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Milford KiwiSaver scheme review

KiwiSaver funds managed by a team of experts who take an active approach to investing.

With a range of funds on offer for every risk profile, and a proven record of reliability, Milford just might have the right KiwiSaver fund for you. Read our review for more information about Milford’s KiwiSaver funds, the fees involved, and how to sign-up.

About Milford

Milford is an award winning specialist investment firm with an experienced team of fund managers. It offers a range of investment funds, including a KiwiSaver scheme, for you to choose from. Once you’ve signed up, you can download their mobile app to check your balance or switch between funds if you need to, you can also see exactly where your money is invested.

Milford has won the 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2019 Morningstar KiwiSaver Fund Manager of the Year award, as well as the Canstar KiwiSaver Provider of the Year Award for 2020. It is also the winner of the Consumer NZ People’s Choice award for 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Regardless of which plan you’re enrolled in, Milford strives to practise responsible investing at all times. This means that it only invests in companies that are sustainable and aren’t involved in producing things like: firearms, whale meat, recreational cannabis or tobacco.

Milford KiwiSaver funds

Milford offers six KiwiSaver funds, each investing in a different mix of income and growth assets. Income assets are lower-risk assets, like cash and fixed interest, that offer moderate returns in the long-term. Growth assets, like shares, offer aggressive growth in exchange for more frequent portfolio volatility.

Name Product Past Performance - 6 Months Past Performance - 1 Year Past Performance - 2 Years Past Performance - 3 Years Past Performance - 5 Years Calculated fees on $50,000 balance
Milford KiwiSaver - Cash Fund
0.22%
0.42%
N/A
N/A
N/A
$100
Performance is up to 31 October 2021. Rates are after fees and before tax.
Milford KiwiSaver - Conservative Fund
-0.15%
2.89%
N/A
5.27%
5.55%
$475
Performance is up to 31 October 2021. Rates are after fees and before tax.
Milford KiwiSaver - Moderate Fund
1.89%
8.84%
N/A
N/A
N/A
$480
Performance is up to 31 October 2021. Rates are after fees and before tax.
Milford KiwiSaver - Balanced Fund
4.53%
16.4%
N/A
11.71%
10.53%
$530
Performance is up to 31 October 2021. Rates are after fees and before tax.
Milford KiwiSaver - Active Growth Fund
5.86%
23.8%
N/A
14.28%
12.78%
$575
Performance is up to 31 October 2021. Rates are after fees and before tax.
Milford KiwiSaver - Aggressive Fund
7.48%
26.3%
N/A
N/A
N/A
$575
Performance is up to 31 October 2021. Rates are after fees and before tax.
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Here’s a rundown of the Milford KiwiSaver funds and what they invest in:

  • Cash Fund. This low-risk fund primarily consists of New Zealand cash, short-term debt, and term deposits. It consists solely of income assets.
  • Conservative Fund. The Milford Conservative KiwiSaver fund largely holds some income assets (82%) and few growth assets (18%). While it consists of fixed interest securities like the Cash Fund, it also invests in a small amount of shares.
  • Moderate Fund. The Moderate Fund is a moderate-risk portfolio that offers 60% of its weight to income assets and 40% to growth assets. It contains bonds, cash, and shares.
  • Balanced Fund. With Milford’s Balanced Fund, you’ll get an allocation of approximately 39% income assets and 61% growth assets. While this fund does invest in fixed securities, it has a larger proportion of shares.
  • Active Growth Fund. The Milford Active Growth Fund is a medium-high risk investment with few income assets (22%) and more growth assets (78%). Similar to the Balanced Fund, it is more heavily weighted in shares.
  • Aggressive Fund. As Milford’s riskiest KiwiSaver fund, the Aggressive Fund primarily contains growth assets (95%) and a negligible amount of income assets (5%). This fund mainly invests in international and Australasian shares, to provide investors with high long-term returns.

Milford KiwiSaver fund fees

These are the main fund fees you need to consider when investing in a Milford KiwiSaver fund:

  • Base fund fee. This fee covers the administrative costs associated with actively managing your account. It ranges from 0.20 – 1.15% depending on the KiwiSaver fund you’ve chosen.
  • Administration fee. An annual membership fee of $18 applies. Note that this fee is waived for investors aged under 21 and 65 and above. As of 1 July 2021, this fee no longer applies for all members.
  • Performance fee. The Moderate, Balanced and Active Growth funds are subject to performance fees if they beat expected returns. This charge can be up to 0.10% per annum.

We encourage you to check with Milford on the precise fund fees you might have to pay before signing up for their KiwiSaver scheme. The specific amount you’re charged varies depending on your fund type and KiwiSaver balance.

What other products does Milford offer?

Besides its KiwiSaver offering, Milford offers 12 non-KiwiSaver investment funds. They are the:

  • Cash Fund
  • Trans-Tasman Bond Fund
  • Global Corporate Bond Fund
  • Conservative Fund
  • Diversified Income Fund
  • Balanced Fund
  • Active Growth Fund
  • Australasian Absolute Growth Fund
  • Global Equity Fund
  • Trans-Tasman Equity Fund
  • Dynamic Fund
  • Aggressive Fund

Each of these funds comes with a unique breakdown, risk level, and estimated annual return.

Besides this, Milford offers private wealth advice for high-net-worth individuals. You can get in touch with Milford if you’re interested to know more about their financial advisory services and have $500,000 or more to invest.

How do I join Milford?

Eligibility criteria

To invest in a Milford KiwiSaver fund online, you must first be eligible to join their scheme. You will need to be:

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

Those under 18 can still apply for a KiwiSaver fund with Milford but the process can’t be completed online.

Application process

To join the Milford KiwiSaver scheme, simply sign up via Milford’s website. Click the “join or switch now” button and fill in an online application form.

Documents required

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

  • IRD number
  • New Zealand ID:
    • Passport or driver’s licence, plus either;
    • Bank statement, birth certificate, citizenship certificate or SuperGold/credit card
  • Proof of address

Summary

Milford offers an excellent range of actively-managed funds which are socially responsible and cater to a wide range of risk appetites — the company has a proven track record of strong returns so it’s definitely one to consider when weighing up your options.

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