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KiwiSaver and superannuation

​Chapman Tripp comments on superannuation in New Zealand, including KiwiSaver.

Good but could do better – FMA message to financial advisers and salespeople

18 November 2015

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) report for the June 2014-2015 year on Authorised Financial Advisers (AFAs) and salespeople finds that - while compliance with the expectations of the Financial Markets Conduct Act (FMCA) and the Financial Advisers Act (FAA) is good - there is room for improvement.

DOING BUSINESS IN NZ: Labour and employment

01 June 2015

Doing Business in New Zealand is a publication designed to provide the prospective investor with an introductory guide to the New Zealand legal framework as it applies to business. This chapter discusses the Employment Relations Act and working conditions.

KiwiSaver balances off limits in a bankruptcy – Court of Appeal

21 April 2015

A bankrupt’s KiwiSaver account balance is off limits to the Official Assignee. Even if it was not, the Official Assignee could not use the bankruptcy to invoke the hardship-based early withdrawal provisions in the KiwiSaver Act 2006. This is the effect of a Court of Appeal judgment, delivered on Friday. Although justifiable in policy terms, the decision raises issues about the appropriate balance between promoting retirement savings and protecting creditor rights.

Five year fitness test for financial advisers regime up next year

17 October 2014

The Financial Advisers Act 2008 (FAA) had a difficult birth, requiring several Supplementary Order Papers and a highly unusual eleventh hour “Pre-Implementation Adjustments Bill”. Partly in acknowledgement of the risks implicit in such a process, a clause was inserted into the Act promising a review by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) within five years of the Act’s commencement. MBIE plans to initiate public consultation on this next year for completion before 1 July 2016. This is an important chance to drive change in those parts of the FAA regime which have caused confusion or frustration. We will be engaging fully in the review and urge you to do likewise.

Draft FMCA Regulations – some highlights for retirement schemes

03 October 2014

The near-final draft of the Financial Markets Conduct Regulations 2014 deals with several concerns raised by KiwiSaver and superannuation scheme providers. The timing requirements for certain reports and disclosures have been relaxed and provisions for on-line reporting and for restricted schemes generally are improved. There’s a lot to digest, and we’re still doing it ourselves, but here are some highlights.

The Fair Tax for Savers campaign - are savers over-taxed (and if so, why)?

31 July 2014

The Fair Tax for Savers campaign launched earlier this week is based on the proposition that income from at least two forms of savings is currently over-taxed. We examine this claim and the proposed solutions.

Financial Markets Conduct Act key to Supreme Court Lombard decision

08 May 2014

The restriction of criminal liability for false disclosure in the Financial Markets Conduct Act to deliberate dishonesty or recklessness was a key factor in the Supreme Court’s decision to set aside the home detention sentences against the “Lombard Four”. The convictions stand, however, as the Court declined to hear an appeal by the former directors to have them overturned.

Universal KiwiSaver and Variable Savings Rates - the election lines are drawn

02 May 2014

Labour’s debate-worthy proposals to make KiwiSaver compulsory for employees, and to give the Reserve Bank a role in varying contribution rates, raise interesting implementation issues.

No satisfactory answer to fate of KiwiSaver balances in a bankruptcy

09 April 2014

The High Court has found that a bankrupt member’s interest in a KiwiSaver scheme is available for distribution by the Official Assignee to creditors – but (unless early partial release would alleviate the bankrupt’s significant financial hardship) only after the bankrupt in due course qualifies for a withdrawal. This will usually be at age 65.

KiwiSaver and total remuneration – there and back again

26 September 2013

Employers cannot build their KiwiSaver contributions into the total remuneration of a worker on the minimum wage, where the effect is to take that wage below the statutory minimum – currently $13.75 an hour. This was confirmed by the Court of Appeal last week. We look at the basis for the decision, and the implications of it.

A navigational guide to the Financial Markets Conduct Act

16 September 2013

This Brief Counsel provides an overview of the key components of the Financial Markets Conduct Act and assists you to navigate the detail.

Super funds get better ride in amended Financial Markets Conduct Bill

10 October 2012

Changes to the treatment of KiwiSaver and superannuation schemes in the Financial Markets Conduct Bill will simplify compliance and make for a more pragmatic regime. We track the main amendments to emerge from the select committee process and provide a brief commentary.

KiwiSaver performance fees: FMA asks what's reasonable?

22 November 2011

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has issued draft guidelines to give KiwiSaver managers and trustees a basis for determining that performance fees meet the “not unreasonable” requirement under the KiwiSaver Scheme Rules. The FMA is seeking comments before finalising and formally publishing the Guidance Note. The consultation window is tight, with submissions due by Friday 2 December 2011.

Tighter trustee requirements – with more to come

15 September 2011

Trustees of debt securities, KiwiSaver schemes and unit trusts will have greater powers, and greater obligations, from 1 October 2011 under regulations passed last month. Issuers and providers will need to amend their trust deeds to reflect the new provisions. Also in prospect, through the draft Financial Markets Conduct Bill, are moves to impose an express standard of care on trustees and to limit trustee indemnities.

