The growing KiwiSaver gender gap

"KiwiSaver data from ANZ Bank - the country's largest KiwiSaver provider - shows there is an average balance difference of 22 per cent between men and women and when projected out to age 65 it rises to 37 per cent", says Tamsyn Parker from the NZ Herald.

There are a number of factors that contribute the difference in retirement funds between men and women. The existing pay gap is a contributing factor, but so is the fact that a lot of women in the workforce take time off work to look after their families.

"Laura Abba, ANZ's head of product service and customer experience says a woman who takes five years out of the workforce between the age of 30 and 35 would have around $50k less in their savings by age 65".

Women are also more conservative in terms of their investments, with a higher percentage of women choosing to be in a conservative fund, when compared to men. This can have a huge impact on the retirement fund over the years.

This difference only gets more significant when factoring in that women also tend to live longer than men. So what is the solution here?

Some experts are saying that men should contribute to their partner's KiwiSaver account when women take time out of paid work to care for family if the family can afford it – though this will sure be a challenge for low-income families.

Another option is for women to re-look into their KiwiSaver investment, choosing a growth fund to make the most of their savings if they are not close to retirement age.

Reference: "Should men pay into women's KiwiSaver accounts?", Tamsyn Parker, NZ Herald.


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