News

News

MAY 2020

New Lower Fees from 1 April 2020

6 May, 2020

Civic Financial Services Ltd is the Administration Manager of the Local Government Superannuation Scheme (commonly known as the SuperEasy Employer Scheme) and the SuperEasy KiwiSaver Superannuation Scheme. Both Schemes are provided on an exclusive basis to local government employees and for the SuperEasy KiwiSaver Superannuation Scheme, immediate family members of local government employees as well.

From 1 April 2020 we will be lowering our fees for both Schemes. The new fee structure is set out in detail in the replacement Product Disclosure Statements for each Scheme that will be available from 31 March at www.supereasy.co.nz.

Our fees have three components: a base management fee, a monthly administration fee, and in-fund costs. From 1 April 2020 our base management fee will be reducing from 0.50% per annum to 0.44% per annum.

SuperEasy KiwiSaver Superannuation Scheme Fees: the base management fee, which is reducing from 0.50% pa to 0.44% pa, a monthly administration fee of $4.50, being $54.00 per year, and in-fund costs of between 0.03% and 0.06% pa, depending on the fund you are invested in – the average in-fund cost is around 0.05% pa. To help make sense of these numbers we have set out some examples below.

Account Balance
Annual Fees $10,000 $50,000 $250,000
Management Fee: 0.44% $44 $220 $1,100
Avge Annual In-Fund costs: 0.05% $5 $25 $125
Administration Fee: $54 $54 $54 $54
Total $103 $299 $1,279

SuperEasy Employer Scheme Fees: the base management fee, which is reducing from 0.50% pa to 0.44% pa, a monthly administration fee of $6.00, being $72.00 per year, and in-fund costs of between 0.03% and 0.06% pa, depending on the fund you are invested in – the average in-fund cost is around 0.05% pa. Note: the monthly administration fee is not payable while you are working for a council. To help make sense of these numbers we have set out some examples below.

Account Balance
Annual Fees $10,000 $50,000 $250,000
Management Fee: 0.44% $44 $220 $1,100
Avge Annual In-Fund costs: 0.05% $5 $25 $125
Administration Fee: $54 Zero or $72 Zero or $72 Zero or $72
Total while working at the Council $49 $245 $1,225
Total having left Council $121 $317 $1,297

Your Continuation Options: Once you are a member of a Scheme you can remain a member for as long as you choose, which could be for the rest of your life. This means that even if you leave the services of Local Government you can still enjoy the same low wholesale charging basis that applies to local government employees. This is important, as essentially the Schemes are long-term savings accounts up until retirement that can then be used as long-term savings management accounts throughout your retirement.

Introducing Easy Phone Balance

6 May, 2020

Easy Phone Balance: Most members log onto our website to check their account balance. We have just made this easier for you. When you login using your mobile phone, you will now be able to enter a 4-digit pin number that will take you directly to your Member Account Balance. Please follow the easy steps below to set up your pin number. If you wish to access the full website you can still do this as before by logging onto www.supereasy.co.nz.

Setting up your pin number: To access the website on your mobile phone either open your favourite browser on your phone or enter supereasy.co.nz in the address bar at the top. All the usual website features have been optimised for your mobile screen. The first time you login to the website on your mobile phone you will have the option to set a PIN number for future access from your phone. This PIN number will only work on your individual phone. You can also set or change this PIN number by logging in and going to the Update My Details page. The Update My Details set PIN function can also be used to add PIN number access to additional mobile devices or if you change phones.

SuperEasy Website Refresh

6 May, 2020

You will notice a difference when you login onto our SuperEasy website. We have given the site a complete refresh to introduce a more modern look. The new colours are brighter and fresher with a livelier feel, making it easier to navigate, and importantly, more accessible and user-friendly to those on mobile devices.

Investment Market Commentary

1 May, 2020

We recognise that this is still an uncertain time for our Scheme members and have asked both our Fund Managers, ANZ New Zealand Investments Limited and AMP Capital Investors (New Zealand) Limited for their latest market commentary. Please see below their comments:

ANZ New Zealand Investments Limited. After a period of extreme volatility in March it has been a relief to see something of a rebound in financial markets through to the end of April. Recent weeks have seen a continuation of government and central bank economic support with governments spending vast sums to support workers and businesses with a view to enhancing economic activity after the debilitating effects of lengthy periods of lock-down. While there is universal acceptance that there will be difficult times ahead, with significant unemployment and lower levels of economic activity markets have, broadly speaking, turned a corner and regained some of the ground lost since March.

For equity markets the low point was around March 23rd and, as at the time of writing, the Dow Jones Industrial Index is up over 30% since then - albeit still more than 15% lower than the highs of mid-February 2020. The New Zealand equity market tells a similar story although not quite so volatile and is currently back to within nearly 10% of the mid-February peaks. It is important to note that both markets are coming off all-time high points.

