advisor. To easily compare the different KiwiSaver offers, use glimp's FREE KiwiSaver comparison tool.

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