KiwiSaver funds reflected subdued market conditions over the September quarter, with the bulk experiencing a return of less than one per cent.
Investment research company Morningstar's quarterly report shows the value of KiwiSaver assets was $87.1 billion at the end of September.
That's more than $4b more than on the mid-year survey and compares with $76.3b at the end of last December.
It said sharemarket returns haven't been too affected by lockdowns.
Report author Tim Murphy said there were positive returns for most of the diversified options over the latest quarter, with funds managed by Pathfinder the stand out.
"The quarter started off well with most assets rising and September saw some pull back by the end of it," he said.
At the end of the quarter, international shares edged into positive territory with a return of 1.3 per cent in New Zealand Dollar, Morningstar said.
Domestically, strong gains by Mainfreight and Ryman Healthcare helped the NZX 50 Index record a gain of 4.9 per cent.
Top performers for the quarter include Pathfinder Conservative, 1.6 per cent return, Milford Moderate, 1.2 per cent, Pathfinder Balanced, 2.3 per cent, Pathfinder Growth 2.9 per cent and Mercer High Growth, 2.1 per cent.
Morningstar said the most appropriate way to evaluate a KiwiSaver scheme was to study its long-term returns.
Over 10 years, the Aggressive category average has given investors an annual return of 11.4 per cent, followed by Growth, 11.2 per cent, Balanced, 9.2 per cent, Moderate, 6.7 per cent, and Conservative, 5.9 per cent.