KiwiSaver surges past 700,000 one year on

Wednesday 2 July 2008, 12:19AM

By Michael Cullen


KiwiSaver celebrates its first birthday in style today with confirmation that more than 700,000 New Zealanders are saving for their retirement through the scheme, Finance Minister Michael Cullen and Revenue Minister Peter Dunne announced today.


After one full year over 718,000 New Zealanders are enrolled in KiwiSaver. This compares to an initial forecast of 275,000 people in the scheme by this stage. On average 1,969 members joined the scheme every day in its first year.


“A year ago I was confident New Zealanders would prove the KiwiSaver sceptics wrong,” Dr Cullen said. “The Labour-led government knew that New Zealanders were serious about building a nest-egg and we knew that KiwiSaver would make that easier than ever before.


“But one year ago, no one would have predicted that we would already have over 700,000 KiwiSavers. Certainly no one would have predicted that we would have around 200,000 KiwiSavers under the age of 25 – those people who still doubt KiwiSaver will lead to net new savings need to get to grips with these numbers.


“KiwiSaver is building a new culture of savings in New Zealand. The wealth being built through the scheme will significantly strengthen our economy for generations to come.”


“KiwiSaver has proved a far bigger initiative than anyone guessed a year ago,” Peter Dunne said.


“Given the scheme’s huge take-up rate, the implementation of the scheme was a remarkably smooth process. There have been teething problems along the way, but overall KiwiSaver has worked for employers and for workers.”