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BNZ KiwiSaver scheme review

Low fees and a first home buyer fund makes BNZ an attractive prospect.

BNZ’a KiwiSaver scheme offers low fees, the opportunity to convert Flybuys into contributions and a dedicated fund for first home buyers. Find out more about the different funds that make up the scheme, and how to join if you’re a new or existing BNZ customer.

About BNZ

BNZ is a financial services provider that offers both personal and corporate banking products. It holds over $2 billion assets under management across services like corporate banking and KiwiSaver funds.

The BNZ KiwiSaver Scheme contains a mix of index investments and active management. All BNZ KiwiSaver funds invest exclusively in socially-responsible companies. This means that they exclude companies involved in activities like weaponry and tobacco production.

Available funds

There are six BNZ KiwiSaver funds to choose from, each investing in a unique mix of low-risk and high-risk assets. The scheme offers the chance for Flybuys members to convert points into contributions for their BNZ KiwiSaver account (currently 108 Flybuys points = a $20 contribution).

Here are the available KiwiSaver funds on offer and their respective break-downs:

  • Cash Fund. A low-risk fund that aims to deliver stable returns. It invests solely in income assets like cash.
  • First Home Buyer Fund. A unique KiwiSaver fund geared towards first-home buyers. It consists of income assets (85%) and growth assets (15%). You can expect more investments in fixed interest and cash, with a lesser amount in shares.
  • Conservative Fund. A fund that achieves stable returns over the short-to-medium term. It invests in income assets (80%) and growth assets (20%). You will be invested in higher proportions of international fixed interest and cash.
  • Moderate Fund. This fund is intended for medium-term investors. It consists of income assets (60%) and growth assets (40%). Your portfolio will likely lean towards more international fixed interest and international shares.
  • Balanced Fund. A medium-term fund with a medium level of risk. Consisting of 40% income and 60% growth assets, this fund is slightly more weighted towards international and Australasian shares.
  • Growth Fund. This fund is best for investors seeking aggressive returns in the long-term. It consists of fewer income assets (20%) and more growth assets (80%). You can expect to be weighted more heavily in both international and Australasian shares.

BNZ KiwiSaver fund fees

BNZ is different from some providers that it doesn’t charge a membership fee for its KiwiSaver scheme. The only fee you’ll pay is for management which includes costs, such as the manager’s fee, admin costs and accounting services etc. Depending on the KiwiSaver fund you’ve chosen, this management fee ranges from 0.30 – 0.58% p.a.

It’s best to clarify with BNZ the exact fee you might have to pay before choosing a KiwiSaver fund. The exact amount depends on your fund type and account balance.

What other products does BNZ offer?

BNZ offers further financial products for both business and personal use. Here’s a snapshot of what you can expect with BNZ.

  • Personal bank accounts. BNZ offers everyday spending and savings accounts. These include the YouMoney, Personal OnCall, and Rapid Save accounts.
  • Personal and home loans. With BNZ, you can apply for a range of home loans or personal loans online.
  • Insurance. Explore BNZ’s array of insurance plans, from home insurance to vehicle insurance.
  • Non-KiwiSaver investments. Not interested in a KiwiSaver fund? Consider BNZ’s other investment products which include term deposits, term PIEs, and YouWealth managed funds.

How do I join BNZ?

Eligibility criteria

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

  • Aged 18 and above
  • A New Zealand citizen or permanent resident

Application process

To sign up, new customers click the “join or transfer” button to fill in an online application form. Existing BNZ customers can log in to Internet banking and click “Apply Now” in the menu list.

You’ll be asked to provide your personal details like full name, age, and email address. BNZ has a fund finder tool, so you can be choose the fund that’s right for you when you join.

Documents required

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

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

Summary

The BNZ KiwiSaver Scheme has a good spread of funds each with its own risk level and returns. It stands out in offering a unique First Home Buyer Fund, and its lack of membership and performance fees. Whether you’re saving for your first home or thinking longer term for retirement, BNZ is an option worth considering.

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