Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Bastardisation of Kiwisaver

The mysterious 'Superpoints' brand was launched at the A1GP in Taupo recently, many a puzzled spectator wondered what the product was. A visit to their website gave little away.

It's seems 'Superpoints' is a new customer loyalty scheme, that will piggyback on Kiwisaver accounts.
Every New Zealand home will receive SuperPoints cards and an information pack in the mail.
SuperPoints is a new type of customer card designed to help all New Zealanders take advantage of earning points from a lifetime of shopping. These points get converted to cash and added to the fund, to help grow your money on top of the $1,000 kick-start from the Government to start your personal super fund for when you retire. Your points never expire. Over time funds will compound and can grow into thousands of dollars for retirement at age 65. The funds are held by Guardian Trust and advised by New Zealand's most expert and well-established organisations.

SuperPoints gives the opportunity to make voluntary contributions into the fund whenever people choose. This is done through technology that will be available in any shop displaying the SuperPoints sign.

The first step to financial freedom is collecting the free $1,000 kickstart, thanks to the combination of the SuperPoints card and KiwiSaver.

This just seems crazy.

Should taxpayer's money in the form of $1000 Kiwisaver 'kick-start' be used to gain market share from FlyBuys and other customer loyalty schemes?

Is it really fair that workers currently in a kiwisaver scheme are forced to save 4% of their income to get the $1,000 bonus, while non-workers will seemingly be able to access the $1,000 through a customer loyalty scheme.

And is this a Labour Party election-year bribe initiative ?

Or maybe there's a misunderstanding on my part about Kiwisaver, which I thought was meant to be a voluntary retirement saving scheme for working New Zealanders with contributions from the employee, the employer and the state, not a (partially) tax-payer funded customer loyalty program designed to get people to buy more crap at the petrol station.

No comments: