Woman's KiwiSaver experience 'a complete nightmare'

Last updated 01:15 29/01/2008

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More than 30 people have reported problems with the processing of KiwiSaver contributions.

Yesterday, The Press received a flood of emails after asking readers to tell of their experiences with the Government savings scheme.

More than 30 complaints were received from people who had problems such as delayed payments, money being invested with a provider they had not chosen and delays in their money being refunded when they pulled out of the scheme.

The Press reported yesterday on a Christchurch man who had had $800 deducted from his wages since July without it being forwarded to his nominated provider. A spokesman for Finance Minister Michael Cullen said the complaints were "teething problems".

Angela Baxter, 35, said despite having $700 deducted from her wages since she signed up for KiwiSaver last July, her payments to her provider had not begun until last month.

"I only contacted them last Thursday to check my details and see which plan I was put with. I contacted AMP, my chosen provider, and they had no records of me," she said.

"Then I rang the IRD (Inland Revenue Department) and they told me nothing had been done with my money and as far as they could see the account hadn't started until December."

She was thinking about pulling out of the scheme and "forgetting about it".

"If this is what is happening at the beginning, who knows what is going to happen down the track?" she said.

Susan Humphries, 31, of Wellington, described her experience with the scheme as "a complete nightmare".

She had requested not to become part of KiwiSaver when she began her job as a Mac operator in October. However, contributions had been deducted from her wages.

"I have rung them nearly every week and asked, `What's going on?' Every time I have got a different answer," she said.

She had been told she would get the $200 she paid refunded shortly after Christmas, but had received nothing.

"I think it is really unfair that you have no say. The money is taken out of your account when you don't want it, and then to get it back takes four months. It's just ridiculous," she said.

Not all of the responses were negative, with one person describing the scheme as "all good".

A spokesman for Cullen said: "When there's a major policy like KiwiSaver, we would expect there would be some teething problems.

"To date, IRD are moving quickly to respond to these problems as they arise and are informing ministers of progress as they go."

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National Party finance spokesman Bill English said: "It is important that (the Government) build confidence in it, and this will put people off just as much as low returns will."

 

- The Press

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