A university level education is needed to understand key KiwiSaver documents, researchers at AUT Business School have found.
The product disclosure statements, designed for a general New Zealand audience, were found to require a high level of education to be understood.
Aaron Gilbert and Ayesha Scott found that the product disclosure statements, which replaced the prospectuses and investment statements, were shorter and contained simpler language but still required a high level of literacy.
"On average, simplified disclosure has made these documents easier to understand for our average New Zealander who is thinking about or invested in KiwiSaver," Scott said.
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"This means there is less specialised jargon used in a product disclosure statement in comparison to the previous prospectus document. However the results were a little mixed in that the average level of education needed to understand the general text is a little bit higher now."
Gilbert said that, given the uncertainty around the future of superannuation, KiwiSaver will become a major component of people's financial future.
"Because it is so important and because small decisions made today can have a huge impact 30 or 40 years from now in terms of how much money people have to retire on, it's really important people are making good decisions when it comes to their KiwiSaver," Gilbert said
"The first step in making those good decisions is to get people actively seeking information."