Women are feeling a lot less confident about reaching their retirement savings goals than men in New Zealand, with the latest ANZ retirement savings survey saying women "have every reason to be concerned".

The survey conducted in October with 700 people found that although 44 per cent of New Zealanders felt they were on track to reach their retirement savings goals, only 34 per cent of women were confident they would reach their goal, compared with 55 per cent of men.

ANZ wealth general manager product and marketing Ana Marie Lockyer said the results of the survey were not unexpected.

"It is not surprising that some women are less confident about their retirement savings than men - they have every reason to be concerned," Lockyer said. "Women are paid less than men, while 85 per cent of New Zealand women take time out from the workforce to raise families."


Lockyer added that this was also affected by women tending to retire two years earlier than men on average and living longer.

"So, it is harder for women to save as much and their money has to potentially last them longer. That's the reality for many women."

The survey also found that the average KiwiSaver balance for women aged between 25 and 40 was 23 per cent lower than that of men in the same age bracket, with this gap expected to widen by the time they reached 65.

See Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell discuss women and retirement:

Are New Zealanders becoming better at managing money - what particular problems are faced by women, Maori or the Pasifika communities? Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell talks about Money Week and financial literacy.

Lockyer said the results indicated New Zealanders needed to take "a cold, hard look" at how much they needed to retire and whether they were on track to reach this, adding that it was a good idea for people to start planning early.

"Taking a career break can create quite a hole in your retirement savings plans but there are a number of things you can do to catch up," Lockyer said. "For example, you can increase your regular contributions, make a lump sum payment or consider moving your money to a higher growth KiwiSaver fund - it all depends on your personal circumstances."

Lockyer noted that it was also a good idea to get professional finance advice or talk to a KiwiSaver provider.