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KiwiFund: nationalisation or competition?

Written By: - Date published: 8:05 pm, October 21st, 2013 - 61 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, election 2014, greens, john key, kiwisaver, labour, national, russel norman, slippery, superannuation - Tags:

It’s interesting that Russel Norman has been quick to give conditional support to Winston Peter’s proposed KiwiFund, considering that many see the Greens and NZ First as being too far apart to be part of the same governing alliance of parties.

Peters’ version appears to be a proposal for the full nationalisation of KiwiSaver:

petersvskey

An outline plan of “KiwiFund” has been announced by Rt Hon Winston Peters in his keynote Leader’s address at the party’s annual convention in Christchurch today.

Mr Peters told delegates that private funds managers were sucking the lifeblood out of KiwiSaver, and in five short years had already taken $325 million in management and investment fees.

[...]

“Our plan is to change KiwiSaver so that it is a truly government-backed and managed retirement fund. Because of the economies of scale, and the elimination of hordes of ticket clipping fund managers, costs will be greatly reduced. People who pay into KiwiSaver will get their full return.”

Russel Norman’s preference

Peters Norman

 

is for a state run KiwiSaver provider, alongside privately run schemes:

The Green Party sees New Zealand First’s proposal for a public option for KiwiSaver as a move in the right direction, providing that it is about providing competition to the existing private KiwiSaver funds and not proposing to nationalise them.

[...]

“There is considerable common ground with our KiwiSaver policy launched in the run-up to the 2011 election,” Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman said today.

“A public fund can achieve significant fee and cost reductions through greater economies of scale. Our fund would be an optional default KiwiSaver fund.

“Under our proposal, the investment function – the back-end – would be managed by the $23 billion New Zealand Superannuation Fund while Kiwibank or the Inland Revenue Department can provide the front-end management of individual KiwiSaver accounts.

[...]

The recommendation for a single default KiwiSaver provider was made by the Government appointed Savings Working Group in January 2011.

While Cunliffe is reticent about committing to any of these chanegs, he isn’t averse to negotiating with NZ First over their proposal.

cunliffe own our future

 

Hamish Rutherford writes:

Labour leader David Cunliffe said he would not make commitments about coalition agreements until after the 2014 election, but “of all he things I can imagine having to negotiate post election, this wouldn’t be the hardest”.

Labour also had concerns over fees charged on KiwiSaver funds, particularly on conservative funds, but the system wasn’t “broke”.

In contrast, John Key

john-key-snake-oil

 

is dismissive of any of the above proposals:

Prime Minister John Key has dismissed NZ First’s policy to create a state-run, locally focused KiwiSaver fund.

[...]

“So instead of 20 managers having different strategies, different ways of doing things, different profiles, some more risky, some less risky, that you choose, so why on earth would we want to do that,” he said.

“I know that these guys are on this track at the moment of wanting to nationalise electricity, nationalise building, nationalise our management funds, they’ll be nationalising supermarkets and petrol stations and everything else soon.

“That worked really well for the Soviet Union when they were doing that,” Key said.

And Key seems to be suggesting NZ First would not stand by this policy in any post-election negotiations:

NZ First would not form a coalition, or even sign a confidence and supply agreement, with any party not willing to adopt it as government policy.

But Key said he found it highly unlikely the policy would be a deal-breaker for any potential coalition with NZ First.

“Winston Peters speaks in riddles. He has for his entire career from what I can see. He’ll find some way of saying this is sort of introduced, or being looked at, but mark my words it won’t be bottom line.”

So, Key appears to be saying that he would be up for forming a government with someone like Peters, who Key sees as being untrustworthy.

Nevertheless, it’s interesting to see that, on at least one possible policy area, Labour, the Green Party and NZ First seem to be closer than any of them are to National.

61 comments on “KiwiFund: nationalisation or competition?”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    Was wondering if we’d get an article on this.

