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AMP's KiwiSaver results show not all balanced funds are the same

AMP's KiwiSaver results show not all balanced funds are the same

The latest data released for KiwiSaver performance as at September 30, 2012 is from AMP.

AMP is one of the six designated default fund providers and recently took over fellow default provider AXA in New Zealand. AMP offers members the choice of 11 funds including three balanced funds managed by their competitors, OnePath, Tower and Tyndall.

AMP in its own right has approximately $1.426 bln under management making it the 4th largest provider. If AXA's current funds under management (FUM) are included AMP's FUM jumps to approximately $2.3 bln making it the third largest provider.

The manager offers a Lifesteps programme allowing members to invest in a strategy based on their age rather than their risk profile.

This strategy presumes members want less risk from their investment portfolio over time. Once the member celebrates a milestone birthday their funds are automatically transferred to the next more conservative strategy. This process continues until the members funds reach the Conservative Fund where they are held until they are eligible to access their savings.

The Lifesteps concept (also known as lifestage or target date portfolios) is gaining acceptance internationally. It is an excellent strategy for those members who want a "set and forget" approach. Members who want to take a more hands on approach to their KiwiSaver savings would not choose this strategy.

Looking at the last 5-years results shows AMP's Cash Fund, Conservative Lifestages Fund and AMP OnePath Balanced Fund have performed well compared to their respective peers. 

Interestingly the Balanced Fund externally managed by OnePath has out-performed the AMP Lifestages Balanced Fund across all time periods we measure.

Compared to the other externally managed Balanced Funds offered by AMP (Tower and Tyndall) the results are mixed. There are several reasons why an externally managed balanced funds may have beaten AMP's in-house one including; the funds have different asset allocations, they use different fund managers to execute their strategy, have different approaches to hedging currency and the impact of fees and expenses.

In terms of star performers over the past 12-months has been the Lifestages Aggressive Fund (15.7% per annum). This fund ranks number one in its peer group and has returned approximately 3% above the peer group average.

Below is a table of the longer term performance of the AMP funds. The return data is before tax and after fees and is as published by the managers. (No adjustments have been made to take into account those additional fees which scheme providers may charge and which are not included in calculating the fund performance. We do make such adjustments, but they will not be included until the full benchmarking is published.)


AMP KiwiSaver Scheme
(30 Sept 2012)

1 year
5 year

Since inception (1 Oct 2007) (p.a.)

Default Fund 6.5% 4.1% 4.1%
Cash Fund 3.3% 5.0% 5.0%
Conservative Fund 8.3% 5.6% 5.6%
Moderate Fund 9.7% 3.8% 3.8%
Moderate Balanced Fund 11.3% 2.6% 2.6%
Balanced Fund 12.6% 2.1% 2.1%
AMP OnePath Balanced Fund 14.4% 3.7% 3.7%
AMP Tower Balanced Fund 12.6% 3.2% 3.2%
AMP Tyndall Balanced Fund 12.4% 1.7% 1.7%
Growth Fund 14.3% -0.2% -0.2%
Aggressive Fund 15.7% -1.5% -1.5%














More detailed performance reporting can be found here ».

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