Telling the stories of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, NZ and Polynesia

Synod backs Christian KiwiSaver

Aotearoa New Zealand’s only Christian KiwiSaver Scheme received strong backing at Te Hīnota Whānui 2024 last week, with a resolution that encourages all Anglican insitutions to opt into Christian KiwiSaver Scheme as their employer-chosen KiwiSaver scheme.
• Find out more about employer-chosen Christian KiwSaver Scheme

Taonga News  |  31 May 2024  |

General Synod 2024 has strongly backed Te Maru Mihinare - Anglican Financial Care’s Christian KiwiSaver Scheme.

Last week Te Hīnota passed a motion to promote the Christian KiwiSaver Scheme as the preferred employer-chosen retirement savings scheme for all employees of Anglican institutions.

Motion 5, which passed last week calls on all Anglican churches, church organisations, including kura, colleges and social service agencies to opt into the Christian KiwiSaver Scheme as their employer scheme of choice for all staff.

Anglican Financial Care manages the Christian KiwiSaver Scheme which gathers in Christians from across several Aotearoa New Zealand denominations, including Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, Catholic as well as Anglican and a number of independent churches. The Christian KiwiSaver Scheme is one of the bigger restricted KiwiSaver schemes, which gives it a larger scale bringing real benefits. 

Te Maru Mihinare CEO Margaret Bearsley says that Anglican institutions entering Christian KiwiSaver as the employer-chosen default scheme will help grow the capacity of the scheme to scale up ever further. This will enable more services for scheme members and lead toward lower fees, but at the same time, the Christian KiwiSaver Scheme builds up the special character of institutions that opt in.

“The Christian KiwiSaver Scheme is the only KiwiSaver scheme founded on Christian values and Christian ethical frameworks, and that makes a big difference to everything we do.”

Margaret Bearsley says the Christian foundations of the Christian KiwiSaver Scheme inform not only its investments, but also its operations, “Our staff really care about our beneficiaries,” and these two things work in tandem with its strict adherence to commercial decisions that provide the best possible return.

When it comes to ethical screening for investment, Te Maru Mihinare takes a dual approach of positive and negative screening. Negative screening means that the Christian KiwiSaver Scheme avoids any companies based on traditional “sin stocks,” such as companies that manufacture pornography, tobacco products, weapons or weapon systems components, liquor, or death row poisons and those that undertake coal or tar sand extraction.

Positive screening for best practice includes selecting companies with best or better corporate ethics, especially on issues such as animal welfare, environmental impact and commitment to transitions to renewable energy.

Seconder of the motion on Christian KiwiSaver Rev Canon Isaac Beach explained that as a commercially-focused investment orgainsation, Te Maru Mihinare and its Christian KiwiSaver Scheme perform well, with investment returns for beneficiaries in the mid-range of returns amongst its competitors.

Isaac Beach also raised an exciting new project that is currently in planning through Anglican Financial Care, which offers a new opportunity to support Māori beneficiaries of the scheme with a mortgage loans plan for Papakainga housing. Once established, Anglican Financial Care will become Aotearoa New Zealand’s second provider of mortgages for new housing builds, renovations and relocations on Māori land.

The motion that strongly encourages Anglican institutions in Aotearoa New Zealand to opt for the Christian KiwiSaver Scheme as their employer chosen scheme was passed unanimously by Synod.

• Find out more about employer-chosen Christian KiwSaver Scheme

Note: The Christian Kiwsaver Scheme is a retirement savings product of Anglican Financial Care, whose primary business is its clergy Pension Fund which is available to support retirement savings for all Anglican clergy in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia. However KiwiSaver is not available to those outside Aotearoa New Zealand. All clergy in Aotearoa New Zealand can also join the Christian Kiwisaver Scheme, including those already in the Anglican Church’s Pension Fund.