Budget 2011: focused, but far-sighted?

19 May 2011

The Government had to walk a knife edge in the preparation of this year’s Budget - demonstrating a credible path back to budget surpluses to keep the ratings agencies at bay while not sinking the National Party’s chances of re-election. The Budget will probably deliver on both these objectives. But there is little to lift New Zealand’s long-run economic performance or to stimulate economic innovation.

KiwiSaver changes Mark V

19 May 2011

The KiwiSaver changes in the Budget will make the scheme more sustainable and – from 1 April 2013 – will leave employed KiwiSavers only modestly worse off in terms of their overall savings incentives. KiwiSaver will also have a stronger workplace focus.

KiwiSaver changes - more upside than downside?

11 May 2011

The Prime Minister today provided a little more detail on the KiwiSaver changes which will be announced in next week’s budget. Importantly for scheme providers, these will not be made until after the election – giving the public an opportunity to vote on them and industry time to adjust. This Brief Counsel speculates upon the likely content of the new round of KiwiSaver amendments.

FMA Bill's KiwiSaver provisions greatly improved

09 March 2011

The KiwiSaver provisions in the Financial Markets (Regulators and KiwiSaver) Bill have emerged from the select committee more workable, clearer and much better integrated into the existing legislation. This Brief Counsel comments on the changes in detail. It is a companion piece to our earlier commentary on the financial market components of the Bill.

Issues around the proposed KiwiSaver periodic disclosures regime

01 March 2011

Those retail KiwiSaver scheme providers and trustees who have yet to submit on the Ministry of Economic Development Discussion Paper - Periodic Reporting Regulations for Retail KiwiSaver Schemes – should consider doing so now. The closing date for submissions is 11 March 2011. This Brief Counsel canvasses some of the potential issues with the proposed regime.

Savings Working Group ideas to promote the KiwiSaver habit

04 February 2011

Raising participation in KiwiSaver is central to the Savings Working Group (SWG) strategy to increase New Zealand’s savings rate. We expect a number of the enrolment-related and benefit design recommendations to find favour with policymakers, though most will need to be carefully implemented if adopted. This Brief Counsel complements a companion Brief Counsel earlier this week on the SWG’s tax proposals.

Radical change floated for workplace super schemes – and more tweaks for KiwiSaver

03 August 2010

For KiwiSaver change is, it seems, the only constant. This Brief Counsel comments on the latest round of proposed KiwiSaver changes. We also report on a bombshell suggestion, tucked within the 200-page Securities Law Review discussion document, to grandfather existing employer provided superannuation schemes. Lastly we provide a brief potpourri of legislative updates.

KiwiSaver and super: portability and problem-solving

05 February 2010

Chapman Tripp has prepared a submission outlining our concerns with the trans-Tasman retirement savings portability provisions and KiwiSaver amendments in the Taxation (Annual Rates, Trans-Tasman Savings Portability, KiwiSaver, and Remedial Matters) Bill. This Brief Counsel summarises the key proposals and sets out our views.

Post-budget legislation update – superannuation

08 June 2009

On 1 June 2009, changes to the KiwiSaver Regulations 2006 to close new participation in mortgage diversion facilities came into force. The legislation provides that certain non-compliance with securities-related law as a result of these amendments will be ignored.

“KiwiSaver Mark IV” (once more with feeling…) and recent employment law developments

25 March 2009

From 24 to 25 March, Chapman Tripp ran a Hothouse seminar: "KiwiSaver & employment law – where are we at now?" The seminar explained the latest KiwiSaver legislative changes and covered some recent developments in employment law.

Update on KiwiSaver

16 December 2008

The KiwiSaver reforms were passed under urgency last week as part of the Government’s first 100 days package. The changes to KiwiSaver itself will take effect on 1 April 2009

National's KiwiSaver and "Cullen Fund" policies

13 November 2008

Significant changes will be made to KiwiSaver by the incoming government though the basic structure of the regime will remain intact. Additionally, a major change is proposed for the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, also known as the "Cullen Fund".

Total rem…Gone for all money?

11 September 2008

The “total remuneration” approach to KiwiSaver has been effectively banned in legislation rushed through Parliament under urgency last week. The change was flagged by the Government in July.

KiwiSaver - U-turn on "total remuneration" approach

08 September 2008

The “total remuneration” approach to KiwiSaver has been effectively banned in legislation rushed through Parliament under urgency last week.

KiwiSaver update

23 November 2007

The Taxation (Annual Rates, Business Taxation, KiwiSaver, and Remedial Matters) Bill was reported back from the Finance and Expenditure Committee. The reported-back Bill introduces some refinements and new measures related to the changes to the KiwiSaver and complying superannuation fund regimes introduced in Budget 2007.