KiwiSaver funds with higher levels of growth assets had a stronger run in the June quarter on the back of strong performances from local and international sharemarkets.

Morningstar's latest quarterly KiwiSaver report shows average returns ranged from 2.37 per cent for the growth category to 1.27 per cent for the conservative category over the three months to June 30.

The top performing funds included Milford's conservative fund which topped the conservative sector with 1.73 per cent, Westpac's balanced fund in the balanced category with 2.59 per cent and Westpac's growth fund in the growth category with a return of 3.06 per cent.

Over the longer term Aon Russell's Life points Conservative fund is the top performer for five years in the conservative category with an average return of 7.9 per cent per year.


Milford's Balanced fund tops the balanced category with 13.1 per cent per annum over the past five years.

Milford's Active Growth fund is the best performer over five years in the growth category with an average annual return of 15.2 per cent.

Chris Douglas, director manager research ratings at Morningstar, said the first half of 2017 saw KiwiSaver funds with a bias to growth assets perform better than more defensive conservative funds.

Growth funds have a higher percentage invested in shares and listed property assets.

Douglas said the New Zealand share market had performed slightly better in the second
quarter of the year than it did in the first and the NZX50 index was up 5.8 per cent over the quarter.

But the Australian sharemarket had not done as well only rising 3.2 per cent since the start of the year.

"New Zealand investors had the benefit of a small depreciation of the New Zealand dollar against the Australian dollar over the half year, giving them a total return of 4.1 per cent in New Zealand dollar terms."

The MSCI world index was up 8.2 per cent in the first half of the year in local currency terms.


KiwiSaver now has more than $40.5 billion invested and ANZ remains the biggest provider with $10.4b in funds under management.

The full report can be seen here.