December 2018 - Christian Kiwisaver Scheme
Christmas message

Christmas message

Greetings and peace in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

At the end of another busy year, it is my pleasure and delight to wish you all a holy and blessed Christmas. This is a holy time in the Church’s year when we pause to celebrate the birth of Jesus over 2000 years ago. Jesus was born in a stable in the town of Bethlehem in very humble circumstances, and the first to offer their worship were shepherds who responded to a message from an angel who told them the Good News that a Saviour was born, the Messiah, the Lord.

People have all sorts of ways of keeping in touch with this. Some people go on tours to the Holy Land to visit Bethlehem. They come back with nativity scenes, figures of Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus which they set up in their living rooms. Some bring back other reminders of the Holy Land; water from the Jordan River, or a stone that might be incorporated into a church building. Christians have been making these kinds of pilgrimages for centuries and bringing back reminders of the story to help make it a present reality for us today.

Bethlehem today is a very different place from that depicted in our carols and Christmas cards. It is surrounded by a wall designed to keep Palestinian people out of Israel. It has frequently been caught up in the violence of conflict in that part of the world. Modern-day Bethlehem is a reminder that the world is ridden with division and violence, where injustice, misuse of power and violence abound, and where those who are powerless are expected to be submissive to those with power. This reflects the way many people of the world think the Church should be as well; compelled into submission.

This is not the way of God. Jesus is the fullness of God revealed to us in a whole human life. He comes in vulnerability, as a helpless child, to be alongside us and to share our humanity. He invites us to follow him. He never attempts to force us to follow, but he comes as the fullness of God’s grace and love to win us over. He shows us that the God we worship and that Christians believe in refuses to come in force, but in humility and in love.

The carol, “O little town of Bethlehem” has this line in the first verse: “the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” God is aware of the messiness of life and comes to be alongside us on our journey. God comes to dispel the darkness that we face, to be with us as we cope with the messiness of life and the difficulties we find ourselves in. God comes to open up a future laden with hope that is beyond our imagination; a future where there is justice and love. In short, God comes to give us a taste heaven. This Christmas, give your hopes and your fears to God. For Jesus is born to bring love into the world. He is with us and alongside us, working for love, peace and hope, that these gifts may be received in our hearts and in the hearts of every human being, so that all may know God’s love.

Once again, may you and yours have a holy and blessed Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

The Very Reverend Lawrence Kimberley
Board Chair

No fees for members under age 18

No fees for members under age 18

We are helping those under 18 get a start with their longer-term savings. We’re introducing a change from 1 January 2019 where Christian KiwiSaver Scheme members under age 18 will not have fees deducted from the quarterly investment earnings allocated to their account if they are under age 18 on the first day of that quarter (i.e. on 1 April, 1 July, 1 October or 1 January, as applicable).

Investment returns to 30 September 2018

Investment returns to 30 September 2018

September was another bumper quarter for investment returns. Equity markets continued to soar with the NZ and global share portfolios returning 7.4% and 7.3% respectively for the quarter. The performance of the lower risk bond portfolios was more mixed but with small positives still being achieved. This all means that the Growth and Balanced Funds performed more strongly than the Income Fund in the September quarter.

Investment returns at 30 September 2018, before fees and tax:

Fund 3 months 1 Year (p.a.) 3 years (p.a.) 5 years (p.a.)
Growth Fund 4.1% 13.1% 11.8% 10.9%
Balanced Fund 2.9% 9.2% 9.0% 8.6%
Income Fund 0.5% 2.5% 3.9% 4.5%

Post-September we have seen some significant gyrations in market performance. October has sometimes been a more volatile month for stocks and 2018 was no exception. Exactly what drove a significant downward adjustment in equity markets is open to debate, but fingers generally point to increased concerns about global trade, European and emerging markets uncertainty and an increase in worry about global growth prospects, inflation and rising interest rates. The early part of November has seen some reversal of this impact. However, the volatility continues and we imagine it could become a regular feature in markets.

We will continue to keep an eye on the situation and remain vigilant. We do not consider it necessary to alter our investment strategy at this point but will if we perceive things have changed and consider it desirable to act.

It is tempting for members to react when market volatility increases. Unfortunately, that’s not always a good idea and we encourage you to look through short term movements. However, what is good to do from time to time is to check you are in the right fund for your risk appetite and the length of time you have until retirement.

Time – the asset money can’t buy

Time – the asset money can’t buy

When it comes to investing young people have a huge advantage: TIME. Time – you can never get it back. It’s the asset money can’t buy. The sooner savings begin, the sooner compound interest can start and its ‘magic’ needs time.

Being in KiwiSaver gives a practical way for parents to talk to their children about money, about budgeting, about investing for the future, about learning to appreciate that saving is a slow process. Appreciating the difference extra contributions make. Appreciating that there is no such thing as a free lunch and so fees are charged. Great news, from 1 January 2019 we’re not going to be deducting fees for members under age 18.

Getting young people into regular savings and investment habits will help with setting them on a path to a secure financial future. You can help with this in your role as a parent, grandparent, older sibling, godparent.

Savings and investments are for many purposes. Saving to spend on something specific like a holiday, a car. Saving for future events such as tertiary study. Saving for the just in case event. Saving for the longer term and that is where KiwiSaver fits in.

KiwiSaver can work well if young people are invested in the right investment fund, and regular contributions are made. Once they reach 18 then there are the other benefits of the Government contributions and once they start work, employer contributions.

Investing in a KiwiSaver scheme also provides younger members with an opportunity to understand how market-linked investments work through the diversification of asset classes (shares, property, fixed interest etc.) and that, while investment returns can go up and down, over time they generally grow.

KiwiSaver is a great option to consider for longer-term saving. Christian KiwiSaver Scheme provides the opportunity to belong to a scheme that cares about how investment returns are made.