For fixed interest investments, the depths of March saw bond portfolio declines which were mostly keenly felt in corporate bond portfolios. There were generally low levels of buying activity and consequently there was a widening of spreads between sale and purchase prices for bonds – all indicators of significant market dislocation and with these characteristics being more pronounced for lower quality assets. Like the equity market, sentiment has recently changed and bond markets have rallied with markets functioning in a more orderly fashion and transactional activity and pricing reverting to better levels. That said interest rates are at extremely low levels and are almost certain to remain so for a significant length of time. It is worth noting that the ANZ philosophy of conservative investment in high quality assets has provided a degree of protection for investors. Generally speaking, high quality government bonds have out-performed riskier corporate bonds and conservative cash portfolios have done slightly better than more aggressive peers. We expect these trends to continue.

It is very difficult to predict market movements from here as global economies progressively return to more normal levels of economic activity. Some ongoing volatility should be contemplated as the coming months reveal the true costs and impacts of the Covid19 virus and the responses to it. Certainly the level of the recent rebound, in equity markets in particular, has surprised on the upside and the continuation of such should not be expected.

AMP Capital Investors (New Zealand) Limited: The quarter of March 2020 will likely go down in history as one of the most severe market shocks as the quick spread and global reach of the Coronavirus took course. As countries moved into lockdown and borders around the world were closed, the fear of the unknown impact the virus would have on global economies saw share markets fall dramatically. Daily volatility of market of +/- 4 percent moves become “normal” with one day even seeing the US share market plummet over 10%. Bond markets were not immune through the month of March although they were supported by central banks and government treasuries stepping in to intervene, helping steady the ship via bond purchase programmes, slashing cash rates and creating new forms of monetary liquidity. This led to government bonds producing positive returns for the quarter. However, many corporate bonds succumbed to higher yields (lower prices) as their riskiness was reassessed. Arguably, this was long overdue as investors have not been sufficiently paid for taking on credit risk for several years.

Since the end of March, share markets have rebounded quite powerfully, recovering more than half the fall that was experienced throughout March. However there is still much to play out before we know whether equity markets will continue this recovery, or will potentially test the lows seen in the last week of March. Many business have been severely impacted and unemployment will rise, many countries will likely enter into recession. Prior to the market selloff, equity markets were viewed as fully valued, or even in some cases expensive, but investors have experienced a persistent bull market of returns over the last decade. Since 2009, the weak market phases have proved temporary. However, we stress that the situation is now different as the world is dealing with a public health crisis that may improve and fade, or alternately may relapse and prove harder to eradicate than currently is believed. As the real economic effect of the Covid 19 pandemic plays out over the coming months we are likely to see further volatility in share markets, but this will create opportunities for long term savers to accumulate assets at cheaper price levels than we have seen for some time.

MARCH 2020

Investment Market Commentary

23 March, 2020

We recognise that this can be an uncertain time for our Scheme members and have asked for some market commentary from both our Fund Managers, AMP Capital Investors (New Zealand) Limited and ANZ New Zealand Investments Limited.   Please see below their comments:

AMP Capital Investors (New Zealand) Limited:  The current radical uncertainty about the ultimate impact of CoVid-19 is causing dramatic asset re-pricings in investment markets. While the pandemic is a shock originating outside the financial system (unlike the GFC) as it moved from a regional to a global threat it has triggered sharp selling in most growth assets, and safe-haven buying in the defensive assets and currencies. In the process, the virus hit has proved potent enough to bring the longest equity bull market in history (dating from 2009) to a conclusion and a reacceleration of growth now depends on the global response and above all, on the medical and population health developments.

Shocks to growth and asset values like CoVid-19 are within the long-run parameters of what can be expected from so-called “risk assets” like shares, property and some corporate debt. Usually, investors receive compensation for taking the risk of potential sharp market swings at times during their investment time horizon. In recent years, however, the premium investors have received has been pushed down due to the ultra-low interest rate environment and so valuations got very high by the end of 2019. Few anticipated the catalyst for a plunge in valuations to more reasonable levels would be a micro-organism. However, now this has occurred it is not appropriate to crystalize value losses at heavily-discounted security prices.

From the long-run investor’s perspective, being reminded of the returns premium for taking risk that shares and growth-sensitive assets should offer is extremely valuable. Continuing to patiently invest at the current, meaningfully-lower asset prices that the CoVid-19 crisis has allowed will be reflected in future years’ returns. The probable future capital and income gains (total returns) from many asset types have been lifted, and a situation of over-valuation and over-confidence is in the process of being rapidly resolved. This makes a better entry point for making prudently-allocated asset purchases through robust institutions than has been the case in the markets for several years, and those investors with sufficient tolerance for short-term volatility can soon take advantage.

ANZ New Zealand Investments Limited:  As investors will be aware, the market conditions are extremely volatile at the moment and each day we have seen new policy responses for dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic.  With the great deal of uncertainty prevailing at the moment, equity markets have universally fallen quickly and sharply from their all-time highs.  High quality government bonds have provided investors a degree of protection with strong investor demand and expectations for lower term interest rates driving up bond prices for the month to date.