    NZFirst’s policy isn’t to completely nationalise Kiwisaver at all. It’s simply to create a new scheme run by the government with a government guarantee on deposits (but not returns). Presumably it would somehow be lumped in and controlled by the group managing the existing Superannuation fund. Private providers would still exist in this landscape, however Peter’s doubts many NZers would stay in them since they wouldn’t be guaranteed and he says the “returns will be better” in KiwiFund due to much lower / no fees being charged.

  2. binders full of women 2

    Farrar was spot on. If Winston wants state control of kiwisaver- then he should set up a kiwifund and anyone can switch to it or start with it. As long as we are FREE to leave our funds in whichever fund they are currently sitting in. Win-win, freedom to choose Winston & Russel’s setup or existing. Mine is going okay so I probably wouldn’t initially switch to WinfirstRusGreenScheme.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      The “freedom to choose” is what’s causing the present Kiwisaver from being optimal.

      EDIT:
      Actually, thinking about that, what choice do you truly have? You don’t have any choice in where the funds are invested just some vague choice about risks.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        You don’t have to invest in Kiwisaver at all. You can invest your own money where-ever you choose, and you aren’t locked into those investments until you’re 65 either.

        Also there is one Kiwisaver provider that lets you customize your own investments, although they present you with a list of choices that you choose from, rather than being able to pick anything at all yourself.

        • Tat Loo 2.1.1.1

          A well managed zero fee fund like the Government can run is always going to work better for the majority of people who aren’t investment specialists themselves.

          • Lanthanide 2.1.1.1.1

            I don’t think Winston’s plan is actually feasible.

            The superannuation fund is simply not the same as a Kiwisaver fund. Here are some differences off the top of my head:
            1. Superannuation fund has a long-term target of 2030 before funds start to be withdrawn. Kiwisaver funds are withdrawn whenever the owner turns 65, and there are several provisions to allow them to be withdrawn earlier, such as home buyer subsidies, financial need and terminal illnesses, moving overseas permanently. All of these mean the financial settings are simply not the same.

            2. All of the above require paperwork, which is simply not free. Which means either Kiwifund will have to charge fees, or the government is going to completely subsidise them. Kiwisaver originally started with a $40/year fee subsidy which National scrapped – there’s no reason we can’t have it back.

            3. Again because people have different savings requirements, funds at the moment provide different options like Growth, Balanced and Conservative, as well as cash funds. Again all of these things take overhead: either Kiwifund will have to charge a fee, or the government will be subsidising it.

            4. Winston is saying people can transfer their existing savings over to Kiwifund, which will be government guaranteed for the deposits + inflation, but not the returns. How do you differentiate returns vs capital from transferred funds? There are probably cases that exist, likely from people moving between several funds, where it is no longer clear what proportion of the money they have now saved is “capital” and what is “returns”.

            • Tat Loo 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Hi Lanth, I believe all these factors are reasonably manageable due to the size and flexibility of the resulting govt fund eg. You can’t predict entirely what one person will do with their retirement savings, but you can average out over half a million people reasonably well. Also, the govt fund will have many different components and sector interests that it invests in, as well as both short term and long term cash equivalents.

              • Lanthanide

                Well, no, having to provide different risk profiles is entirely new behaviour that the current superannuation fund does not currently do.

                Having to manage the paperwork of the different risk profiles, and people moving in an out of the scheme, is all entirely new stuff the superannuation fund does not currently do.

                If Peters thinks these things are “free”, then he has no clue what he’s talking about. The work must be done, and generally people don’t work for free, so the money to pay for it comes from somewhere. Either it comes from the savers in the fund, as is currently the case for Kiwisaver funds, or it comes from the government, which is what Winston is saying the new fund will be.

                My problem comes with Winston trumpeting how good it will be for savers not to have to pay fees, without seeming to realise that this is new work that must be paid for: he’s only selling the pros to the voting public, not the cons (where the money will come from to pay for his promises).

                • Tat Loo

                  Let’s see, I think a $25B investment fund can be easily managed with just $25M worth of staff and overhead costs a year, especially leveraging off existing public sector infrastructure.

