New research reveals that 69% of women aren’t financially prepared for retirement

2 min read
December 5, 2023

The Financial Services Council (FSC) has released its latest Money & You research showing that 69% of women do not feel financially prepared for retirement.

Richard Klipin, Chief Executive Officer, FSC said, “The reality is that an estimated 2.3 million or 56% of New Zealanders aged 18 or over aren’t financially prepared for retirement, and the majority are women.

“Investing now means having financial security, which is critical for a dignified retirement, but the majority of Kiwis are on auto-pilot when it comes to planning for the future,” continued Klipin.

The report reveals that 42% of New Zealanders are contributing the minimum 3% and the two-thirds of employers (64%) are matching that, meaning many won’t have created sufficient KiwiSaver funds for even a ‘no frills’ retirement.

Klipin said, “Although some will be prepared and have got advice from their provider or financial adviser, many just don’t know what they might need.” 

The FSC’s latest Money & You research shows that there is a general ‘Perception Gap’ that is blindsiding Kiwis financial management ability when planning for short-term and longer-term needs.

 “It’s a balancing act that is harder in today’s high interest environment. Kiwis are having to manage on less day-to-day and make trade-offs between living today and saving up for a comfortable tomorrow. 

“Working out where the trade-offs are means there are a bunch of pretty tricky decisions to be made, and we can be overconfident in our ability to make them”, said Klipin.

The Perception Gap is created when there is a mismatch between confidence in making financial decisions and a real understanding of financial concepts, especially when it comes to more complex decisions around managing risk, investment and retirement.

The research shows that there is a 20% gap between the number of Kiwis that perceive financial confidence (82%) and those that have a real understanding of the four financial concepts tested (62%).

 perception gap

Fig 1: Money & You: The Perception Gap November 2023.

“Finances can get complicated, so whether your concern is short-term cost of living or long-term investment and retirement planning, talk with whānau, your provider or an adviser and close your Perception Gap – it will help improve your financial confidence and wellbeing,” concluded Klipin.


Top five tips to closing your perception gap


  1. Balance short-term day-to-day needs with a longer-term plan, you’ll be prepared and know where you are headed.
  2. Keep a track on your finances and set a savings goal for your desired retirement lifestyle.
  3. Check your KiwiSaver settings and make sure you are in the right type of fund to help build your retirement pot.
  4. Find out how much you and your employer are contributing to your KiwiSaver and see if you can afford to sacrifice a little more today for your future retirement.
  5. Seek advice and get help and support now to close your perception gap, don’t wait until it’s too late.

For media enquiries:

New Zealand:

Financial Services Council
09 8021532 or