Example 14

Statements of intent: Examples of reporting practice.

Retirement Commission (Whiriwhiria), Statement of Intent 2008/11, pages 8-11

Outcome 1: New Zealanders are well educated in financial matters and can make informed financial decisions throughout their lives


This describes a population that has the necessary information and skills to help them make sound decisions about planning and managing their personal finances throughout their lives. Personal financial education includes providing information and decision-making tools, and increasing an individual’s skills and understanding of personal financial issues.

Key impacts sought:

Increased information and skill levels will shape both financial attitudes and behaviours. We aim to help people become more aware of financial issues and their significance and therefore able to make more confident and effective financial choices. People will have the ability to assess their personal financial situation and make quality decisions about their involvement in KiwiSaver or other savings options as a result of the Commission’s workplace financial education programme.


The main activities are education and information based.

The Commission’s Sorted programme with its website, printed information and Your Money Sorted television series are key strategies. The Sorted website’s practical content and calculators gives users the opportunity to develop their financial plans and see the consequences of various courses of action.

Extension of the workplace financial education programme (featuring KiwiSaver decision making tools and information), in addition to regular Sorted marketing activities, mean that future Sorted activity will be dominated by:

  • Repositioning the Sorted brand from a financial knowledge source to offering motivational guidance around money matters in general.
  • Enhancement of both the sorted.org.nz and retirement.org.nz websites to feature wider content and more relevant audience engagement tactics (e.g. allowing user comments on sorted.org.nz).
  • Providing a wider and targeted range of printed material for specific segments.
  • Expand face-to-face communication to include community-based seminars and conversations.
  • Expand the range of KiwiSaver decision making tools and information available for both prospective and existing members.

The general Sorted and workplace financial education programmes will complement each other to allow key sectors of New Zealand society to have ready access to a range of financial education resources. The products required and communication mediums utilised are different for each sub-audience, but will continue to be segmented as follows:

  • Children.
  • Students in tertiary education.
  • Adults in the workplace.
  • Adults in the community.
  • Older New Zealanders.

The Retirement Commission led the development of a national strategy for financial literacy. With input from many individuals and organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors, the strategy sets a direction to link providers of financial education and information, identify any gaps in coverage and avoid duplication.

The Retirement Commission and the Families Commission are working together on a project looking at ‘indebtedness’ of New Zealand households.

How we will measure results:

The major measures of impact will be changes in attitudes, levels of knowledge and action taken as a result of accessing our education programmes and information. These will be measured through the financial knowledge survey that the Commission conducts in association with ANZ, together with other benchmarked surveys and analyses. We are also looking at developing longitudinal measures of our education programme.

Other indicators of interest levels in personal financial management will be statistical measures of the use of all Sorted resources, brand awareness and brand attribute tracking.

  1. Key financial knowledge measure is:
    • To reduce the size of the lowest knowledge group from 33% to 25% by 2010.
  2. Sorted resource use – overall uptake goal:
    • To increase the percentage of New Zealanders who use Sorted resources from 19% to 30% by 2010 with over half the interaction being through the workplace.
  3. The workplace financial education programme will also be evaluated to assess the impact of KiwiSaver decision making information and tools:
    • Maintain 2007 levels indicating 28% of 18-65 year olds surveyed had used Sorted resources to help them make a decision about KiwiSaver.1
  4. Sorted resource use – monthly average over 12 months:
    • Visits to sorted.org.nz 110,000 – 140,000.
    • Calculations made via sorted.org.nz 500,000 – 700,000.
    • Sorted booklets distributed 8000 – 10,000.

Outcome 2: The financial services sector is trusted


A financial sector that is trusted by the public and whose products, services and charges can be clearly understood.

Key impacts sought:

These cover both the performance of the industry and New Zealanders’ increasing levels of trust in the industry. The industry is trustworthy when it meets the expectations of clients for the provision of products and services and can assure the quality of these.

New Zealanders dealing with a trustworthy financial sector will find the experience transparent and straightforward. Transparency extends to disclosing to clients the actual costs of products and services and any other relevant factors that could affect a client’s decision – such as an adviser’s financial interests that could in any possible way be seen to be in conflict with the services being offered.


The Commission will promote research and debate about ways of improving trust in, and the efficiency of, the retail savings industry. We will also promote the adoption and use of standard forms of disclosure for financial advisers about the actual costs of their services and any related interests. We will watch with interest the progress of the Financial Advisers Bill and look at ways of monitoring it once enacted. We will work with the sector and other government agencies to achieve these goals.

How we will measure results:

Evidence of impacts will be provided by various indicators such as the development and use of improved forms of disclosure and industry commitments to improved training processes and standards and to standardised codes of practice and conduct. Public surveys will provide a measure of the public’s perception of the industry and its practices.

We would like to see an increase of at least 5 percentage points over the next 3 years in the 32% of adult New Zealanders who agree or strongly agree with the statement ‘I trust most financial advisers’.2

Monitoring media commentary on the industry will also provide an indicator of trust and public perception.

Outcome 3: Government’s retirement income policies are effective and stable


The wide range of government policies that have implications for New Zealanders’ financial wellbeing in retirement will be effective in achieving the intended results, and will do so efficiently and fairly. Overall policy directions will be generally stable, and will form a reliable retirement income framework on which individuals may confidently base their personal financial retirement plans.

Key impacts sought:

The main impacts sought are that New Zealanders will be able to plan financially for their future with reasonable certainty about the long term intentions of government and that the state funded retirement income will provide a basic income for older people.


The Commission will provide information and education that describes the purpose and effects of relevant legislation. We will implement and monitor the agreed recommendations of the 2007 review of retirement income policy and put a reporting process in place. Through our research and evaluation work we will identify areas of policy that work well or that may need further consideration, development or adjustment.

How we will measure results:

The effectiveness of government policies in achieving intended results will be monitored and, as necessary, reported on. The extent to which the Retirement Commissioner’s advice to the government and its agencies is acted on will be a measure of our impact on retirement policies and agencies’ practices. Of particular interest will be the Government’s response to the 2007 review. Other proxy measures of impact will be the amount of advice given, and research and analysis work undertaken on the operation of current legislation and government policies.

This is a difficult area for which to develop standards and measures that can reasonably be used to judge future performance. The Retirement Commission will continue to work with officials on measuring the effectiveness of the Government’s KiwiSaver savings initiative.

Outcome 4: All retirement villages meet societal expectations and current quality standards


Retirement villages will comply with all relevant legislation and meet both the expectations of society and their residents about the overall fitness of villages’ accommodation, facilities and services in meeting contemporary standards of good quality retirement living.

Key impacts sought:

The retirement villages sector will be operating well if all villages meet the legal requirements for performance as set out both in the Retirement Villages Act 2003, associated regulations and Code of Practice and more generally, the expectations of residents. Intending residents will be able to make informed choices, and residents understand their rights, as a result of education programmes.


* The Commission will maintain and oversee members of disputes panels and provide information on dispute resolution.

* We are aware of options being considered in terms of implementing a Code of Practice for retirement villages. This may involve the Commission undertaking a consultation process.

* We will monitor the effects of the Act, regulations and Code of Practice and provide advice to the Minister when requested or required.

How we will measure results:

Measures will include the nature, numbers and trends in complaints and disputes about retirement villages.

1: KiwiSaver campaign evaluation – Colmar Brunton, 2008

2: ‘Sorted, Financial and Retirement Planning in 2005.’ AC Nielsen.

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