What We Do
The Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC) aims to help New Zealanders to retire with confidence. Retiring with confidence means New Zealanders feel secure that they’ll have resources to live and the know-how to make ends meet.
We focus on three areas; Retirement Policies, Retirement Villages and Financial Capability. As part of our role we advise Government on the policies that will enhance retirement outcomes for New Zealanders. We also help support individuals to better prepare for retirement, and we contribute to better understanding of what retirement means in the 21st century. Times are changing.
We have three key workstreams
We advocate for a system that serves the diversity of New Zealanders by conducting a three-yearly review for government, uncovering emerging issues and calling for action, promoting debate on retirement challenges, and driving shared evidence to measure the impact of policy changes.
We oversee a fair regulatory framework by flagging issues and reporting on sector trends, supporting dispute resolution and tackling issues through sector collaboration.
We promote the importance of long term thinking by leading the Strategy for Financial Capability, supplying trusted, independent information through Sorted, and equipping stakeholders with insights that add value.
New Zealanders retire with confidence
To help improve retirement outcomes for New Zealanders, with trusted information, informed advocacy and effective collaboration
Our focus is on the retirees of today and tomorrow
How a country treats its older citizens is a mark of its own maturity. How a country equips its people to approach their later years with positivity and confidence is another marker. And how a country assists its people in hardship yet another.
These are the types of issues that impact on the work of the Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC), an Autonomous Crown Entity. The CFFC is the government’s conduit for discussion and debate on the complex and sometimes divisive approaches to retirement. We bring focus, connections, and in-depth knowledge.
Our work supporting New Zealanders’ financial capability began when we first launched the Sorted website 19 years ago. Later, the introduction of KiwiSaver became a gamechanger and easy online accessibility changed the world. The COVID19 pandemic is a stark reminder that economic shocks can be rapid and far-reaching. In times of great change, people want and need trustworthy financial advice more than ever, and Sorted continues to be a highly trusted brand and a valued source of independent information.
Retirement is changing too. We are living longer, often working well past age 65, and some have a good range of options for where and how they want to live. Others - around 15% - arrive at pension age from a life of material hardship.
As the wealth gap has increased over the past 25 years, the issues around NZ Superannuation have become more complex. Is the pension a benefit or an entitlement? In any case, as discussed in our 2019 Review of Retirement Income Policies, there is clear evidence NZ Super is valued by New Zealanders. We are embarking on work to define a purpose statement for NZ Super that will contribute to the foundation of future retirement policy.
Retirement villages have become a growth industry. It has been estimated the industry needs to supply around 1800 new units per annum to meet demand over the next 20 years. The current model relies on peoples’ ability to release equity from accumulated assets: the clear trend toward lower home ownership, and increased mortgage debt at retirement, may impact the current business model.
And of course retirement policy issues overall are more dynamic as the demography of our country changes rapidly. So there is no shortage of work to do.
The diagram on the 'Statistics and data' page provides a useful snapshot of what New Zealand looks like in 2020 through a retirement lens.
In a fast-changing world the best outcome that can be secured for New Zealanders is a stable, intelligent policy environment and focused support for financial capability so people can make the best decisions for themselves. Our independence and research capability is a key strength in terms of providing New Zealanders with trustworthy information; we need to bolster our work in providing informed advocacy on retirement-related matters; and ensure effective collaboration so that current and future retirees are served well.
All this activity is aimed to ensure New Zealanders have a good standard of living as they age, both now and in the future, and that we can all one day retire with confidence.
CFFC is proud to lead the National Strategy for Financial Capability, and we value our role in helping create a supportive environment among the financial capability sector. Our partners number more than 150 organisations across government, the community and in the private sector. We aim to pool our collective knowledge and abilities, so that together we can help raise the financial capability of more New Zealanders than we could alone.