Kiwibank silent on Mercer Kiwisaver axing report

By Tamsyn Parker

Kiwibank is refusing to confirm or deny market speculation that it is close to dropping Mercer as its KiwiSaver provider.

Yesterday financial industry website www.goodreturns.co.nz said it understood Kiwibank would officially announce a switch from Mercer to AMP Capital next week. It did not cite any source.

Kiwibank and investment manager Mercer teamed up in 2007 and won the right to be one of the Government's six default schemes.

Mercer has gained 63,000 people through the default relationship but only 6500 have joined its scheme through actively signing up with it.

Until recently the performance of Mercer's default fund has also been poor relative to its peers. In its own survey released on Tuesday, the fund was the worst performer of the default funds over the year to June 30 and the second worst over the 18 months KiwiSaver has run.

However, in the three months to June it was the best performer of the six.

Kiwibank spokeman Bruce Thompson said the company did not comment on market speculation or rumours.

Mercer New Zealand chief executive Martin Lewington also dismissed the talk as rumour and speculation.

- NZ Herald

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