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KiwiSaver member behaviour: a quantitative analysis

Callum Thomas (School of Economics and Finance, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand)
Claire Matthews (School of Economics and Finance, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand)

Pacific Accounting Review

ISSN: 0114-0582

Article publication date: 10 November 2014




The purpose of this paper is probe the early data emerging from the KiwiSaver market and to draw insights on KiwiSaver investor behaviour, particularly in respect of the unique default provider feature of the scheme.


The primary source of data for this study is a purpose-built database compiled using data from KiwiSaver providers’ annual reports for the period 2009-2011.


The study finds that KiwiSaver members, like other investors, are chasing performance and seeking to avoid fees. However, an unexpected negative relation is found for bank ownership.

Research limitations/implications

The key limitations of this data source include the low frequency, differing formats and levels of detail disclosed in various annual reports.

Practical implications

Chasing past performance indicates a need for investor education for KiwiSaver members.


The study provides an initial empirical examination of the KiwiSaver market, and the determinants of the flow of funds and members. The results can be used to guide policymakers and providers in their future decision-making around the scheme and individual offerings.



The authors wish to thank participants at the 25th Australasian Finance and Banking Conference in Sydney, Australia, and the 2013 NZ Capital Market Symposium in Auckland, New Zealand for comments on earlier versions of this paper.


Thomas, C. and Matthews, C. (2014), "KiwiSaver member behaviour: a quantitative analysis", Pacific Accounting Review, Vol. 26 No. 3, pp. 248-273.



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