FAQ’s on the impact of COVID-19

Posted by Carl Pheasant in Kiwisaver, Retirement, Savings on

The most important thing is safety and wellbeing

Generate continues to monitor Government and World Health Organisation guidelines. We have implemented several measures in order to increase the safety and wellbeing of our people, our customers, and our communities.

We have already implemented new working arrangements which means business critical teams will be split, and other teams will alternate working from home and our offices.

In addition, as a precautionary measure, we are restricting visitors to our offices and are only holding in person meetings where necessary i.e. when clients are unable to use phone or videoconferencing. Where possible, we are scheduling meetings by videoconference or phone to maintain social distancing.

All of these measures are taken with the aim of protecting everyone’s wellbeing while continuing to deliver the highest level of service to our clients and customers.

We appreciate your patience at this unprecedented time.

Business continuity and service to you during COVID-19

Generate and our key service partners (Supervisor, Custodian and Administrator) have robust business continuity plans in place. In preparation for COVID-19 we have undertaken extensive testing with many staff already working from home.

How to stay in touch:

There is no change to our normal channels for communications.

Email us at: info@generatekiwisaver.co.nz

Phone us on: 0800 855 322

I have not seen my KiwiSaver balance drop in value like this before, what is happening?

As you know your KiwiSaver is an investment that can go up and down in value, it is not a bank account. You will own a range of investments in your KiwiSaver account that will include low risk ‘income’ assets like cash and fixed interest and higher risk ‘growth’ assets like property, infrastructure and equities. It is normal that the value of these assets goes up and down.

The Coronavirus has caused nearly all economies in the world to slow down abruptly as we all try to stop the spread of the virus. This has caused the value of most growth assets to go down in price to reflect this slowdown.

Should I be worried about these moves?

Material falls in the market can be worrying but they are a normal part of investing. However, at times like these it’s important to go back to underlying principles and to especially focus on investing for the long term. That’s not a few months or even a few years. It’s longer, most people will not take out their investment until they are over the age of 65. It is important to keep in mind that volatility is the price we pay for long term outperformance by equities.

Should I be thinking of switching to a conservative fund?

Conservative funds do have lower volatility than growth funds. This means that they will not go down as much in times of distress but also that they will not go up as much when markets are strong. However, historically growth funds have delivered higher returns than conservative funds and we certainly expect that to be the case in the long term.

There is a real risk that a shift to a conservative fund occurs after the market has already dropped and investors do not move back to a growth fund before the market recovers. In doing this investors will lock-in the larger drop in value from a growth fund and have a reduced recovery by being in a conservative fund. It is important to remember your fund type should reflect your goals and investment timeframes.

If your goals or timeframes remain the same, you shouldn’t need to do anything.

If you would like to switch your fund than you can do this by logging into your online account and using the ‘Adjust Fund’ button under the ‘My investments’ page.

How long will this market volatility last?

Unfortunately, no one knows how long the Coronavirus pandemic will last or how long it will take for the economy to recover.

In the meantime, you can be assured that our collective experience and investment in the funds alongside you places us well to navigate this turbulence on your behalf.

If you need more information please email us at info@generatekiwisaver.co.nz or call us on 0800 855 322.