                  Can you work out for me how much annual fees as a % that works out to be? Oh shit, that’s a whole 0.10% annual fee structure.

                  And based on that, (and understanding that most Kiwisaver providers charge fees at around the 1.5% to 2.0% level) can you work out how much current providers must be extracting in excess over that, not in the work required to run the funds, but in outright ticket clipping profit?

                  If Peters thinks these things are “free”, then he has no clue what he’s talking about. The work must be done, and generally people don’t work for free, so the money to pay for it comes from somewhere.

                  Seriously, to make a statement like this you must think that Peters and all NZ First supporters are idiots or something. Do you?

                  Perhaps you would be satisfied if Peters had said that the funds could be operated “at cost”. Is that sufficiently pedantic and accurate for you?

                  My problem comes with Winston trumpeting how good it will be for savers not to have to pay fees, without seeming to realise that this is new work that must be paid for: he’s only selling the pros to the voting public, not the cons (where the money will come from to pay for his promises).

                  Peter’s plan is going to protect savers to the tune of hundreds of millions (and more, as Kiwisaver funds accumulate) at the cost of a few million a year.

                  Why don’t you wake up and smell a good deal when you see it.

  3. Tat Loo 3

    Here’s the thing – over and over again, it appears that most NZers think that the Government could and should be a legitimate player in markets in order to keep the private sector honest.

    I suspect the reason for this is pretty simple: a lot of people are realising that mega-corporations are screwing them over, and that only Government can help keep them honest.

    This meta-trend is going to become an increasing problem for National.

    • Zorr 3.1

      There is another thing to be keeping in mind here – that is a single Kiwisaver fund run by the government would provide larger returns in a safer manner than having multiple private providers queuing up for their turn at the teat.

      Same principle as any insurance/investment scheme – the more you have to invest and spread around a range of options, the safer your overall investment is from any collapse in prices and, ultimately, is only at risk from a global collapse. At which point, hate to say it, we’re all fucked anyway.

      Why should private providers be getting to charge fees on *our* superannuation savings? Along with a form of UBI, this needs to be taken away from them so that it can go to *our* future. Not Australia’s or USA’s.

    • Chooky 3.2

      +1 Tat CV

      ….re- exposure to mega-corporations and banks…….imo it is also particularly important that the Government provides a guarantee for Kiwi Bank in the event of an international financial banking collapse….and legislates that Australian Banks in New Zealand must provide a guarantee for NZ customers( same as they do Australian customers.)…

      What is the Labour Party policy on this….. compared with the Greens and NZF?

      • Phil 3.2.1

        Chooky,

        Kiwibank is mostly funded by domestic deposits. It has very little wholesale funding from offshore markets, virtually no lending offshore, and a substantial pool of liquidity available for crisis management. You can see all of this in its Disclosure Statements.

        There is no transmission mechanism for an ‘international financial banking collapse’ to directly affect Kiwibank. Yes, they’ve made some shitty choices and subsequently had bad lending decisions at times, but if they’re going to fail as a bank it’s going to be because of their own poor mismanagement rather than global contagion.

        A government gaurantee on Kiwibank specifically would effectively be a vote of no confidence in the ability of its executives and directors.

        • Tat Loo 3.2.1.1

          A government gaurantee on Kiwibank specifically would effectively be a vote of no confidence in the ability of its executives and directors.

          Nonsense. That’s like saying Kiwibank Ltd insuring their offices is a vote of no confidence in the ability of its executives and directors to care for their property.

          In seriousness, Kiwis will love that their bank is formally backed by the NZ Government. It will cost the NZ Government nothing, and give Kiwibank a substantial edge in the marketplace.

          • Phil 3.2.1.1.1

            No, Tat, it’s not like that at all. Property insurance (insurance generally) protects you from the effects of events outside of your control, like earthquakes or getting hit by a bus.

