Monthly Archives: July 2013

Our Chair’s Letter to the Listener August 3-9

Retirement Savings

The Kiwi Saver special “On the Money “ July 27 made informative reading. But the issue of a compulsory income stream in the form of an annuity, over a lump sum on retirement requires addressing. The Australian Superannuation Industry acknowledges this is a real flaw in their system, and New Zealand should learn from their mistake.  The gender factor and how to deal with intermittent breaks from employment also needs attention. Equally the fee issue is understated in the article. Percentage fees structures should be avoided, and there is enormous duplication in administration and back office functions. In the retirement income and age discussion it’s important to recognize that the New Zealand Superannuation model with its simplicity and universality is a world leader, with low administration costs. This principal requires reinforcement and highlighting, there is no evidence to support any viable alternative. In contrast to many countries New Zealand does not pay a tax free pension, the current after tax figure is 3.7% of GDP and over the next 20 years, any projected expenditure rise is very manageable, contrary to the alarmist’s propaganda.

 

Alec Waugh-Takapuna, Auckland

LIstener Article

David Jenkin: KiwiSaver must avoid Oz pitfalls

This month New Zealanders will be able to move retirement savings locked up in Australia across to their KiwiSaver accounts.

This month’s sixth anniversary of KiwiSaver has been celebrated by industry players and financial commentators, and with some justification. Over 2.1 million Kiwis are now enrolled in the scheme, exceeding even the most optimistic of predictions made when KiwiSaver was first introduced. And from this month New Zealanders can transfer their retirement savings locked up in Australia back to their KiwiSaver accounts. Read NZ Herald Article here 

Retirement Policy and Research Centre Update July 2013

RPRC Update and news

We attach the latest quarterly report from the RPRC.  One of the key activities of the three months ended June 30th was the hosting of a Forum on the treatment of overseas pensions for those who are entitled to New Zealand Superannuation.

There are some real anomalies and key injustices in the current policy but it has been difficult to get political attention to remedy these. This is changing with both Labour and New Zealand First taking a serious look at out of date policy. The Update outlines the Forum – the proceedings can be found here. Continue reading

Financial Services Council says ‘Discussion needed around future retirement’

Peter Neilson: Discussion needed around future retirement  

So now KiwiSaver is six it’s timely to look at where our income retirement scheme is at.

Rather than being content that we’re on the money with what we’ve got, we need to be as clever as clever now and forever to get our savings scheme working to meet New Zealand’s next boom.

Read the rest of this NZ Herald Article at This Link

Treasury suggestions “Affording our futures”. Be wary of the media Headlines, re the extreme options, the report and its many suggestions is worthy of consideration!

Treasury reports should not be, and cannot be dismissed. They represent the view of Governments lead advisor on economic, financial and regulatory issues, and will always be to the forefront of the mix of policy advice and debate. Equally from a group with excellent resources, their advice is not always as robust, as an ideal world would want. I have met a substantial number of their staff over many years, and they range from very good to very marginal. Treasury listening skills and interaction with the public they serve, the quality of the many team leaders within the Treasury organisation, can be variable, and this always impacts upon their many reports!

Alec Waugh

Ageing population could cost, Treasury warns

Treasury is warning that rising costs associated with the ageing population and costlier healthcare will drive the Crown’s books persistently into the red from 2020 onward unless current spending discipline is maintained or other measures such as tax increases are implemented.

Treasury this afternoon released Affording Our Future, the latest of its four-yearly statements on the country’s long term fiscal position.

Read Adam Bennett’s full NZ Herald Article at This Link

Martin Hawes suggests Lump sum solution for retirees

Martin Hawes is right on to it, re an annuity or lump sum component for Kiwi Saver monies. It’s the missing ingredient at present in the Kiwi Saver scheme, and Martins suggestion is echoed across the Tasman, as our Australian counterparts receive large lump sums, and the critics are saying in Australia , this was never the intention of long term retirement savings schemes. Let’s not repeat the Aussie mistake!

Alec Waugh

OPINION: Retirement means a big change: In retirement you can no longer comfortably expect your salary to hit your bank account neatly every second Thursday. Instead, you have to find a way to get steady and reliable income from the invested capital you have.

The stakes are high – one big investment mistake means that you do not eat (not very well at any rate). Yes, you will still have NZ Super. But that is a fairly measly amount to live on. Most people are dependent on their investments for a part of their income in retirement.

Read Martin Hawes’ full ‘Stuff’ Article Here