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New data released on KiwiSaver balances. How does yours compare?

Almost 40% of KiwiSavers have less than $10,000 saved, according to new data.

The report, created by actuarial firm Melville Jessup Weaver on behalf of Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission, reveals that many Kiwis have low KiwiSaver balances, making their retirement prospects less than ideal.

"We understand that the high cost of living is affecting many people's ability to save," says Dr. Michelle Reyers, policy lead at Te Ara Ahunga Ora.

"However, low KiwiSaver balances can have a big impact, especially on women who often need to save more for a longer retirement," she added.

So, how does your KiwiSaver balance compare? Let’s look at some numbers from this report and see.

pile of coins with a green plant shoot growing out if it

Average Balance 

The average KiwiSaver balance has seen a 16% increase from last year and has risen from $27,379 in 2022 to $31,823 in 2023.

Low Balances 

At the end of 2023, 38% of KiwiSaver members had balances under $10,000. Most of these savers are 35 years old or younger. The study saw balances typically grow for those over 35 but even so, a quarter of people over the age of 35 still have balances under $10,000.

Young Savers 

As expected, younger savers have the least stashed away with the average balance of those 17 and under having about $2,900 saved. If you want to learn more about giving your children a head start with KiwiSaver, read our article here. 

Steady Growth 

As would be expected, KiwiSaver balances grew at a steady pace between 26 and 80 years of age. But staggeringly, they then almost doubled for those aged 81 to 85, reaching a healthy $113,807. Finally, they saw balances topping out at $155,000 for those aged 86 and over.

Gender Gap

There's a significant gap between the average balances for men and women. Men have an average of $36,605 saved, while women have $29,291, a difference of $7,314 or 25%! Women in their 40s have about $11,000 less saved than men, and in their 50s, the gap increases to $17,000.

This gap is due to several factors, including the gender pay gap, career breaks, and more women working part-time due to family commitments (caring for both children and ageing parents).

2 balls of different sizes trying to balance on a seesaw.

While the gender gap in KiwiSaver balances is substantial, at least it hasn't widened over the last year. The difference between gender balances has remained the same between 2022 and 2023, while we saw the gap increase from 20% to 25% in 2022.

So, having reviewed the Melville Jessup Weaver report and seeing how the numbers stack up, how does your KiwiSaver balance compare? 

If you want to review your KiwiSaver investments or need help with financial planning, contact the team today to get honest, tailored advice to help you reach your financial goals. 


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