Imagine Aotearoa New Zealand filled with wealthy women

How women can make, save and invest more money, now

We want to help make sure women and their families benefit from financial independence, freedom of choice and the security of having adequate retirement savings and investments.

Even though it’s 2022, women still have lower financial confidence than men and data shows they are contributing, across the board, less than their male counterparts. The answer? Being given the support to school up on money so women can prioritise their financial wellness.

For many people, ‘money’ is a difficult topic, it is bound up in whakamā (shame) and can cause a lot of anxiety.

Especially because historically the financial services industry hasn’t traditionally been designed for inclusivity. This means that many of the life events that women experience, like having children or taking a career break to care for a family member are not often factored in when companies develop and design products and services. Time for change? Yeah, we think so too.

What’s going on with women and the ability to grow their wealth?

Many women make less money than men.

So much so, that currently in New Zealand women’s KiwiSaver balances are 20% lower than Kiwi men’s balances. Plus, there’s that giant gender pay gap affecting our earnings:

  • Pasifika women earn 25% less than Pākehā men
  • Maori women earn 22% less than Pākehā men
  • Asian women earn 19% less than Pākehā men
  • Pakeha women earn 12% less than Pākehā men

Other factors that affect women disproportionately:

  • Longer life expectancy
    83.5 years old for women and 80 years for men. Living longer means we can expect to spend longer in retirement. As a result, we require more retirement savings to be comfortable in later life.

  • Maternity and carer leave
    Taking maternity leave often means a loss of contributions into our KiwiSaver accounts not just from our own pay, but from our employer’s and the Government (not even taking into account the potential investment gains during this time).

  • Cultural expectations
    Vary around women’s financial independence and what they’re entitled to.

  • Whakamā
    (Shame) about our financial situations.

  • Lack of confidence
    Women still experience higher rates of financial abuse in relationships than men, and are also statistically less likely to have other investments.

All of these factors contribute to women’s lower KiwiSaver balances and have a big impact on the quality of our lives in retirement.

At Mercer, we want to improve the financial wellbeing of New Zealand women and to adapt to the way women actually live, and how they relate to, and understand, money and investing.

Because when women thrive, families and communities do too.

Ready to pull up a seat at The Table and grow your wealth?

Join today.

The above article is general information and does not purport to give financial advice. The Mercer KiwiSaver scheme and Mercer FlexiSaver are issued by Mercer (N.Z.) Limited. Product Disclosure Statements are available free of charge at