In a close vote a NZ First bill that would have reduced Superannuation paid to older immigrants – and New Zealanders who had lived overseas – was defeated at it’s first reading in Parliament yesterday.
New Zealand First , Labour, Greens and the Maori Party voted for the bill but National, ACT and UnitedFuture had just enough votes to defeat it.
Grant Robertson (Labour):
These solutions being proposed in here by Denis O’Rourke may not be perfect, and we do have some concerns that we want to air at select committee about whether or not we have got the definition right. We do have concerns that the concept of universality is being called into question by this bill for the first time through the pro rata system. That is a very serious step to take and one that the New Zealand Labour Party is not confident that this bill will achieve in a way that we would want to vote for at the end of the road, but we want to see the issue debated.
Jan Logie (Greens):
The Green Party does not support this bill as it is written. We have some very deep problems with it, but we will support it to going to the select committee to enable a discussion and parliamentary consideration, particularly of section 70 of the Social Security Act .
So while Labour and Greens voted for the bill they has major reservations about aspects of it.
David Seymour (ACT)
You will find that even though it is a lovely idea to at least go forward to select committee and debate section 70 the reason it is so fraught is that there are so many pension schemes that it is simply very, very hard to reconcile the many schemes that there are around the world. With that in mind, this is a bill that is insincere in its commitment. It will not have the effects that we hope for, and for that reason it would not be a good use of the select committee or the House’s time to continue debating this bill through any further stages.
NZ Herald reports: Superannuation bill voted down
A New Zealand First bill that would have reduced the entitlement of older immigrants to a New Zealand pension and would have let superannuitants to receive overseas pensions without penalty was voted down in Parliament tonight after a fiery debate.
The bill, in the name of Denis O’Rourke, proposed a pro rata entitlement based on the length of time a person had lived in New Zealand between the ages of 20 and 65 years.
The bill would have allowed a full pension only to those who had spent less than five years living outside New Zealand between 20 and 65.
The bill would also have allowed superannuitants to collect an overseas pension as well by abolishing section 70 of the Social Security Act, which reduces superannuation by the amount of any overseas pension.
To qualify currently for Government superannuation, a New Zealand resident must have lived in the country for at least 10 years after the age of 20 and at least five years after the age of 50.
The current age of entitlement is 65. It is universal and not-means-tested.
Denis O’Rourke’s opening speech in the debate:
National’s David Bennett’s contentious response where he called the bill and NZ First a disgrace:
All InTheHouse videos of the debate: New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income (Pro Rata Entitlement) Amendment