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NZers more realistic about retirement

07:00 AEST Sat May 19 2012
AAP
New Zealanders are supporting the KiwiSaver scheme in greater numbers but are now less confident about their comfort in retirement
New Zealanders are supporting the KiwiSaver scheme in greater numbers but are now less confident about their comfort in retirement

More New Zealanders are investing in retirement scheme KiwiSaver but many believe their standard of living in retirement will go down, a survey has found.

The Mercer KiwiSaver Sentiment Index Study of more than 1000 working New Zealanders found 61 per cent of New Zealanders were in a KiwiSaver scheme, compared to 44 per cent in 2009.

However, 52 per cent of those surveyed felt they would be less comfortable in retirement than they are now, compared to 42 per cent in 2007.

"The 2012 results show Kiwis have gained a more realistic understanding about how much they need to save for retirement," Mercer New Zealand head Martin Lewington said.

"Members continue to demonstrate a desire to retire at 57, but now expect this will be pushed back to 65, or even 70 years to ensure they can live a comfortable lifestyle."

New Zealanders were still uncertain about the scheme, however, due to global market volatility and uncertainty about future government support, but most felt it would be beneficial.

"There has also been a reduction in the anticipated reliance on government funding and aged pension, as more individuals realise that a generous NZ Super scheme won't be a viable option for our ageing population," Lewington said.

Mercer is among the country's Kiwisaver providers.