            A guarantee does not do that. Take, for example, the deposit guarantee scheme that was in place here post-GFC. The initial scheme included pretty much all banks and deposit taking finance companies. At the time, the global environment was pretty much as uncertain as it has ever been. However, once the first phase ended and the extended scheme kicked off in October 2010, only seven finance companies took part. Total guaranteed deposits in the scheme fell from $133b to $2b.

            Why? Because the public, and specifically retail investors, could smell the wet dogs a mile off. All the banks had successfully positioned their businesses such that they didn’t need the guarantee and were operating with comfortable liquidity margins. Only the finance companies that were up the creek without a paddle had any incentive to participate in the extended scheme and take the extra time to get their businesses in shape, or fail.

            Kiwibank doesn’t need a guarantee. It is reasonably profitable. It operates just fine in competition with the big-4 and other domestic banks. If there was a need for a guarantee to be in place, for Kiwibank specifically, it would be BECAUSE of it’s failure to perform and poor internal decision making, not because of some mythic offshore crisis fears.

  4. Tamati 4

    A Kiwibank style state competitor would keep the private sector honest. But doesn’t Kiwibank already have a Kiwisaver option? Isn’t this already a state sector Kiwisaver provider?

  5. dv 5

    Kiwibank sold to Mercer a few years ago.

    • Tamati 5.1

      Didn’t they later buy Gareth Morgans kiwisaver?

      • Chooky 5.1.1

        Yes Kiwibank has bought Gareth Morgan’s kiwisaver…but he still runs it

        ….all the more reason for Government guaranteeing Kiwibank…in fact I think it is a scandal it isnt govt guaranteed

        …….in a international bank meltdown what would happen to it.?….. sold for a song to Goldman Sachs?

        • Tamati 5.1.1.1

          Your Kiwibank deposits are implicitly guaranteed by the state. No need to lose sleep. It’s such a small player it’s unlikely massively affected by overseas crises.

          • Chooky 5.1.1.1.1

            @ Tamati….”implicitly guaranteed” is for fools…..even if Kiwibank is “such a small player” it is exposure to international bank crises which will be the deciding factor ….as to whether NZ public is affected or not and loses their a savings and assets or not …only Israel and New Zealand do not have a deposit guarantee ( see below post by greywarbler)

            greywarbler 11
            20 October 2013 at 12:06 pm
            Interesting stuff we should all know about.
            Deposit guarantee scheme, depositor insurance, capped bank scheme – only Israel and New Zealand don’t have these in the OECD.
            http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday
            Audio will follow soon.

            11.40 Wayne Brittenden’s Counterpoint
            Five years ago this month the global financial decline kicked in deeply. Wayne looks at the implications of the next meltdown that some punters are predicting, and the potential for serious social unrest. Chris follows up with Dr Bill Rosenberg, economist at the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions.

            The British were apparently freaked out by bankers like Goldman Sachs into with scary scenarios
            of rioting and looting if banks collapsed.

            Bill Rosenberg says that NZ’s bank accounts can be as low at times half of NZs with bank a/cs have less than $580 in their account. How would we manage if there was a collapse of our banks?

            Most of our banks are owned by Australians – except Kiwibank thanks Mr Anderton, and some ex building society ones still not sold off to furriners. Australian banks have a deposit guarantee scheme but it doesn’t apply to us though we banks with those Oz banks in NZ! The usual way of treating NZ by that country. The funds of Australian banks would be drawn on to meet their obligations in Oz. It could be that funds from their branches in NZ would be utilised to meet the extra demand, with no legal responsibility to provide for us here. Great, Ansett all over again. Getting NZ to pay for what would be otherwise an Oz obligation. We bought Ansett, like naive idiots, and we naively have allowed Oz to get their beefy hands on our banks too in line with our friendly relationship under CER.

          • thatguynz 5.1.1.1.2

            Might also be worth doing some reading on the “Open Bank Resolution” Tamati. Unless of course you are happy with your bank accounts taking a bit of a haircut in times of trouble?

