Increase in KiwiSaver complaints

KiwiSaver complaints are on the rise, with the Banking Ombudsman Scheme dealing with 51 per cent more cases relating to the scheme than last year.

And the scheme expects complaints to continue increasing as the value of KiwiSaver savings grows and participant banks take more of the market.

There were 59 KiwiSaver complaints to the Banking Ombudsman dispute resolution scheme in the year to March 31, compared with 39 for the same period the previous financial year.

Banking Ombudsman Deborah Battell said she had issued a new guide on KiwiSaver so people knew how to make a complaint.

The guide covers who to complain to, the main areas of complaint, and how the Banking Ombudsman Scheme approached compensation.

"The majority of complaints are about the inability to withdraw funds, especially on hardship grounds," she said.

"The quick guide sets out the circumstances in which funds can be accessed - financial hardship, purchasing a first home, serious illness, or permanent move overseas.

"The guide also deals with how we compensate customers where we consider inadequate information about KiwiSaver has been provided."

Some complainants were not aware the dispute resolution scheme they complained to would be different depending on whether the issue was about a decision made by the scheme provider or its trustee, she said.

The quick guide would be continually updated as it was likely the types of complaint would evolve over time as the investment became more valuable.

Fairfax Media