The growing gender gap: KiwiSaver funds

A new research by Westpac NZ reveals that women are contributing less than men and have lower average balances. 

The bank surveyed more than a thousand KiwiSaver members to glean the insights, which found a higher proportion of women weren't contributing to the retirement scheme at all.

When considering that a woman born in 2000 has a life expectancy of 92 years, versus 89.6 for a male born the same year, women clearly need more money for their retirement.

"We usually talk about the gender pay gap in terms of its effect on women's take-home pay," said Simon Power, Westpac's general manager of consumer banking and wealth.

"This research shows the flow-on effect on retirement savings. Simply put, it appears men have more income available to set aside for retirement and this is impacting KiwiSaver balances."

To read the complete article published by the NZ Herald on February 25th, click here.

It's important for women who take maternity leave to continue to contribute to their KiwiSaver account even if money is tight. By contributing the minimum of $1,043 they can access the Member Tax Credit of $521, which will make a big difference to their nestegg in the long run.

Another thing to look at to make sure women are making the most of their KiwiSaver savings is to check that they are in the correct fund for their circumstances. If they are not planning on withdrawing funds to use towards their first home, and they are far from retirement, a conservative fund might not be their best option.


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