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Aon KiwiSaver scheme review

With 13 KiwiSaver funds on offer, Aon may have a fund for your risk profile.

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Aon offers a wide range of KiwiSaver funds for you to choose from, ranging from low-risk cash funds to higher risk growth funds. Check out our review of the Aon KiwiSaver scheme, to give you an idea if this is the right provider for you.

About Aon

Aon is a well-respected insurance broker which offers personal and business insurance as well as a KiwiSaver scheme. Aon is not a traditional asset management firm, which is why it has partnered with four well-recognised fund managers to handle its KiwiSaver funds. The fund managers are: ANZ, Milford Funds, Nikko Asset Management, and the Russell Investment Group.

Aon KiwiSaver funds and fees breakdown

The 13 KiwiSaver funds offered by Aon can be broken down into 5 different fund categories. Each category is different in terms of volatility, risk, and returns. Due to the large amount of funds to choose from, Aon’s risk profiler is a handy tool to help you work out which option is best for your situation and risk appetite.

Here are the KiwiSaver funds available with Aon:

Cash funds

There are two cash funds offered, one by ANZ and the other by Nikko AM. Both are suitable for risk-averse investors who are comfortable with capital preservation or modest returns.

ANZ

The ANZ cash fund is fully allocated to cash equivalents, which are non-volatile income assets that offer predictable long-term returns. The annual fund charge stands at 0.89%.

Nikko

Like the ANZ cash fund, the Nikko AM cash fund wholly contains cash equivalents. The annual fund charge is 0.90%.

Conservative fund

A conservative fund takes on slightly more risk than cash funds, and in turn, might occasionally edge out inflation with its returns. Similar to a cash fund, conservative investment options are perfect for investors who would describe themselves as risk-averse.

The conservative fund offered by Aon is the Russell LifePoints Conservative Fund. For this fund, 80% of your money will be allocated to low-risk international and New Zealand fixed interest, with the remainder invested in a mixture of Australasian and international shares. The annual fund charge is set at 1.12%.

Moderate funds

The moderate KiwiSaver funds offered by Aon are great for investors who are comfortable with a higher level of risk. You can expect some level of volatility, as well as some short-term losses with the funds listed below. This fund has a minimum suggested timeframe of five years.

Russell LifePoints Moderate fund

The Lifepoints Moderate fund allocates about 60% of your funds to income assets and 40% to Australian and international shares. You can expect an annual fund charge of 1.21%.

Russell LifePoints Target Date 2025 fund

The Target Date 2025 fund is a long-term investment fund. With a slightly higher allocation of 67% to lower risk income assets, this fund offers a sweet spot between the LifePoints Moderate and Conservative funds. The annual fund charge stands at 1.18%.

Balanced funds

The Balanced Aon KiwiSaver funds allow you to benefit from competitive returns without compromising on the security of your investment. Due to the higher risk allocation involved compared to moderate funds, the minimum suggested investment term is at least 7 years.

ANZ Balanced Fund

With 40% of its portfolio allocated to short-term fixed interest assets and cash equivalents, the ANZ Balanced fund takes on a higher level of risk. It comes with an annual fund charge of 1.12%.

Russell LifePoints Balanced Fund

The LifePoints Balanced Fund has an identical asset allocation to the ANZ Balanced Fund, with variations in the exact assets invested in and the fund manager’s investment strategy. The annual fund charge stands at 1.28%.

Russell LifePoints Target Date 2035 Fund

Compared to the funds mentioned above, this KiwiSaver fund has a slightly lower allocation to growth assets at just 54%. This makes it a better fit for more conservative investors. You can expect an annual fund charge of 1.25%.

Nikko Balanced Fund

The Nikko Balanced Fund is the only fund in this category with assets allocated to alternative investments. Alternative investments include commodities and private equity investments. With approximately 20% of its assets allocated to alternative investments and another 28% to income assets, this fund stands out from the funds mentioned above. It comes with an annual charge of 1.48%.

Growth and aggressive funds

Growth funds are catered to investors with a longer-term investment time frame and higher risk tolerance. The minimum suggested term for investing in these funds is 10 years.

Milford Active Growth Wholesale Fund

This fund has a significant allocation to shares and property at about 80%. Although the fund does not hold any alternative investments, it is permitted to do so. The annual fund charge stands at 1.25%.

Russell LifePoints Growth Fund

Compared to the Milford Active Growth Fund, the equities allocation in this fund is limited to 75%, reducing your exposure to risk and volatility. Members subscribing to this fund can expect to pay 1.32% in annual fund charges.

Russell LifePoints Target Date 2045 Fund

With 71% of the fund allocated to higher-risk equities, the Russell LifePoints Target Date 2045 Fund has the lowest risk profile of all the aggressive funds offered by Aon. The annual fund charge is the same as the Russell LifePoints® Growth Fund, at 1.32%.

Russell LifePoints Target Date 2055 Fund

This fund has the highest allocation to Australasian and International shares, at 86% of its total assets. Due to the greater returns promised by the fund, the annual fund charge currently stands at 1.51%.

Other fees to take note of

Besides annual fund charges, Aon charges a fixed membership fee, regardless of which fund you pick, of $49.80 per annum. This fee is reduced to $40 if you’re under 18.

Benefits of the Aon KiwiSaver schemes

  • A wide range of funds. Compared to most KiwiSaver scheme providers, Aon not only offers a selection of four investment managers but also a spread of funds to choose from. No matter what your risk profile is, Aon ensures that there’s a fund that meets your needs.
  • Quality. Aon’s KiwiSaver funds have been highly rated by the team at Morningstar, thanks to their consistent market-beating returns at an affordable price. However, take note that past returns are not indicative of future returns.
  • Access. At Aon, you’ll have 24/7 access to your account. This gives you a stream of investment news and updates, as well as support from a standby helpdesk team who can assist you with your queries.

How do I join Aon?

Eligibility criteria

To invest in the Aon KiwiSaver Scheme, you must first be eligible to join. You need to be:

  • A New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
  • Living in New Zealand

If you are holding a temporary student, visit or work permit, you will not be eligible.

Application process

To join Aon’s KiwiSaver scheme, simply sign up directly via their website. While existing clients of Aon can directly subscribe to the KiwiSaver scheme through their accounts, new clients need to submit an online application form and verify their identity. Once your application is verified, you will be able to access your KiwiSaver account.

Documents required

You will need to have the following documents on hand during your application.

  • IRD number (and your PIR)
  • Driver’s license or passport

Summary

Aon offers an extensive selection of KiwiSaver funds to help you grow your wealth both in the short and long term. Though the fees for many of their funds are higher than other KiwiSaver providers, the strong returns you get could make up for it. Fee charges are just one of the factors you should take into account when weighing up which provider is best for you.

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