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ANZ to pay Kiwisaver for staff on parental leave

ANZ has announced it will pay Kiwisaver employer contributions for staff on parental leave.

There is a looming gender gap in retirement savings, with Kiwi women, on average, retiring with $60,000 less than men.
One of the biggest factors contributing to this divide is the time women take out from their careers to raise their families. This break in employment is usually paired with a break in Kiwisaver contributions, which can lead to a shortfall come retirement age.
ANZ is calling for employers to help close this gap. In a groundbreaking initiative, the company has announced it will pay Kiwisaver employer contributions for both male and female staff taking parental leave. ANZ is one of New Zealand’s largest employers, with over 9000 staff. At any given time, around 200 of its employees are on parental leave.
“This is a first for New Zealand and we hope it encourages other companies to also consider how they can support their employees in saving for their retirement,” says ANZ Human Resources Manager Felicity Evans. “We have done this because we do not want our staff to be penalised for taking time out to raise families.”
The company already gives its employees 16 weeks of paid parental leave and has confirmed it will increase this to 18 weeks from next year. The new Kiwisaver top-up will take effect for all staff from October, 2015.
The move has been welcomed by the Retirement Commissioner, Diane Maxwell, who said: “This is the kind of innovation that shows what a key role employers can play. It will raise balances as well as attracting and retaining staff. It also sends a strong signal that time out to have children is a workable and positive part of an employment relationship.”