  6. millsy 6

    about 30-odd years ago, we had heaps of things that were nationalised. No one really saw it as an issue back then. Even National did its fair share of nationalisation. The Maui pipeline (NGC/Petrocorp), Mt Cook’s Hermitage Hotel (THC), Kaingaroa Forest (NZ Forest Service).

    And really, kinda over the USSR comparisons. The Soviet Union was the elimation of all private property, and state ownership of everything. In the USA federal, state and local governments exetensively own power stations, railway services, canals, telecomms networks, irrigation systems, and and all sorts of wierd and wonderful things. Is he going to ring Obama and compare his country with the USSR?

    As for state owned KS, bring it on. KiwiFund sounds good to me. Though I would leave the option of private providers, as they can fill certain niches that a KiwiFund entity cannot fill.

    • Tat Loo 6.1

      The Soviet Union was NOT an elimination of private property. In the first months of the Soviet Union, land which formerly belonged to the Tzarish aristocracy was divided up and given to ordinary farmers and workers.

      Therefore the rise of the Soviet Union was characterised by the creation of private property. Now what happened later on driven by Stalin, well, that wasn’t socialism or communism, just authoritarian tyranny.

      Now, Dmitry Orlov (who has originated a great theory of ‘Superpower Collapse’) makes this point about the state owned apartments that almost all USSR citizens lived in, at the time of the USSR disintegration: that ownership structure meant that most Soviet citizens did not suffer bank repossession of their houses, and were not turfed out on the street: unlike the US example. And were then gifted with valuable private property holdings of those apartments, that they hadn’t needed to pay for.

      One last point – although the USSR went away Russia definitely did not.

      • red rattler 6.1.1

        Tat most industries, banks, transport etc were socialised in the Soviet Union.

        Agricultural land was already privatised before the revolution so this involved the redistribution not the creation of private property. The policy of the Bolsheviks was to introduce land collectivisation only when the revolutions in Europe would allow the introduction of advanced technology. This it was expected would then encourage small peasants to collectivise voluntarily.

        When this didn’t happen as a stop gap measure the peasants were encouraged to become capitalist producers (employ agricultural workers) and sell at market prices as an incentive to feed the workers in industry. The hope was that socialised heavy industry would then develop and mechanise agricultural so that socialisation of industry and agriculture could proceed together. At this point virtually no private property would have remained.

        Because of the Soviet Union’s economic backwardness and its invasion and isolation by world capitalism this policy failed and Stalinist totalitarianism was the result. You are correct to say that the forced collectivisation of the peasantry was neither socialism nor communism.

        • Tat Loo 6.1.1.1

          Cheers rr.

        • Bill 6.1.1.2

          Hmm. And there was me thinking that all agricultural produce and whatever else had to be sold to the state at set prices so that the state would use it’s (cough) wonderfully efficient bureaucratic ‘machine’ to distribute whatever was produced.

          And the inefficiencies, farce and accompanying oppression of that led (or so I believed) to the Kronstadt uprising in 1921 that Trotsky and Lenin crushed by use of arms.

          Then after containment had been achieved (read: death and exile) , Lenin decreed a certain ‘loosening up’ of internal trading arrangements.

          And 100 years on, the official state propaganda of the time is still peddled by tattered cult remnants within the left to underpin some notion that Lenin was benign and the Bolshevic’s fine and if only Trotsky had assumed the mantle of leader instead of that narsty Stalin…..

        • Rogue Trooper 6.1.1.3

          good summaries rr, and Bill

  7. Tamati 7

    A pet hate of mine with my ASB Kiwisaver is how they hide their fees when you check your balance online. They have a single row “Investment Returns and Fees” , i.e. only show me my net return, not the investment return and the amount they charged me for the privilege.

  8. tc 8

    Winnie is coming for you johnny, he may not be in the next govt but hes going to do his best to ensure your number is up.

