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Superannuation and KiwiSaver

The laws governing KiwiSaver, pensions, and superannuation are subject to constant change. Kensington Swan works at the cutting edge of these reforms and boasts some of New Zealand’s leading experts in superannuation law.

Experienced superannuation specialists

Our long-established superannuation practice has advised on some of New Zealand’s largest superannuation, pension, and KiwiSaver offerings. The depth of our experience means that, whatever superannuation problem you may encounter, we will have dealt with it before. We not only understand the current law, we know what’s coming, and can help you respond to these changes effectively and efficiently.

Industry leaders

Our managed funds specialists are recognised industry leaders. David Ireland is a former chair and councillor of Workplace Savings NZ and has led its trustee training programme for over a decade. Catriona Grover is chair of the Women in Super Policy Committee and a member of the Financial Services Council Legislation Committee.

We are experienced speakers on superannuation and KiwiSaver issues, and regularly assist our clients with their involvement in the regulatory reform process. Our close engagement with market participants and regulators means we have an in-depth understanding of the issues affecting the operation of superannuation and KiwiSaver schemes.

Scheme establishment

Our extensive experience in the establishment and administration of superannuation and KiwiSaver schemes includes multi-employer and industry-based schemes. The Dairy Industry Superannuation Scheme and the Waterfront Industry Superannuation Fund are two examples.

Compliance made easy

We advise on all aspects of superannuation and KiwiSaver regulatory compliance. Our advice covers trustee duties, as well as the extensive disclosure obligations to which trustees and scheme providers are subject.

Collaborative service

Superannuation does not exist in isolation. Merger and acquisition activity, changes in terms of employment, remuneration structures, and tax laws can all affect an employer’s superannuation and pension plan arrangements.
Our team works closely with other specialists in the firm, including our employment law, tax, and corporate advisory experts. We tap into this market-leading expertise to round out the specialist superannuation support we are able to provide.

Recent experience

Pension plan restructure

We advised the trustee of a pension plan provided for employees of a large multi-national corporation when a significant portion of its New Zealand business was sold. This involved a transfer of a significant group of pension plan members across to a new scheme.

The project involved a number of advisors, with the pension plan restructure being part of a major deal. Our support needed to coordinate with and complement that of other providers in other streams. Our collaborative approach helped achieve a successful outcome for all concerned.

We also acted on the pension plan contribution arrangements to address the risk of KiwiSaver members double-dipping on employer contributions. We devised an effective scheme amendment that enabled the pension plan to continue operating equitably.

Death and disability claims

Some of the more challenging issues trustees of superannuation schemes need to deal with arise in the context of member deaths (’Who do we pay the benefit to?’) and disability (’Has the member satisfied the deed definition?’).

We regularly help the trustees of a number of workplace superannuation schemes to manage these issues, applying our extensive trust law expertise to ensure robust processes are followed.

NZ Funds KiwiSaver Scheme

We acted for Perpetual Trust in the establishment of one of the latest KiwiSaver schemes to be launched on the market, the NZ Funds KiwiSaver Scheme. We also advised on its restructure as a retail KiwiSaver scheme which was the first such restructure carried out.

Closure of a small industry scheme

We acted for a small industry-based superannuation scheme that no longer served a commercial purpose. The ability to restructure the scheme was complicated by the presence of a group of members with whom the trustees had lost contact over the years and who were unable to be traced.

We assisted the trustees and the sponsoring organisation devise an effective strategy to enable the scheme to be wound up in a legally compliant and efficient manner.

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