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Default KiwiSaver funds go to mines, bombs

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 17/08/2016

Default KiwiSaver providers have been investing in companies making cluster bombs and anti-personnel mines, according to a report.

The default funds run by ANZ, Westpac, ASB, AMP and Grosvenor have invested in Northrop Grumman, Fluor Corp, Honeywell International and Lockheed Martin.

They did it through Australian fund manager Vanguard, which also put money into tobacco, RNZ reports.

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund and ACC cannot invest in the companies because of international conventions and Amnesty International and the Green Party say the funding rules should be reviewed.

Grosvenor chief investment officer David Beattie says investing through such funds is considered best practices but he did not like the situation where people's retirement savings were investing in weapons and tobacco companies.

"We are concerned, and we are working with Vanguard at the moment to come up with an alternative replacement fund that specifically excludes those companies," he told the broadcaster.

Nine institutions have been chosen to be default providers for KiwiSaver, investing the retirement contributions for people who haven't nominated a place for their savings.

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