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Master Trusts


At 30 June 2013 about $4.7bn was held in Master Trusts.

The annualized returns net of tax and expenses (courtesy of Eriksen & Associates) were:




Annualised returns (Net of tax & Expenses) 

30 June 2013

1 2 3 4 5
  $ million year year  year year year
Total Funds 4,712.3    10.8 5.4 6.4 6.6  3.2

CPI 0.7 0.8 2.3 2.1 2.1
Cash benchmark (net) 1.8 1.9 1.9 1.9 2.2


Most significant company superannuation schemes offered in New Zealand today are housed within a master trust.

The duties and responsibilities of the trustee of the super scheme are handed over to the provider of the master trust, essentially an umbrella superannuation scheme.

Outsourcing the trusteeship of a scheme may include responsibility for the setting of investment strategy and the appointment of investment managers. The provider may also appoint advisers, issue investment statements, oversee investment managers, monitor performance and hold meetings to report to members. Naturally there is an expectation that the affairs of the scheme will be carried out in a professional manner.

The service provider, or a related party, may issue investments within the master trust structure and appoint investment managers to each of them.

There are significant advantages to be gained by combining, for example, the administrative, legal, investment and insurance elements of a number of superannuation schemes:

  ease of implementation and convenience of operation,

  professional and independent oversight of members’ interests

  sharing of costs with access to economies of scale

  employers relieved of onerous responsibilities and reduced liability


Further Reading: Eriksens Master Trust Survey





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