Putting the minimum 3 per cent contribution into KiwiSaver will provide an income in retirement that is less than half of your current income - and that's including New Zealand Superannuation, research from a new KiwiSaver provider has found.

Kōura Wealth has launched its Kōura KiwiSaver scheme today as well as research it hopes will encourage people to get advice, make sure they are in the right type of fund and are contributing enough to get the retirement they want.

Kōura Wealth's holding company is owned by Rupert Carlyon - a strategy and mergers and acquisitions expert who has worked for KPMG, Tower and Vector and Hobson Wealth - a private wealth advisory firm launched by Warren Couillault which is part-owned by Macquarie.

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Kōura is the third KiwiSaver scheme to launch this year and enters an already crowded market with at least 25 other providers.

Carlyon said its core difference to many other providers was its robo advice model which would help assess people's risk appetite and then put together an individualised portfolio based on six different underlying tracker funds.

"By giving people advice and by giving people help you open up a world of opportunity," he said.

Koura Wealth founder Rupert Carlyon. Photo/Supplied.
Koura Wealth founder Rupert Carlyon. Photo/Supplied.

Most other providers offer a range of funds from cash to conservative, balanced or growth funds which they can allocate members to.

Kōura's tool asks certain questions and then recommends a portfolio based on a certain percentage of the six underlying funds.

It also gives people a range for how much money they could have at retirement should the markets do well and if they don't do so well and what kind of weekly income that could give a person.

Carlyon believes the advice is sorely needed. Its research found most people see KiwiSaver as important to their retirement but less than half are in the right type of fund, based on where its tool would have allocated people to.

"Too many KiwiSaver members are in the wrong type of fund. Being in the wrong fund could cost a member hundreds of thousands of dollars," its report notes.


The research zeroed in on under 45-year-olds of which there are 1.8 million members out of the nearly three million people in KiwiSaver with $38 billion invested.

"Our analysis shows this segment of the population has missed out on over $2.5 billion in returns over the past two years."

It also found that despite KiwiSaver being seen as important most Kiwis won't have anywhere enough for a comfortable retirement.

Around 44 per cent of KiwiSaver members contribute the minimum 3 per cent of their salary.

The research found for an average Kiwi that would deliver a post-retirement income of around half of their current income, including New Zealand Superannuation - well short of the 70 per cent recommended for a comfortable retirement.

For a person earning $80k with a take-home income of $1159 per week after tax, a 3 per cent contribution into KiwiSaver would give them around $614 a week - including New Zealand Superannuation.

"In our opinion, a lack of understanding and advice is the large issue with KiwiSaver. Our survey shows that over half of Kiwis are in a different fund to what we would have recommended, and this decision could cost these people hundreds of thousands of dollars when they retire," Carlyon said.

"We've also found Kiwi's expectations of their KiwiSaver are significantly greater than what their KiwiSaver is actually likely to deliver."

The six funds Koura will invest in US Equities Fund, Rest of World Equities Fund, Emerging Markets Equities Fund, NZ Equities Fund, Fixed Interest Fund and
NZ Cash Fund.

The scheme has an annual fee of $30 for over 18-year-olds and a funds under management charge of 0.63 per cent which is at the lower end for charges because it uses index-tracking funds.