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Farewell to old bonds, and hello to a better KiwiSaver.

New Zealand’s old stalwart of saving, Bonus Bonds, is winding down after more than 50 years of service. Meanwhile, some KiwiSaver default providers are changing. Is your nest egg where it should be? Milford investigates.

KiwiSaver: Who’s entrusted with your retirement fund?

Many of us run on autopilot when it comes to our KiwiSaver We just don’t think about it that much. If you’re with a default provider, be aware that could be set to change. From December 1, some KiwiSaver default providers are losing their default status. Some have retained their status. Meanwhile, some new providers have gained default status.

This change could see around 263,000 savers bumped to a different default KiwiSaver scheme. Will you be affected? If you have never actively selected your KiwiSaver provider or fund, then you will likely still be in the fund you were defaulted to at sign-up. If you are, and your default provider is one that has lost their default status, you will automatically be moved to another default provider.

Everyone with their savings invested in a default fund, regardless of provider, will see their investment changed from a conservative fund to a balanced fund.

So, what does this mean for you? Milford’s head of KiwiSaver, Murray Harris says “with all the changes happening right now, this is the perfect time to make sure you’re in the right fund and you’re with the right provider”.

Harris says researching providers and seeking advice to choose the best one for your needs is crucial in optimising your retirement income. “Making an active choice can significantly affect your KiwiSaver balance at retirement and beyond.”

“Make sure you know who your current provider is, what fund you are in, what returns they have delivered, and what other value they have added. Do they give you regular updates or visibility on where your money is invested? Do they offer financial advice? Is there someone to talk to if you have questions? You are paying them fees, so you want to make sure they’re working hard for you.”

The end of the Bonus Bonds era

It’s been around since our childhoods: New Zealand’s long-running savings programme Bonus Bonds will complete its wind-up in December, more than 50 years after its launch.

Over a million Kiwis had money in Bonus Bonds, with around $3.3 billion in the scheme when its closure was announced. Many investors will be wondering where to reinvest their bond money.

“If you are comfortable with taking on more risk in the pursuit of higher returns, then it could be worth considering investing your money in a professionally managed investment fund,” says Harris.

It’s important to consider what you want to use the money for. “Do you need it in the short term? Could you invest it for the long term? There are different types of investment funds to suit different goals, timeframes and appetites for risk.”

Harris says you could consider adding this money to your KiwiSaver account to give your retirement fund a boost.

These changes to Kiwi saving mainstays are a good reminder to do your research and decide what type of investment suits you best.

Looking for guidance? Milford’s award-winning Milford KiwiSaver Plan and Milford Investment Funds can help. Milford even offers digital financial advice to help you choose the right Milford Fund for your needs. Visit our getting advice page for instant, straightforward guidance on what Milford Fund could be right for your retirement.

This article is intended to provide you with general information only. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Please read the relevant Milford Product Disclosure Statement as issued by Milford Funds Limited at Before investing you may wish to seek financial advice. The disclosure statements for all Milford financial advisers contain more information and are available for free on request. For more information about our financial advice services visit Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

This article was created for Milford.