We have seen some strong central bank monetary policy responses to date, with interest rate cuts announced here and globally.  That said, it is universally agreed that monetary policy alone will not be sufficient to support economies through this period of uncertainty.   From here, we expect to see some strong fiscal policies coming from governments aimed at softening the impact from Covid-19.  We have started to see evidence of this already and in general central governments are showing a great deal of willingness to step in when required to support their domestic economies.

With regard to near-term prospects we would expect to see continuing levels of volatility for a period of time as investors continue to assess the impact of Covid-19 on economies and investment portfolios. This volatility continues in an environment rapidly changing information.  We do expect this situation to be temporary in nature, but the exact period of time that Covid-19 will have a material impact on investment markets is extremely difficult to determine at this point.  Ultimately, we would expect to see a successful vaccine and/or the measures used in various countries to date (e.g. China) to reduce spreading and to moderate impacts. These measures, together with the substantial fiscal stimulus being contributed by central governments, should lead to some degree of positivity returning to investment markets – although it is not possible to say when this will happen.

DECEMBER 2019

When is our office closed over the Christmas holiday period?

19 December, 2019

Our office will be closed from the 24th December and will re-open on Monday 6th January.

On behalf of the Team at SuperEasy can we wish you and your families a safe and happy time over the Christmas holiday period and look forward to working with you throughout 2020.

JULY 2019

Exciting New Change Being Introduced To KiwiSaver For Over 65 Year Olds From 1 July 2019

31 July, 2019

Who can Join our SuperEasy KiwiSaver Superannuation Scheme? Only those people that work for a Local Authority or a Council Controlled Organisation and immediate family members of those people - which includes their parents or de-facto parents.

From 1 July 2019 people who are aged 65 or older will be able to join KiwiSaver.

What we have created with our SuperEasy KiwiSaver Superannuation Scheme is an exclusive retirement savings club for our Local Government family which we can enjoy in perpetuity. By that we mean once you are a member you can stay a member for the rest of your life and still enjoy the same low wholesale charging structure that applies to Local Government staff. Membership to this club has now become open to over 65 year olds provided they are working for a local authority or council controlled organisation OR they have an immediate family member who is currently working for one.

What does this mean for our SuperEasy KiwiSaver Superannuation Scheme? If you are still currently working for a Local Authority or a Council Controlled Organisation; irrespective of their age, from 1 July 2019 your parents or de-facto parents can now join our SuperEasy KiwiSaver Superannuation Scheme. A large majority of our existing members who have belonged to our scheme for more than 5 years and are over the age of 65 are choosing to continue to use the scheme to manage their savings in their retirement. Even though they are over 65 they are using this for their mid to long term savings in retirement; it is not a bank cash account. For those members the scheme has transformed into a tax-paid savings scheme and they are still enjoying the same low wholesale charges that apply to Local Government employees.

The same low wholesale charges that apply to Local Government employees also apply to over 65 year olds should they choose to join up to our SuperEasy KiwiSaver Superannuation Scheme.

If you or any family member would like to know more about this new exciting opportunity please contact us.

Your Annual Statement For The Year Ending 31 March 2019 Is Now Available

To view your statement, just log in to your SuperEasy account and click on ‘Online Statements’.

If you’ve forgotten your password, click on ‘Forgot password?’ and enter in your username and email address that is associated with your account. Just follow the instructions in the email you receive to reset your password.

Our 2019 Annual Reports for the year ended March 2019 are also available:

SuperEasy KiwiSaver Superannuation Scheme Annual Report for the Year Ended March 2019

Local Government Superannuation Scheme Annual Report for the Year Ended March 2019

If you have any questions, please contact us.

MAY 2019

Are you missing out on a free $521.43?

16 May, 2019

If you are a KiwiSaver member over 18 years of age and not yet entitled to withdraw your savings (with some exceptions), you are entitled to receive up to $521.43 from the government every year. The government will contribute 50c for every $1 you contribute to KiwiSaver, up to a maximum of $521.43. To ensure you receive the full Government Contribution you need to contribute at least $1,042.86 between 1 July and 30 June. Note, this doesn’t include your employer contributions.

You can top up your contributions by making a lump sum payment direct to the IRD via the ‘IRD Payment’ option through your online banking. You’ll need to include the following details:

  • your IRD number
  • the tax type ‘KSS’
  • the period ‘0’

For more information about the Government Contribution click here.

APRIL 2019

New forms and Changes to KiwiSaver from 1 April 2019

1 April, 2019

New Forms

We are updating our application forms – this means joining, changing your details, and withdrawing your funds should be simpler.

Additional Contribution Rates

KiwiSaver members who are making contributions through an employer will now, as of 1 April 2019, have two more choices of contribution rates. The new rates are 6% and 10%. This means you can now choose to contribute 3%, 4%, 6%, 8% or 10% of your gross salary. Your employer will still be required to make a minimum contribution of 3% of your gross salary.

Contributions Holiday

From 1 April 2019 the maximum contributions holiday has been reduced from five years to one year. The name ‘contributions holiday’ has also been changed to ‘savings suspension’.

If you have any questions about this please contact us.