    Shonkey comparing it to the soviet union rather than constructing a reasonable narrative gives winnie a stick to beat him with.

    A plausible policy which Key just flips the bird at, keep it up johnny.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    A public fund can achieve significant fee and cost reductions through greater economies of scale. Our fund would be an optional default KiwiSaver fund.

    It can do that but only if it’s a monopoly. If they try to maintain the competition then the costs would still be higher than optimum just as Peters has said.

    So instead of 20 managers having different strategies, different ways of doing things, different profiles, some more risky, some less risky, that you choose, so why on earth would we want to do that,” he said.

    Yeah, because a state monopoly would only have one person running it and not lots :roll:

  10. bad12 10

    Yep, if you sit and examine what NZFirst and the Green Party says on a pile of issues a lot of time it simply looks like the generation gap in effect, both are saying much the same thing which they see as being a lot of the time arrived at by different routes, the same none-the-less,

    Not only is KiwiSaver, as Peter’s suggests,a ticket clipping frenzy for the free market my view is that as we reach deep into the retirement bubble we are going to find that many of the funds run by the ‘market’ are going to turn up empty handed leaving many who will have invested their life savings with an empty nest egg,

    Kiwi-saver funds in many cases being run by what is loosely described as ‘the non-banking financial industry’ and as we have just seen it will be amidst a ‘crisis’ in the future that what will have been a ‘ponzi-scheme’ for many years will all unravel,

    Peters also alluded to insurance as another area that He sees the Government having a direct role of provision in, and i cannot disagree with Him either, obviously this is also highly topical as an industry at present considering the treatment, or should i say mistreatment by the insurance industry of the people of Christchurch during their hour of need,

    What is obvious, and glaringly so when when we take an intense look at especially the service industries which a majority rely upon is that there is no real competition, such is just a myth, what we have is crony capitalism of the worst kind where ‘Cartel Capital’ provides the illusion of ‘competition’ while driving the costs of the product or service ever higher,

    We can hope for such Cartel Capitalism to be defeated via regulation and the regulators, however, in the final analysis my opinion is that to ensure true competition in the markets Government has far more to gain by the provision of that competition rather than have it’s regulators forced to spend monies essentially gained by both sides ‘taxing’ us to try and force upon those who would involve themselves in Cartel Capitalism that competition through the courts…

    • Tat Loo 10.1

      Kiwi-saver funds are all being run by what is loosely described as ‘the non-banking financial industry’

      which is an integral part of the so-called “shadow banking system”.

  11. Tim 11

    And there’s one thing that’s a bit different this time (as far as Winnie ‘keeping his word’). It’s that this next time round will be his swan song, and as his bro once said to me – he’d love to have something positive and enduring to be remembered by.
    When he eventually karks it, it’s going to be bloody hard to ensure his ego hops into the coffin with him.

    …. so the “And Key seems to be suggesting NZ First would not stand by this policy in any post-election negotiations” might be another money trader’s gamble that isn’t worth shit.
    Winnie will be thinking “mmmmm …. take the baubles, or take the latter” I think it’ll be the latter.

    What would I know though!

  12. Richard29 12

    Interesting – Winston not to be outdone by Labour has decided to start ripping off Green party policy himself.. It’s all good, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

    The really interesting bit to me is seeing how John Key’s tone has changed in two years:

    Commenting on Green Public Option for Kiwisaver in 2011:
    John Key says he’s not sure about that move, but says the fee issue needs to be looked at.”If you outsource that to the Government, it might lead to an implied Government guarantee that we’re actually guaranteeing the funds, and in KiwiSaver there is no guarantee that your funds are safe so that might be the risk there.”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10764330

    Commenting on NZ First KiwiFund proposal in 2013:
    “I know that these guys are on this track at the moment of wanting to nationalise electricity, nationalise building, nationalise our management funds, they’ll be nationalising supermarkets and petrol stations and everything else soon.
    “That worked really well for the Soviet Union when they were doing that,” Key said.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/9305797/Peters-names-price-for-any-coalition-talks

