In 1974 the Kirk Labour Government introduced a superannuation scheme that could have been worth $300 billion today.

Muldoon’s subsequent government put a stop to that, promising instead a universal pension at age 60 that was 80 percent of the average wage.

Today the pension is payable five years later at age 65 and it is 66 percent of the average wage.

And Kiwisaver, aka the Cullen fund, is worth a mere $30 billion.

People are living longer and most will not have enough money throughout their retirement.

That is where financial advisors like Fred Dodds come in.


He began his career in 1976 in Dunedin as a life insurance agent and went on to be Tower’s financial planning division head for 15 years before taking on his current role as Institute of Financial Advisers chief executive.

The industry has changed enormously in his working life. Investment advice was a case of “have a hunch and go to lunch”.

Now, 37 life companies have shrunk to nine and financial advice covers multiple issues, from family trusts to health insurance, suitable Kiwisaver provider to types of mortgage.

Fred sees good financial advice bringing order to lives.

Trust and commitment are the biggest issues facing advisors.

Fred says research has shown 72 percent of the population does not trust the financial advice sector.

He wants to change that and is advocating a new body, Financial Advice NZ, that would draw together the current 6,000 financial advisors towards one body. Currently only 2,500 are in adviser associations

The new professional body would have the authority to engage with the regulator, support consumers, and provide independence, rigour and the courage to drive out those who did not meet the required standards.

He said regulations in Australia were far stronger in Australia than in this country.

In a rich and varied career, Fred also had the distinction of knighting onetime Prime Minister David Lange.

 Fred was MC-ing a conference in Auckland and mistakenly introduced Lange as Sir David.

“Hah”, boomed Lange. “I always wanted to be knighted but I never thought it would be by a lowly life insurance agent.”