Mercer KiwiSaver Scheme
The Mercer KiwiSaver Scheme offers a wide range of benefits, investments and services to help anyone, regardless of age, financial situation, or aptitude for risk, achieve what they want to. Mercer are often overlooked when it comes to choosing a KiwiSaver provider however they give you one of the most flexible KiwiSaver schemes available (with seven options to choose from), offer support and financial advice for free via their expert financial advisors and have a strong track record in investment performance across all seven of their funds. It doesn’t matter whether you are saving for your first home or planning for retirement, Mercer can cover you. Compare KiwiSaver policies today with glimp and find out if Mercer is right for you to achieve your financial goals and gain the things in life that matter!
Why choose a Mercer KiwiSaver scheme?
The Mercer KiwiSaver provides you with more choices than any other KiwiSaver provider. Mercer additionally tracks a strong performance record among its fund types.The one year returns (ending 31st October 2019) for the Mercer Cash fund were 1.66%, however this return drastically increased for the Conservative fund, which tracked a return of 7.09%, followed by a return of 7.73% for the Moderate fund. The Balanced fund then tracked a return of 9.35%. The track record for Mercer’s Growth fund, High Growth fund, and Shares fund was 10.51%, 11.65% and 13.05% respectively. This strong performance can be compared with other KiwiSaver providers here on glimp, and makes your eventual KiwiSaver withdrawal something to really look forward to!
Mercer KiwiSaver Fees
Mercer, like all KiwiSaver providers charge fees. The base administration fee is charged at $2.25 a month, with the same administration fee applying even if you choose more than one investment fund. Additionally, this fee does not apply to under-18s or if you have a balance that is less than $1,000. The total annual fund charge for the Mercer Cash fund is 0.37%, the charge for their Conservative fund 0.58%, the charge for their Moderate fund 0.73%, for Mercer Balanced this rises to 0.85% before hitting 0.95% for Mercer Growth which is then followed by 0.98% for Mercer High Growth and finally 0.93% for Mercer shares.
Types of Mercer KiwiSaver funds
The Mercer KiwiSaver cash fund is designed as an extremely low risk fund for those who need access to their funds in the short term and therefore want to preserve their capital as much as possible. The returns of the Cash fund are similar to those of a savings account, with over 90% of your investment being invested in income assets. The Mercer KiwiSaver Cash fund should be considered only if you expect to withdraw from your KiwiSaver in the very short term.
Mercer’s Shares fund type is the most aggressive fund type available of every fund offered by every KiwiSaver provider. 100% of the fund is invested in New Zealand and overseas shares. This fund is therefore designed for those investors with a huge appetite for risk who expect that their short term losses will translate into long term extensive gains. The timeframe for this fund type therefore is 10+ years.
The Mercer Conservative fund is, along with their Cash fund, considered low risk, and thus works well for investors who plan to withdraw their KiwiSaver funds in the short term (less than five years). 80% of the cash fund is invested in income assets such as cash and cash equivalents, with 20% being invested in growth assets; although this means that returns will be low, there is also very little risk of your balance decreasing.
Mercer’s Moderate KiwiSaver fund is considered to be a ‘low to medium’ risk option, with the target investment of the fund being 65% invested in defensive assets like cash and cash equivalents and fixed interest and the remaining 35% being invested in growth assets like Australasian and International equities and infrastructure. The moderate fund is designed for those who don’t mind their balance dropping occasionally in the expectation that in the medium term, their savings will rise.
The Mercer Balanced KiwiSaver fund aims to provide investors with a higher return than the Moderate fund in the expectation that these investors don’t mind a little more fluctuation and will stay invested in the fund for longer. This is considered a medium risk option a target investment of 55% going into growth assets such as property, shares and equities, and the remaining 45% being invested in defensive assets like cash and fixed interest. This fund is designed for those with an investment timeframe of five to seven years.
The Mercer Growth Fund is considered to be a ‘medium to high risk option’ with about 75% of the fund invested in growth assets such as shares, property and infrastructure and 25% being invested in defensive income assets such as cash and cash equivalents and fixed interest. Because of this investment mix, the fund is designed for those who don’t mind seeing a fair bit of fluctuation in their KiwiSaver balance in the expectation that in the long run it will pick up significantly. Because of this, the timeframe for this fund type is seven to ten years.
The Mercer High Growth KiwiSaver fund is for those investors who find that the Growth fund offers too little growth; it is considered to be a ‘high risk’ option that has the capacity to drastically increase your savings and is considered to be an aggressive fund type. 90% of the fund is invested in growth assets such as shares, property and infrastructure, with the remaining 10% being invested in income assets like cash and fixed interest. Because this fund type has a high degree of volatility, it is best suited for those with a timeframe of 10+ years.
Mercer KiwiSaver FAQ’s
Mercer’s website allows you to access your online Mercer account where you can quickly and easily see everything related to your KiwiSaver account. On your online Mercer account you can monitor and change your investments, review your contributions, update your details, and access a full range of financial tools and calculators.
Finding (and buying!) your first home is an important step in any persons life, and so yes, you can withdraw from your KiwiSaver to help buy your first home! The combination of your KiwiSaver contributions, your employer’s contributions, the government's contributions and the government’s Homestart loan means that your KiwiSaver account often goes a long way in helping to pay for a deposit for your first home.
The default Mercer KiwiSaver scheme is their Conservative Fund. This is because the default scheme is designed to be short term only, so that your savings are protected whilst you decide which fund you would prefer to go with. Changing funds is easy: you can simply login to you Mercer account or call Mercer of 0508 637 237 and they can change accounts for you over the phone.
Making a contribution with Mercer is easy; you can make regular or lump sum voluntary payments directly into your account from online banking by searching for the Mercer KiwiSaver scheme as a payee and following your banks instructions to complete the process. Automatic contributions are made every time you are paid by your workplace if you are signed up to KiwiSaver, with your employer and the government contributing to your KiwiSaver as well.