    For the Greens he acknowledges the importance of discussing how to reduce fees and makes one or two light criticisms of potential drawbacks in the policy. For NZ First he just goes into full “Red Peril” campaign mode…

    I think part of that is probably panic – in 2011 he was coasting to victory and feeling perhaps a bit magnanimous, now he’s staring at almost certain electoral oblivion in 2014…

    The other part may be the different audiences (or perceptions of them) for the two parties. NZ First voters are perceived as simple, less educated and prone to populism so they get the knee jerk hyperbolic response. Green voters are perceived as mostly educated urban liberals, the kind of swing voter that Key cannot afford to be dismissive of, so they get the more measured and reasoned response actually engaging with the subject matter…

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    “I know that these guys are on this track at the moment of wanting to nationalise electricity, nationalise building, nationalise our management funds, they’ll be nationalising supermarkets and petrol stations and everything else soon.

    What;s the difference between capitalists owning a farm/supermarket/petrol station through shareholding and hiring a manager to run it and the state doing the same thing?

    Answer: Nothing except that state ownership won’t have the dead-weight loss of profit on it.

    The only argument that I can see against state ownership is that a few people won’t get rich at everyone else’s expense.

    • Tat Loo 13.1

      Already happening. Pretty sure the Chinese are using Landcorp to manage the former Crafar Farms.

      • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1

        Yeah, I know. The point being that there’s no difference in the management and so it can’t possibly be any worse just because it’s government owned.

  14. Tim 14

    NRT sums it all up concisely (as he usually does):
    http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2013/10/for-kiwifund.html

    Where’s King Kong and Chris70something-or-other and various others by the way?
    Is there some Nat crisis meeting in a War room somehwere going on?

  15. geoff 15

    I seem to recall that in the MSM (tv 1news i think) Winston’s idea was called a ‘radical plan’. Who’s feeding them these lines?

  16. Tracey 16

    Is a comparison with the cullen fund wrong because the money available to that fund at inception gave it better options than a govt backed kiwisaver

    • geoff 16.1

      Tracey, I think the relevant comparison being made with kiwisaver is that money is being wasted going to line fund manager’s pockets which wouldn’t have occurred if that money had been invested in government-run fund such as the Cullen fund.

      • Tat Loo 16.1.1

        Exactly. And the financial services industry trying to defend itself by saying, well, at least our fees are marginally less than in Australia, is pretty disingenuous. As has been pointed out, they are taking hundreds of millions of dollars from kiwi workers, while still achieving far lower gross returns than the government has been able to.

        So much for the right wing mantra of private sector is always better. No it’s not; unless you are talking about better for the 1%.

        • Draco T Bastard 16.1.1.1

          Better for the 1% is really all the right really worry about. Their changes to welfare and attacks on workers rights certainly show that they don’t care about everybody else.

          • thatguynz 16.1.1.1.1

            And that is only because the vast majority of the right wing voting muppets haven’t yet figured out that they themselves aren’t actually the 1%. Aspirational myopia perhaps? ;)

  17. Sable 17

    Peters is dead right. Its the same problem Australia has. Funds are devalued because rip off fees are levied by private trust management companies. Worse sill people are locked dealing with these firms and are effectively held to ransom by them.

    Norman an Australian himself has no doubt seen this first hand, as have I. Indeed I have money in super in Australia which is being slowly leeched away by fees.

    I do not see why this is a bad idea or why the Greens and Labour would not endorse it.

    Peters platform is the elderly and retirees so he is looking after his constituents which is what he is paid to do. His loyalty is the people who vote for him not other political parties and good on him for it.
    I’d like to see Labour acknowledge and take up policies that support working class Kiwi’s but fat chance of that.

    • tc 17.1

      Yes Oz has been reworking it’s portability rules and fee structures with a new lower fee regime coming into effect recently. It was incredible lucrative for fund managers before that came in.

      If your fund isn’t performing, shop around and move it Sable. Asgard comes highly recommended.

