Decumulation   Forum –Friday 20 May, Lumley Centre, Auckland

Hats off to the Retirement Commission team for this well run event. The topics, succinct presentations and run to time chairmanship, contributed to a stimulating afternoon discussion. Good to see some media present, also Andreas Heuser from Treasury but where were key Politicians, some local media commentators, and the research people from all the MMP parties. Maori Party invisible?  A suggestion is to run the same event for politicians and leading media commentators.

What were the principles, themes and key messages that came out? A basic, immediate  and quick reflection follows

    • Consumers want certainty in the retirement savings/income model. New Zealand Superannuation and Kiwi Saver models are sound, minor adjustments/tweaking only changes required. Politicians stop meddling and start listening.
    • Consumer wants some products available at retirement, a mixture or blend of insurance, annuities, investment income is wanted, and likely to emerge, e.g. Life time Retirement income product. A range of product /tools providing choice for retirees.
    • Longevity a key issue. Three stages of retirement 60-70yrs, 75-85 years, 85 years onwards, and perhaps for the low economic group 50-60 yrs. Not a homogenous group, all different needs and expectations.
    • Spending patterns of the retired need more examination. More research needed, and it was great to see Australian and United Kingdom views and news presented. A PHD student out of the Auckland Business School Retirement Policy and Research Centre funded by…… was one suggestion. That raises the issue of the ongoing support from the Auckland Business School for the Retirement Policy and Research Centre, we all need to get in behind this facility, and can industry groups help?
    • The traditional inheritance approach adopted by senior family members rapidly changing, helping siblings/families earlier and in different ways is occurring now and evolving.
    • Stop using words like decumulation- awful and the consumer does not understand. Even my Office computer spellcheck does not recognize the word.
  • Not Aussie bashing but nice to hear Jeremy Cooper, Retirement Income, Challenger, Australia in his quiet but challenging way sayKiwi Saver a better model than Australian initiatives, we have a ghastly and complicated aged pension system!
  • Fear and unease is everywhere in the community. Will the money last? Who can we trust; incentives and compulsion might well be part of the solution. Retirement income  vulnerable to shocks.

PS KIPPERS: A English word for kids occupying parents places of abode and eroding parental retirement savings


Posted by Alec Waugh

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