Party policies on Super age

I’ve tried to find out what each party policy is on the National Superannuation eligibility age,  after the Retirement Commissioner recommended the age be gradually increased.

Politicians accused of dodging superannuation issue

Politicians are being accused of dodging the issue of raising the the age of entitlement to superannuation.

National and Labour have rejected Retirement Commissioner Diana Crossan’s recommendation that the age of eligibility for the pension be gradually raised over the next 20 years.

But PricewaterhouseCoopers chairman John Shewan says the affordability of the entitlement needs to be debated.

“I think it’s understandable that politicians don’t want to go near a subject which is traditionally in New Zealand caused such a huge negative reaction. I think the electorate is perhaps getting ahead of politicians now,” he says.

Mr Shewan says people now accept that to have pension paid at 65, is neither affordable nor appropriate.

Auckland University retirement policy expert Michael Littlewood says the issue is too hard for politicians.

“They’re not stupid. They’ve seen numbers of heads shot off over the last 30 years on this issue. Diana has had an attempt to put a proposal to the Government and that’s been knocked back so I think we need to think about different ways of doing this,” he says.

Some of the parties dodge it altogether on their policy pages on their websites.  Only the Act Party has a detailed Superannuation police, albeit not particularly clear. United Future has a few options. National’s (John Key’s) policy is brief and blunt.

National will maintain Super at 66% of the average wage from the age of 65, or I will resign. John Key.

Click to access SeniorsDLE.pdf

Labour – can’t find anything. They don’t seem to have detailed policies, they only list a few key issues they are targeting.

Green Party – can’t find anything

New Zealand First Policies will be released after Delegates consider Electorate Remits at the New Zealand First 2011 July 30 and 31st Election Conference.

Maori Party (2008) – Adjust superannuation entitlements for those groups who currently experience lower life expectancy. Raise core benefit levels, including superannuation, veteran’s pensions.

United Future – the option of choosing to receive New Zealand Super at a reduced rate from the age of 60, or at an enhanced rate from the age of 70.

Mana Party – none on Super

Act Party – by far the most detailed Superannuation Policy – Policy Detail
The transition to the new retirement system will take 40 years when 90 percent+ of New Zealanders are expected to have sufficient savings to provide for themselves.
It will be available to New Zealand citizens aged 18 – 65 years of age.
During the transition, retirees will receive two pensions. One based on the fund accumulated via tax savings each year and the second a percentage of the existing government benefit, dependent on the number of years individual has been eligible to be a member of new retirement system. See Superannuation Policy Schedule, chart 2.
Minimum combined benefit during transition to be at least what people get today but in most cases will be considerably more.
Capital after 47 years in the workforce for those who make no drawdown on that capital would be approximately $1.8 million or $850,000 in real terms. See Superannuation Policy Schedule, chart 1.
Government will contribute $30.80 a week, the individual to contribute $30.80 a week and the employer to contribute $15.40 a week, therefore total savings $77.00 a week, $4,000 a year.
Low-income workers will be able to phase in their contribution with government top-up available.

Will be paid for by a mix of the following:

  •     Money currently being put aside for retirement fund $2 billion.
  •     Money currently being used to subsidise KiwiSaver scheme $1½ billion.
  •     Interest on current fund already put aside for future retirees $1 billion
  •     Must be invested with organisations that have retirement authority approval.
  •     A working partner can make contributions on behalf of their partner.

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