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Simplicity KiwiSaver review: A nonprofit fund manager

With 100% transparency, conscious investments and low fees, find out what makes the Simplicity difference.

Boasting to have the fastest growing KiwiSaver scheme in New Zealand, Simplicity is a not-for-profit company that operates 100% online, so you don’t need to worry about unnecessary costs and commissions. With over 3,000 investments in 23 countries, Simplicity funds are fully diversified and 15% of fees go toward supporting New Zealand charities through the Simplicity Charitable Trust.

Investments are consciously made, so your funds will not be going into businesses that operate in the tobacco, alcohol, adult entertainment, weapons, gambling or nuclear energy industries.

Many well-known New Zealand businesses have chosen Simplicity as their company KiwiSaver provider, including The Warehouse, Spark, Meridian, Z, Foodstuffs and Contact.

If you’re looking to join KiwiSaver for the first time or are wanting to switch from your current provider, read on to find out if Simplicity is right for you.

Fund types and performance

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
Simplicity KiwiSaver - Growth
N/A
16.02%
11.86%
10.84%
11.52%
$175
Performance is up to 30 September 2021. Rates are before tax and after fund management fees.
Simplicity KiwiSaver - Balanced
N/A
10.16%
8.83%
8.88%
8.79%
$175
Performance is up to 30 September 2021. Rates are before tax and after fund management fees.
Simplicity KiwiSaver - Conservative
N/A
1.3%
3.72%
5.52%
4.95%
$175
Performance is up to 30 September 2021. Rates are before tax and after fund management fees.
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There are three fund types on offer from Simplicity – Conservative, Balanced and Growth. Investments are excluded from companies that are involved in:
  • Fossil fuel extraction
  • Alcohol
  • Gambling and casinos
  • Military weapons
  • Civilian firearms
  • Nuclear power
  • Adult entertainment

The funds

  • Growth – The Growth fund comprises investments in growth assets (such as shares), with limited exposure to income assets. The value can fluctuate more than other fund types, but higher returns are possible over longer investment periods.
  • Balanced – Although it will fluctuate more than the Conservative fund, the Balanced fund will likely provide better returns over a period of 10 years or more. It has a mix of income-earning investments and growth investments.
  • Conservative – The Conservative fund keeps most investments in fixed-income investments like fixed interest, with only little exposure to growth assets. The investment value is more stable over the long term but gives a lower return than the Growth or Balanced funds during that period.

Note that Simplicity no longer offers the Guaranteed Income KiwiSaver fund.

What are the fees?

As Simplicity is a not-for-profit KiwiSaver plan, you’ll only be charged what it costs to manage your account with no hidden commissions or fees. This means a membership fee and a 0.31% investment fee. Your yearly membership fee is $20, and then $3.10 for every $1,000 you have saved.

There is no membership fee for children under 18.

You can find out how much extra you can get by using the simple calculator on the Simplicity website. Just enter your age, salary and current KiwiSaver balance if applicable.

What other products does Simplicity offer?

As well as KiwiSaver funds, Simplicity has the following products:

Investment funds

Simplicity’s investment funds have the same fees as KiwiSaver funds and the same diversified investments. If you’re looking for a lower management fee, you can invest in NZ Share and Bond funds.

Home loans

With a floating interest rate of 1.90% (as of 25 August 2021), Simplicity currently offers NZ’s lowest cost first home loan.

If you’re buying your first home, have been with Simplicity for at least one year and in KiwiSaver for at least three, you will be eligible to enter the monthly ballot.

If you are chosen and your loan application is successful, you’ll have six months to find your first home. Simplicity home loans have no early repayment fees, so you won’t be penalised if you are able to pay your loan off sooner than your loan term.

How do I join Simplicity?

Joining Simplicity takes just two minutes.

Just click on the ‘Join’ button on the top right corner of the website and fill in your personal details and IRD number. You can then choose a fund type out of Conservative, Balanced or Growth.

Next, enter your PIR Rate of either 10.5%, 17.5% or 28%. Lastly, upload a copy of your driver’s license or passport. If you’re signing up for children under 18, a copy of their birth certificate is required as well as your identification.

Eligibility criteria

  • Be a NZ citizen or entitled to live in NZ indefinitely
  • Living in New Zealand

Required documents

You’ll only need your IRD number and a passport or driver’s license to sign up. Simplicity will take care of the rest.

Summary

If you’re looking for a KiwiSaver provider that makes conscious investments and has 100% transparency, Simplicity is worth considering.

Operating completely online and being not-for-profit means that you won’t be paying more than you should for your KiwiSaver plan. Sign up is easy, and you have your choice of three different fund types. And when it comes time to buy your first home, you may be selected to apply for low-cost first home loan.

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