We have put together a couple of scenarios based on different life stages. First, we look at how a younger investor may view their KiwiSaver investment, followed by someone who is looking at retiring sometime in the next couple of years.


Scenario 1: I am in my mid-30s and am in a ‘growth’ fund.

At Christian KiwiSaver Scheme we have three funds members can choose from, and you can select one fund or a combination of all three depending on your risk appetite and goals. For example, if retirement is still some years away, you may consider leaning towards a growth fund.

However, this choice may also be affected by your approach to life. If you tend to grow nervous every time the market changes, your attitude towards ‘risk’ might not suit a growth fund. Growth funds can be described as higher risk but with the potential for higher returns.

You should also factor in your own personal circumstances. A lot of people choose to be in a growth fund to maximise the time their investment has to perform before they retire. However if you think you may need to make a first home withdrawal in the next couple of years, it may pay to look at a mix of funds that give you a more conservative investment profile to minimise the impact of any significant market movements in the short term.

It is important to be aware that if you switch funds while the markets are down, you will likely lock in any losses you’ve already seen. What does this mean in simple terms? If the market bounces back, you may not see the benefit from that bounce back to the same extent you would if you had not switched funds.

Prior to COVID-19, a lot of KiwiSaver providers had seen a sustained period of good returns. While you may have seen a drop in returns at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have since seen the market rebound strongly from the lows that were seen. History tells us that markets tend to recover, though they may undergo change and not look the same as they once did.

We recommend that you take a look at the ‘Investor Kickstater’ calculator on sorted.org.nz, which will help you better determine what fund you might want to be in. It will ask a couple of simple questions around what life stage you are in, your income, your debt and your security etc.

Remember that there is no one answer for everyone, but if you are able to understand your risk appetite better, you are more likely to be able to find the right fund to suit you.

Scenario 2: I am nearing retirement and my KiwiSaver is currently split into different funds

A different view would be given for someone who is approaching retirement compared with someone in their mid-30s; however, it’s still important to review your appetite for risk. If you are in a growth fund and you will think you will need the money within the next few years there may be insufficient time for your investment to recover from a market decline.

If you do not need access to your KiwiSaver balance immediately at age 65, and you have a higher appetite towards investment risk, you may want at least some of your money invested in more risky assets classes such as shares.

Note that you can choose to have regular payments from your KiwiSaver account paid to you after age 65 at regular intervals. This means that the money you don’t need access to immediately can continue to benefit from being invested. If this is something you would like to look into, you can contact our team for further information on how this can work for you.

There isn’t one scenario for everyone. Therefore we recommend that you take a look at the ‘Retirement Planning’ tool on sorted.org.nz to work through how much you want to aim to have to live on throughout your retirement years. This will help give you an idea of your projected balance based on your circumstances.

If you are currently approaching the age at which you wish to retire, you may want to seek advice from a financial advisor if you have access to one. Your KiwiSaver balance could be one piece of your retirement equation, and you will want to make sure that all parts align for a happy retirement.

Not already a member of Christian KiwiSaver Scheme? Join other like-minded Kiwi Christians growing their savings ethically today!

Membership of the Christian KiwiSaver Scheme is offered only to:

  • employees of organisations whose primary activities are in our opinion Christian mission or ministry. This includes employees of charitable entities associated with or operating in the Christian Church, or employees of entities which we approve as having a Christian special character; and
  • persons who express a Christian faith and have a commitment to Christian community involvement when applying (and their immediate family members and dependants).

Christian KiwiSaver Scheme is managed and issued by The New Zealand Anglican Church Pension Board (trading as Anglican Financial Care). The Product Disclosure Statement and Fund Updates are available under Documents.