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The paper aims to examine the disclosure practices of KiwiSaver retail schemes in New Zealand. The aim is to investigate the level of comparability of KiwiSaver…
The paper aims to examine the disclosure practices of KiwiSaver retail schemes in New Zealand. The aim is to investigate the level of comparability of KiwiSaver disclosures in the annual reports provided to members.
Using data from KiwiSaver annual reports, the paper addresses three research questions using a disclosure index method. First, in the absence of standardised performance measures, will schemes adopt comparable disclosure practices? Second, will larger schemes disclose more information than smaller schemes? Third, will better performing schemes disclose more information than poorer performing schemes?
The analysis indicates that KiwiSaver schemes' disclosure practices are not comparable and there are no evident patterns between size or performance and disclosure quality or quantity.
As this is an exploratory study, a sample of schemes is used in the research, thereby limiting generalisability of the research. In addition, different schemes have chosen different permitted forms for reporting to scheme members, exacerbating the lack of comparability this paper seeks to study; with some schemes providing abridged annual reports and others providing full annual reports to members. Moreover, the use of a disclosure index for classification introduces an element of subjectivity into the research method.
Overall savings, of which retirement savings is a subset, are low in New Zealand. One of the mechanisms to encourage saving is to provide an environment that supports effective investment decision making. This research highlights some of the inconsistencies that exist in current reporting practices and limit comparability between KiwiSaver schemes.