A personal finance columnist for the NZ Herald

Inside Money: Tower disappears, Fisher creates KiwiSaver sequel

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

The Tower name has officially dropped out of the KiwiSaver universe following its rebranding as the 'Fisher Funds Two KiwiSaver Scheme' as at January 29 this year.

At the same time, Tower Managed Funds, the scheme's investment manager, will now be known as Fisher Managed Funds.

The name change was no surprise, however, as Fisher Funds, which bought the Tower investment business last April, was obliged to rebrand the business within a year of the purchase.

According to a Fisher Funds spokesperson, the move is a "rebranding exercise only" with no other substantial alterations to the scheme's operations.

While it's likely the Fisher Funds Two scheme will operate as the Fisher 'pure' default KiwiSaver option - assuming the scheme formerly known as Tower is reappointed as a default provider - the spokesperson said there were no plans to restrict joining to IRD-allocated members only, a la the Onepath scheme.

The spokesperson said Fisher Fund Two members won't notice much different following the rebranding except "there'll be more correspondence" compared to when the scheme was owned by Tower.

However, the new Fisher Funds Two prospectus does include some up-to-date information on transferring savings to KiwiSaver from Australian superannuation schemes - most notably on the currency effects.

The Fisher Funds KiwiSaver Two document says "currency exchange rate fees will be built into the exchange rate applicable to your transferred savings", with the fees accruing to the bank executing the foreign exchange deal.

As well, the Fisher KiwiSaver the second prospectus offers a useful reminder that: "You should also consider any currency effects (including exchange rate fees) and any differences in the product terms, fees and tax treatment of the two schemes if you are considering transferring your superannuation savings from an Australian complying superannuation scheme."

With the New Zealand dollar close to historical highs versus the Aussie currency - up almost 25 per cent since 2011 - anybody considering an Australian super to KiwiSaver transfer should be doing those sums.

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A personal finance columnist for the NZ Herald

David is a freelance journalist who has covered the financial services business on both sides of the Tasman for over 15 years. He is the editor of industry website Investment News. David has edited magazines and websites for the financial advice, investment and superannuation industries.

Read more by David Chaplin

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