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By serving its mandate, the Fund adds to Crown wealth, improves the ability of future governments to pay for superannuation and reduces the tax burden of the cost of superannuation on future generations of New Zealanders.

Our purpose is:

Kia toitū te haumi hei hua mā ngā tāngata katoa o Aotearoa
Sustainable investment delivering strong returns for all New Zealanders

Watch a short animated video explaining our purpose.


Hi, I’m Joe and I just turned eight.

I love playing with my Grandpa. Grandpa always has time to play with me.

He says that’s because he is retired and gets his ‘super’ or pension payments from the Government.

Mum says that the taxes she and dad pay go towards paying for Grandpa’s pension, and when they retire the Government will give them a pension too.

But by the time my parents and I retire, there will be a lot fewer working people for every person in retirement.

With fewer working people to pay taxes, the Government may need to increase taxes by a lot, to continue to make pension payments to all retired New Zealanders.

That’s where the NZ Super Fund comes in. By investing wisely today, the Fund is building a nest egg to help make pension payments more affordable for the Government and for future taxpayers like me and my friends.

Having this nest egg will help ensure we can retire and get a pension just like Grandpa does today.

New Zealand Super Fund. Investing today to help meet tomorrow’s retirement needs.


The challenge

All New Zealanders aged 65 and over receive New Zealand Superannuation payments (also known as the pension, National Super or NZ Super). These payments are paid for by today’s taxpayers. Over the next few decades, however, the New Zealand population will age significantly.

Statistics New Zealand predicts that during the 2020s almost a quarter of a million more New Zealanders will reach 65 years and over. By the late 2020s they estimate this age group will be 19% of New Zealand's total population.

In the following ten years they foresee the trend will continue, with a further 266,000 people projected to reach the 65+ age group by the late 2030s. They anticipate that this age group will be 22% of New Zealand's total population at that time.

By the late 2050s, they predict one in every four New Zealanders will be 65 years or older.

See the national population projections

This means in the future New Zealand will have:

  • more people of retirement age, as a proportion of the population, than ever before; and
  • fewer 'working-age' people to pay tax to fund the greater cost of retirement income.

These projections have significant implications for the ability of future Governments to fund not just a universal superannuation benefit, but other vital areas such as health, welfare, education and law enforcement.


In response to the challenge of New Zealand's ageing population, the NZ Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001 established:

  • the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, a pool of assets on the Crown’s balance sheet; and
  • the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation, a Crown entity charged with managing the Fund.

The Government uses the Fund to save now in order to help pay for the future cost of providing universal superannuation. In this way the Fund helps smooth the cost of superannuation between today's taxpayers and future generations.

The Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation is the Crown entity charged with managing and administering the Fund. It operates by investing initial Government contributions – and returns generated from these investments – in New Zealand and internationally, in order to grow the size of the Fund over the long term.

NZ Super Fund Performance Since Inception


The above graph shows the growth in the size of the Fund since investing began in 2003. It illustrates the impact of the Global Financial Crisis in 2008/09 and the COVID-19 crisis in 2019/20, and the subsequent recovery in the value of the Fund. Between 2009 and 2017 Government contributions to the Fund were suspended. As at 30 June 2023, the Government had contributed a total of NZ$24.94 billion to the Fund.

Government contributions

The Government makes contributions to the NZ Super Fund in line with Treasury's Contribution Rate Model. The model is used to calculate Government contributions and make projections of future Fund size.

Treasury's Contribution Rate Model for the NZ Super Fund

Golden Years – Understanding the New Zealand Superannuation Fund

Government contributions to the Super Fund were suspended between 2009 and 2017.

The table below summarises the capital contributions and Fund returns, both with and without the capital contributions suspension. The methodology has been agreed with Treasury, uses publicly available Treasury material for all of the necessary data, including capital contributions, fund returns, and government debt instrument yields. It assumes that the same investment choices would have been made had contributions not been stopped; and that opportunities to add value would have been perfectly scalable.

As at 30 June 2022 Fund Size (net of NZ tax) Performance relative to Treasury Bills (since inception) Performance relative to Treasury Bills + 2.8% (since inception)

A - With capital contributions since July 2009 as per s43*

$84.3 billion

$52.3 billion

$38.1 billion

B - Actual Fund Performance (i.e., without capital contributions since July 2009)

$55.7 billion

$34.4 billion

$23.9 billion

Difference (A - B)

$28.6 billion

$17.9 billion

$14.2 billion

 * Assuming additional contributions would have earned the same return as the actual Fund did over this period.


From around 2035/36, the Government will begin to withdraw money from the Fund to help pay for New Zealand Superannuation. The Fund will continue to grow until it peaks in size in 2070s.

The Fund is, therefore, a long-term, growth-oriented, global investment fund.


Under the NZ Superannuation and Retirement Income Act, the Guardians must invest the NZ Super Fund on a prudent, commercial basis and, in doing so, must manage and administer the Fund in a manner consistent with:

  • best-practice portfolio management;
  • maximising return without undue risk to the Fund as a whole; and
  • avoiding prejudice to New Zealand’s reputation as a responsible member of the world community.

In 2019 the Government entrusted the Guardians with an additional mandate. The Mandate, known as Elevate NZ Venture Fund was launched in March 2020 and was established under the Venture Capital Fund Act 2019. The Elevate NZ Venture Fund exists to support the development of New Zealand’s early-stage growth companies and venture capital ecosystem.


While our legislative mandate gives us considerable freedom to invest the Fund how we see fit, there are some important constraints and restrictions in place.

Legislative constraints

  • The Guardians are prevented from controlling any other entity (other than Crown entity subsidiaries or Fund investment vehicles). For example, we cannot hold a controlling interest in an operating company;
  • Except with the permission of the Minister of Finance, the Guardians are not permitted to borrow, mortgage the Fund's property, or to place a liability or contingent liability on the Fund or the Crown;
  • The Minister of Finance can give directions to the Guardians regarding the Government’s expectations as to the Fund’s performance, including the Government’s expectations as to risk and return. The Minister cannot give a direction that is inconsistent with the Guardians’ duty to invest the Fund on a prudent, commercial basis, and cannot direct the Guardians in regard to any other matter.

Board-imposed controls

Our Board-approved investment policies place further controls over the Guardians' management of the Fund. These controls include restrictions on:

  • single asset concentration (e.g. one company)
  • concentration with one investment manager
  • actual portfolio risk.