In early 2019 we heard Greta Thunberg – a Swedish teenager – who made headlines protesting outside the Swedish Parliament about climate change. She was calling for immediate action to combat it. Her comments and actions touched a nerve among young people globally and set off a tidal wave around the world of young people speaking out and protesting about climate change.
Thunberg has continued to feature in international news regarding climate change. In late September 2019, she spoke at the United Nations Action Summit aimed at tackling climate change. She talked poignantly about how previous generations have ruined her childhood with their responses to climate change. Thunberg even went as far as to say that humans are facing extinction on earth. Here, in New Zealand, secondary school students have taken to the streets in several cities and towns in support of global action for more action against climate change.
Yet, while Greta Thunberg has international name recognition, many people may not have heard about her mother’s actions. Her mother, Malena Ernman, is an opera singer, who has also been politically active regarding climate change. Ernman was offered an opportunity to sing here in New Zealand. However, she turned down that great opportunity because of environmental concerns. Her actions have created a new buzz word – Flyskam – which means flight shame. There is a growing movement globally to not fly because of its negative environmental effects.
As an indication of the sentiment about climate change, in July 2019 a Stuff survey of 15,000 readers found that New Zealanders aged between 10 and 19 rated climate change as more important than any other issue. Those young people in their 20s were also very concerned about climate change. But the level of concern with climate change decreased markedly with increasing age.
Attitudes are changing in New Zealand toward ethical investing, particularly among younger people. In recent national news, there have been examples of companies acting ethically. One such example is Wellington-based company Little Yellow Bird. Little Yellow Bird supplies over 200 organisations throughout New Zealand, Australia and the USA with their uniform needs. They act ethically and sustainably throughout the entire manufacturing chain. In addition to ensuring that their employees are paid fairly, their customers are provided with complete transparency on the company’s manufacturing process. The company is not just concerned with being a fair and transparent company; it also demonstrates a concern for the environment with respect to the plants they use. The company measures the amount of water used in the manufacturing process; it, also, does not use any plastic to pack their finished product – the uniforms.
If you would like to check for yourself how Christian KiwiSaver Scheme investments mitigate the impact of climate change or to see – as ethical investors – what we do invest in, visit other pages on our website or call us on (0508) 738 473
As parents, you understand how important literacy is for children. You sit for hours reading to your children. This can be the beginning of a life-long love of reading.
Learning how to think about money and manage it wisely is an equally important life skill.
It is important to patiently help your children learn many ways to control money. Most children will learn by doing.
Having your children help while you shop for groceries can help them learn the value of money versus the costs of items. Letting them use a calculator to add up the total spend as you work your way around the supermarket can keep them occupied and learning at the same time. For older children, you can set a meal budget and have them work out which items they could buy to make the meal which would remain in the budget.
In the end, you hope that your children will grow into financially responsible adults. The rewards are life-altering: living within their means, free from the anxieties of debt, and secure in their future.
Joining your children up to KiwiSaver is the perfect way to start them on their savings journey. As a Christian KiwiSaver Scheme member both you and your children can log-in and see their money grow over time. With time on their side, starting the savings habit young will return dividends in the future.
Members of the Christian KiwiSaver Scheme are not charged any fees while they are under age 18.
Earlier this month we tweaked the website. We believe the changes will make it easier for visitors to the website to find information and to navigate around. In a nutshell, we split up a large amount of information that had been under one menu heading into two separate pages.
- “Ethical Investing” now contains the investment-related information, i.e. our ethical approach and investment style, what being a member of Christian KiwiSaver Scheme can offer you, your investment choices, investment returns and fees.
- “KiwiSaver” now contains information mainly about KiwiSaver, how to join, contributions, withdrawals, your options at 65, children and Christian employers.
- All forms, documents, guides and reports can be found under “Documents”.
We welcome suggestions from you on how we can improve your experience on our website. Phone us on 0508 738 473 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Many of us have grown up with the stories of Winnie the Pooh. If we didn’t, some of us may have seen the recent movie called ‘Christopher Robin’ which re-introduces Winnie the Pooh to a wider audience.
Many of us would be surprised to know that Winnie the Pooh owned a gun in 100 Acre Wood. We would be puzzled as to why they would own guns in that wood as they don’t hunt, and they don’t have target practice. Yet, in one account of Winnie the Pooh’s exploits, there was a knock on the door of his tree. Winnie answered the door … with a gun in his hands.
When A. A. Milne started writing about Winnie the Pooh in 1926, it was a different time with a different attitude toward guns. Like climate change, guns and munitions have increasingly become something that people are concerned about.
After the attacks on the Al-Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch earlier this year there has been a growing concern about whether New Zealand KiwiSaver providers have invested funds in arms or munitions. There are some providers that have invested in this industry. But the Christian KiwiSaver Scheme is not one of those; it is among a small number of KiwiSaver providers that provide ethical investments and excludes munitions.
In a recent Colmar Brunton survey, over 70 percent of respondents answered that it was important for them that their KiwiSaver money was not invested in weapons. The survey found that a lot of members didn’t know if their funds were invested in munitions at all.
In New Zealand, there are over 2.7 million people signed up with KiwiSaver. The New Zealand Herald quoted a 2018 Consumer survey finding that around seven out of 10 people wanted their money invested ethically. But only around 8,600 people had signed up to specifically targeted ethical investment funds. While some people may hesitate in investing in ethical funds as they may feel these funds give lower returns, some of the best companies in the current market are those that are the most sustainable companies – they look after the environment and their employees. So thinking seems to be changing among investors.
Remember you can log into your account and check which fund your money is invested in. Or, if you prefer, give us a call on (0508) 738 473.
Winnie the Pooh image from www.disneyclips.com
There are so many interpretations of what ethical investing is. Now there’s a new way to check out whether a KiwiSaver scheme, and the investment funds it offers, is ethically invested.
It’s Mindful Money and we support them. We like the transparency around where funds are invested. They categorise the investment funds into sectors that research has shown are the main areas of concern for New Zealanders. They advise “We’ve done the research and selected the KiwiSaver funds that are serious about investing responsibly.” This research included Mindful Money analysing all 260 KiwiSaver funds.
Christian KiwiSaver Scheme’s three investment funds (Income, Balanced and Growth) are among the 23 investment funds that meet Mindful Money’s criteria to be listed on their site. We are also the only KiwiSaver scheme that invests under universally accepted Christian values in addition to applying an ethical investment policy.
Some of you are asking what’s a PIR and what’s the fuss about them? Your PIR is your Prescribed Investor Rate and this is the tax rate that applies to investment earnings in certain types of investments including KiwiSaver. Having the wrong PIR will cost you money.
There are three PIR rates: 10.5%, 17.5% and 28%. As a general rule if your taxable income is above $48,000 then your PIR should be 28%.
It’s important to have the correct PIR. If your PIR is too high then you will be paying more tax than you need to. We understand that Inland Revenue hasn’t been giving refunds in these situations. If your PIR is too low then you could be facing a tax bill.
Has Inland Revenue been in touch with you about your PIR? Earlier this year Inland Revenue identified 450,000 New Zealanders who they determined were on the wrong PIR. Inland Revenue has started contacting those who appeared to have a PIR that was too low and advising how much tax they owe.
Inland Revenue recently replaced their computer system and that means it can now check your PIR against your personal taxable income. Your PIR is based on your income. If your income changes (up or down), this might mean a change in your PIR. Your residency status can also affect your PIR.
A guide to calculating your PIR is available to help you.
You can log into your Christian KiwiSaver Scheme account and check your PIR. If you need to change your PIR then send us an email. If you’re not sure then you can phone us on 0508 738 473.