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Why does GMI not participate in the Morningstar surveys?

The Answer Room
31 January 2013

Currently, there are no standards in place for how KiwiSaver providers calculate and report their investment returns. What this means is that the returns figures published by one KiwiSaver provider may represent something completely different to those produced by another.

For example, KiwiSaver providers aren’t required to deduct tax before they report their returns for Morningstar’s KiwiSaver Performance Survey, and some providers don’t remove all the fees from their final figures. This makes it nearly impossible to accurately – and fairly – compare KiwiSaver returns using those tables.

Gareth Morgan KiwiSaver Limited reports its returns according to Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS). The returns figures we produce have had all fees and taxes removed, with assets valued at market prices.

No other KiwiSaver provider in the country follows these rigorous reporting standards. So the reason we choose not to participate in Morningstar’s KiwiSaver surveys is because comparing our returns figures with those of other providers is a bit like measuring the height of someone wearing high heels against someone with bare feet; take away the shoes and you have a different result - and a more accurate comparison.

How does GMI rank in these listings?

This lack of like-for-like information means it really is hard to say where we would rank within these tables. Instead you can track our returns against the relevant GIPS benchmarks. A benchmark is a standard against which the performance of your investments can be measured. This information is available at any time on our website at www.gmk.co.nz/returns and is updated every month.

We do occasionally make an exception. In October 2012, to mark the fifth anniversary of KiwiSaver, we published our five-year investment returns before tax and after all fees to help investors compare our performance against the providers listed in Morningstar’s five-year returns report. Although that made our data closely comparable to what other providers report, remember some providers report returns after most fees, not all. See our five-year returns.

The Government has recognised the importance of comparable returns information and, from June 2013*, all KiwiSaver providers will have to produce regular reports showing returns calculated according to the same criteria. *The first reports for this are due to be published in October 2013.

While this won’t be the same as the standards set by GIPS, it should enable a more robust and comprehensive comparison of investment returns across KiwiSaver schemes than you can find in the current Morningstar tables. Until that point, when we believe fair and accurate comparisons can be made, we will continue to stay out of the Morningstar tables.

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