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The new Coalition Government headed by Labour Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that the age of entitlement for New Zealand Superannuation will remain at 65 years, and contributions to the NZ Super Fund will recommence.
In May 2017, the then National Party Prime Minister Bill English announced a reset of entitlement age rising over time to 67, contradicting his promise of only a year earlier that it will be sticking to its promise to not raise the pension age. This turn-around was immediately challenged by Labours then Leader Andrew Little, who stated Labour, was “utterly committed “to NZ Super entitlement at 65. New Zealand First now a prominent part of the new Government has always been committed and consistent, with the entitlement age being 65 years. Labour on the other hand, has not been consistent.
For those who track statements over time, you will recall that on December 5th 2013 then Deputy Leader David Parker announced Labour” would raise the age of eligibility for New Zealand Superannuation to 67”, make Kiwi-Saver compulsory for employees and increase the Kiwi-Saver contribution rate if voted into power”. On 20 August 2014 Labour again announced they were using the latest information on the state of the Government’s books to push its policy of gradually raising the retirement age to 67, stating “If elected on 20 September 2014, Labour would gradually phase in an increased retirement age of 67”. David Parker a key component to those statements remains a key member of our new Government, appointed Attorney General, Economic Development and Trade Minister.
My information is our new Prime Minister wants the entitlement age to rise, but politically holds to the current policy position of 65 years.
The consumer is both concerned and confused over these frequently changing positions (NZ First exempt). Consumers want consistency &certainty on retirement income policy, with long lead in times for any changes that might occur, so saving habits and understanding can take place.
What is needed is a task force report, similar to the Tax Working Group 2010, on retirement income issues.
To my knowledge there has been no extensive review (Commission or Working Party) on retirement policy issues for nearly 30 years. It is long overdue, and any political party making new policy announcement’s on the age of entitlement to NZ Superannuation or Kiwi Saver without such material, is vulnerable to the accusation of making policy on the hoof, and political expediency.
Posted by Alec Waugh