Investing Ethically in KiwiSaver Following the Russian Invasion

Millions of Kiwis are part of the KiwiSaver retirement plan, where money is invested with every paycheck, and more are interested in exactly where their money is going.

However, not everyone is sure where their provider is putting their money and whether it aligns with their values, said Frances Cook, finance writer and investment editor at Business Desk.

Last month, 1News revealed that hundreds of KiwiSavers and investment funds were investing money in Russian companies, including large state-backed institutions.

Some KiwiSaver funds are already withdrawing investments from Russian state-linked companies and government bonds.

This month, the New Zealand Defense Force called for the urgent withdrawal of all funds from its KiwiSaver program invested in the Russian and Belarusian markets.

Some funds have also invested in companies involved in fossil fuels, animal testing and weapons.

Ethical investing has become more important, and Cook recommends people with KiwiSaver accounts take the opportunity to find out where their money is going and if they support it.

Cook said some funds had invested directly in Russian bonds, which were actually lending money to the Russian government.

“I think a lot of people don’t want to support this diet,” she told Breakfast.

Cook also said some companies practice “greenwashing,” where they say the right things and say ethical investing is important to them, but maybe don’t put the “hard yards.”

Cook encourages people to head over to Mindful Money to verify the ethics of their KiwiSaver funds. KiwiSaver providers also have their investments listed on their websites.

She said ethical investing is different for everyone, and it’s good to make sure your money is invested in places that align with your values.

Cook said if you disagree with where your provider is investing, it’s easy to switch.

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