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Lifestages KiwiSaver review

Enjoy automatically-adjusting, age-specific KiwiSaver funds with Lifestages.

Lifestages offers two general and five age-adjusted KiwiSaver funds for your investing needs.

This review covers the basics of Lifestages KiwiSaver plans — including their fees, returns and sign-up process — to help you decide if it has the best KiwiSaver for you.

About Lifestages

Lifestages is an investment fund manager that offers KiwiSaver schemes alongside standard investment funds. It is owned by the Funds Administration of New Zealand Ltd, which in turn, is a subsidiary of SBS Bank.

Lifestages KiwiSaver funds and performances

General funds

There are two types of Lifestages KiwiSaver funds on offer: the Lifestages High Growth Fund and Lifestages Income Fund.

  • Lifestages High Growth Fund – This fund provides investors with long-term returns by investing in international equities (64%), Australasian equities (26%), listed property (3%), cash (2%) and other assets like infrastructure assets (5%). It is generally considered to be a riskier investment than the Lifestages Income Fund.
  • Lifestages Income Fund – This fund provides investors with low-risk investment options including international fixed interest (60%), New Zealand fixed interest (25%), and cash (15%).

Auto funds

While you can choose to directly invest in a Lifestages Income or High Growth Fund, you could also choose an Auto fund.

This type of fund invests in different percentages of both the High Growth Fund and Income Fund. As you age, Lifestages automatically adjusts your asset allocation to increase your investment in the Income Fund and decrease it in the High Growth Fund. This is a great option for investors looking to passively lower their risk as they age in order to preserve capital for retirement.

Here are the different Auto funds on offer.

  • Lifestages Auto 0 – 34: Investors aged 0 to 34 will invest completely in the Lifestages High Growth Fund
  • Lifestages Auto 35-44: Once investors turn 35, their portfolio automatically changes to consist of both the Lifestages High Growth Fund (80%) and the Lifestages Income Fund (20%).
  • Lifestages Auto 45-54: Investors aged 45 and above will hold a portfolio with a breakdown of 60% Lifestages High Growth Fund and 40% Lifestages Income Fund.
  • Lifestages Auto 55-64: Once investors reach the age of 55, their portfolios consist of 40% Lifestages High Growth Fund and 60% Lifestages Income Fund.
  • Lifestages Auto 65+: Investors above the age of 65 will hold portfolios composing of the Lifestages High Growth Fund (25%) and Lifestages Income Fund (75%).

Do note that the fund details mentioned above are accurate as of July 2021. Further, please note that past performance is not a guarantee of future returns.

Lifestages KiwiSaver fund fees

General fees

General administrative fees may apply to your Lifestages KiwiSaver fund, as shown below.

  • Annual membership. Lifestages charges a $24 annual fee for all KiwiSaver funds.
  • Management fees. Each KiwiSaver fund comes with an annual fee that ranges from 0.55% to 1.05% p.a.

Fund-specific fees

The Lifestages Auto funds come with specific fees, depending on your age group. Here’s an estimate of the costs (per annum) for Lifestage Auto funds.

  • Lifestages Auto 0 – 34: 1.05%
  • Lifestages Auto 34 – 45: 1.00%
  • Lifestages Auto 45 – 54: 0.95%
  • Lifestages Auto 54 – 65: 0.91%
  • Lifestages Auto 65+: 0.87%

Do take note that fund fees may differ depending on your account type and KiwiSaver balance. If in doubt, check with Lifestages beforehand to understand how much you may pay for your Lifestages KiwiSaver fund.

What other products does Lifestages offer?

Besides its KiwiSaver funds, Lifestages offers a number of standard investment funds. They are the:

  • Lifestages Corporate Bond Portfolio. A fund that provides exposure to low-risk assets including New Zealand fixed interest (95%) and cash (5%).
  • Lifestages World Bond Portfolio. A diversified portfolio of international investment-grade assets like international fixed interest (95%) and cash (5%).
  • Lifestages Australasian Equity Portfolio. A fund consisting of both Australasian equities (95%) and cash (5%).
  • Lifestages World Equity Portfolio. This fund offers exposure to a broad range of international equities with a composition of 95% International Equities and 5% cash.

How do I join Lifestages?

Eligibility criteria

These are the general eligibility requirements for individuals interested in signing up with Lifestages.

  • You must be a New Zealand citizen or entitled to live in New Zealand indefinitely.
  • You must currently be living in New Zealand.

Do note that applicants below the age of 18 will require their parents to sign off a paper-based application, which can be found on Lifestage’s website.

Documents required

You will need to have your IRD number as well as passport or NZ driver’s license on hand during the application.

Application process

Register for Lifestages easily by signing up online. Visit the Lifestages website and select the orange “join now” button on the top right-hand corner of your screen. Following this, applicants over the age of 18 can fill up an online form. Provide your details as requested, including your name, contact details and preferred investment fund. Lifestages will be in contact once your application is approved.

Summary

Lifestages offers two general and five age-adjusted KiwiSaver funds. These funds come with varying risk-on assets to appeal to a wide range of investors. Besides KiwiSaver funds, you can also consider any of Lifestages’ four other investment funds to help you grow your wealth.

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