KiwiSaver funds invested in overseas shares performed best in 2021 - survey

KiwiSaver funds invested in overseas shares performed best in 2021 - survey
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KiwiSaver investors with money in overseas shares fared best through last year as the total amount in schemes came close to $89 billion, as the scheme went through a major shakeup.

International shares gained 8.6 percent for the three months ended December and more than 28 percent for the year, while New Zealand shares showed a fractional fall over the year, according to investment research firm Morningstar's quarterly survey.

"World equity markets continue to be optimistic about the global economy despite the arrival of the Omicron variant impacting businesses via worker shortages and increasing supply chain disruptions," said Morningstar manager Tim Murphy.

"Funds with larger exposures to international growth assets generally outperformed."

The annual returns for the year ranged from 1.9 percent for conservative funds through 8.2 percent for balanced and 14.2 percent for aggressive funds.

ANZ Bank remained the biggest KiwiSaver provider with $19.6b in funds followed by ASB.

The survey only partially captured the changes made to the scheme with the number of default providers reduced to six, with new entrants Simplicity and Smartshares joining the list, while the default fund was lifted to balanced from conservative to improve returns.

More than 200,000 investors were shifted from one provider to another.

AMP had the biggest loss of KiwiSaver funds in the shuffle as it lost its default status and about $700m reduction in funds under management, while new entrant Simplicity had a solid lift in funds.