Make sure that you aren't inadvertently funding animal testing with your KiwiSaver!
The main KiwiSaver plans invest in some of the biggest animal testing companies in the world including Colgate Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson, L'Oreal, Procter & Gamble and Unilever.
The good news is that there is now an ethical option available — Pathfinder!
Pathfinder is a KiwiSaver plan that goes further than simply avoiding companies that harm our society – they seek out companies actively making a positive difference.
Pathfinder avoids companies and/or industries causing environmental or social harm, including animal testing, factory farming or other forms of animal exploitation.
In their ethical investment policy it states:
"Animal testing: We do not believe it is ethical to test products on animals. Accordingly, we avoid investing in any company that engages in animal testing..."
"We avoid companies that test drugs or consumer products (for example cosmetics) on animals - even when testing is required by law. Company transparency around animal testing is often lacking. We will strive for our research to be up-to-date and will remove companies that test on animals as we identify them. We believe it is possible to find alternative investments offering similar long-term sector exposures and similar long-term investment prospects."
More good news: It's really easy to make the switch!
If you decide to make the switch, we have exciting news: If your KiwiSaver is over $5k, Pathfinder donates $100 to NZAVS for every supporter making the switch!
So that we get the donation, please make sure you put 'NZAVS' as the campaign code.
Making the switch is easy.
1. Go to the Pathfinder website to read more
2. Fill out the form. You will need your IRD number as well as a passport or driving licence.
Pathfinder donates 20% of its fees to charities. You can pick the charity you want to support. We’ve looked into which charity partners fund animal testing and Breast Cancer Cure is the only current Charity Partner that we are aware of who has a connection with animal testing. However, they did confirm that they will not use any funding from Pathfinder towards research involving animal testing.
To be safe, we suggest choosing one of the following charities to support:
- Project Jonah
- Rainbow Youth
We are very grateful that Pathfinder is donating $100 to NZAVS for every supporter who makes the switch to Pathfinder (if you have over $5k in your Kiwisaver). However, Pathfinder wants to make it clear that this gesture is "not meant to be a motivation for their switch - it is critical they choose us because of a values alignment and they are comfortable we can generate the returns they want."
Commonly asked questions:
Q. "How does my current provider stack up in terms of investments in companies involved with animal testing?"
A. The Pathfinder website has a great tool, the 'Ethical Calculator' that can tell you the total number of investments in company shares and bonds that may not align with your values. Scroll down to find the investments in animal testing.
If your provider is not on this list, go to MindfulMoney, an independent entity with all providers.
Q. "But Pathfinder supports 'Forest & Bird' and they are not aligned with my values."
A. When you sign up for Pathfinder, you will be able to select a charity that you wish to support. So it is totally up to you to support Forest & Bird or not. At the end of every year, Pathfinder takes 20% of its Management Fee and donate this to the charity you’ve selected.
Q. "Is it exactly the same as KiwiSaver in terms of government contribution?"
A. Yes. "To help you save, the Government will make an annual contribution into your account as long as you meet these conditions:
- be over 18 and under 65, and
- have been in any KiwiSaver scheme for at least 12 months, and
- live in New Zealand, and
- have paid at least $1,042.86 (that’s just over $20 a week) into your KiwiSaver account between July 1st and June 30th the following year.
Note that your employer contributions don’t count, it is what you have paid that matters.
If you contribute less than $1,042.86 from your pay, you can make a voluntary contribution to top up your account, so that you do qualify for the Government contribution."
Please get in touch with the team at NZAVS if you'd like help making the switch: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Legal Disclaimer: Pathfinder Asset Management is the issuer of the Pathfinder KiwiSaver Plan. Visit www.caresaver.co.nz for a Product Disclosure Statement. Past returns do not indicate future results.