  18. Crunchtime 18

    A very sensible idea from Winston.

    (don)Key’s reading and comprehension have gone out the window – he seems to think that Peters’ plan is to replace all other fund providers with a govt one, which it is not.

    • Lanthanide 18.1

      I’m sure Key, or at least the people that write what he says, know exactly what Winston is saying.

      But Key has a very strong track record of deliberately mis-stating or mis-interpreting things that other politicians have said. Because Key always gets media coverage, this mis-representation of reality is what 80% of the voting public hear, and believe.

      What Winston has proposed is fairly moderate, but what Key is re-stating it as is pretty extreme. The voting public don’t like extreme, so this is a way for Key to discolour the whole debate with these non-factual claims, but do it in such a way that he’ll never be called up on it – and if he is, he can just say “mea culpa, but it’s because Winston is so hard to understand that I made that mistake” – and the media poodles will give him yet another free pass.

  19. phil 19

    I see two apologists for the finance sector re. Winstons proposal for Kiwisaver, promptly out of the starting blocks on Radio NZ (Nine to Noon) defending their pot of gold. I notice no counter opinion. No surprise, but will RNZ seek an independent view, rather than the usual vested interests.

  20. dave 20

    the americans have 401ks and wall street has plundered those accounts and used them to hide losses sell crap derrivatives personally i would back nz first and greens plan lets get some economy of scale in the system .

    • Tat Loo 20.1

      Spot on. That system was designed to give big fund managers huge amounts of workers funds to gamble with on the Wall St and shadow banking casinos. Half the reason so many US pension funds will not be able to meet their commitments is because the financial sector has walked away with the money.

    • Phil 20.2

      401k’s had, and have, very little derivative exposure, and are largely comparable to the mix of funds that Kiwisaver has. They’re invested mainly in equities. Only 19% of the funds are in bonds and fixed-interest securities (a portion of which would be RMBS).

      They also bounced back quickly after the GFC, so the idea that wall street has ‘plundered’ their money is false.
      http://www.ici.org/policy/retirement/plan/401k/faqs_401k

      • Tat Loo 20.2.1

        A highly partial financial industry lobbyist website? Surely you can do better than that.

        Here let’s try this:

        http://billmoyers.com/2013/09/25/how-401ks-rewarded-the-rich-and-turned-the-rest-of-us-into-big-losers/

        The report reveals that median retirement savings today stand at a paltry $44,000. But if you start looking at affluent America, the picture changes dramatically. A household at the 90 percentile of the retirement savings distribution had nearly 100 times more socked away for retirement than the median household. And the top 1 percent? Households at that lofty level had stashed more than $1.3 million in retirement account savings.

        In a nutshell, the 401(k) revolution created a few big winners and turned most of us into losers.

        • Phil 20.2.1.1

          Dave’s post was factually incorrect. That the data to prove it comes from the fund management industry is because they’re the ones collating the data into useable information in the first place. I make no comment on the quality of the 401k scheme generally, but do note that it looks a LOT like Kiwisaver.

          By the way, trying to critique a post you call ‘highly partial’ by linking to a partisan political pundit… not your best work.

          • Tat Loo 20.2.1.1.1

            Bill Moyers is one of the most respected long standing names in US journalism. He’s not a “political pundit”. That his reports don’t suit you is rather beside point.

            • Phil 20.2.1.1.1.1

              That his reports don’t suit you is rather beside point

              Pots and kettles, my friend, pots and kettles…

  21. KJT 21

    We already have a fund which should be being used to build the capability of New Zealand, including educating and training our children, and building infrastructure and sustainable energy and industry for the future. Taxation! And a cheap and cost effective super scheme. National super.
    Diverting even more money to the financial industry to gamble with is going to end in tears, as it already has in the USA. As pension funds and ordinary peoples savings are stolen to prop up the losses already made.
    Government is already planning laws, like Crete, so they can grab savings to prop up bank profits.

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