Guardians Welcome Conclusions of Second Independent Review
POSTED ON: 11 November 2009
The Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation (Guardians) today welcomed the conclusions from the Independent Review of their management and administration of the New Zealand Superannuation Fund (Fund). The review was conducted by global investment experts Mercer, appointed to the task by the Minister of Finance. The Minister also set the terms of reference for the review.
An independent review of how effectively and efficiently the Guardians are performing their function is carried out every five years. The first was completed in 2004, by Jonathan Eriksen, and is available on our website. The Mercer review is also available on our website.
The Guardians are considering the 200-plus-page review and will publish a detailed response in due course. However the Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer of the Guardians, Mr David May and Mr Adrian Orr, said today that they regarded the review as overall being supportive of the Guardians' governance and management of the Fund.
"It was useful to talk through various investment issues with independent experts such as Mercer and to receive their encouragement," Mr Orr said. "We are pleased that the vast majority of the subsequent recommendations in the review are endorsements of actions we are already undertaking - some of which are now complete.
"The review has alluded to the poor short-term performance we discussed frankly in our Annual Report, but has accepted that this must be seen in the context of our long-term investment horizon," Mr May said. "The review is supportive of the Fund's focus on growth assets and evolving approach to asset management.
Mr Orr continued: "While five years of investing is a useful period for assessing performance against the Guardians' and the Fund's objectives and statutory duties, the review appropriately recognises that the Fund is at an early stage of its life, roughly one quarter into the period before its first capital outgoing commitments in 2031.
About the New Zealand Superannuation Fund:
The New Zealand Superannuation Fund, which commenced investing at the end of September 2003, is designed to reduce the tax burden on future New Zealand taxpayers of the cost of New Zealand superannuation. An ageing population means the cost of providing New Zealand superannuation is expected to double over the next 50 years. To prepare for this, the Government has made contributions to the Fund while the cost of superannuation is relatively low. The Fund will invest the money on a prudent but commercial basis and the Government will begin to make withdrawals from 2031, when the cost of superannuation has increased. As at 30 September 2009 the value of the Fund was NZ$15.2 billion. For more information visit www.nzsuperfund.co.nz