Super age change unlikely

It looks unlikely there will be any change to the age of eligibility for national superannuation despite Bill English saying he wouldn’t continue John Key’s commitment to not change it – see English open about superannuation.

English said there could be small changes to National’s Super policy but nothing drastic.

David Seymour has taken the opportunity to push for raising the age, but ACT are unlikely to be in a position to demand it in any coalition negotiations.

Winston Peters has confirmed that no age change is a bottom line for NZ First – Winston Peters’ coalition hinges on retirement age.

Mr Peters has promised the age would stay the same, at 65, and has made it one of his top bottom-lines going into any post-election deals.

“Not reneging on promises made to the retired and soon-to-retire people of this country is very important,” he told Newshub.

While “one of his top bottom-lines” doesn’t sound definite it would be a big shock if Peters agreed to an age increase. This is one policy he has remained consistent on.

The Maori Party is also unlikely to support any increase.

With Māori life expectancy rate lower than that of the general population, the Māori Party wants Māori and Pasifika to be exempt from any increase.

One of its policies is to reduce the superannuation age to 60 for Māori and Pasifika people.

So it is unlikely that National will push for an increase in election policy unless it looked like they could get a majority on their own, and it would be a huge surprise if they did have a majority on their own.

And Andrew Little has scrapped Labour’s Super age increase policy so if they form the next government it is unlikely to be considered.

This makes all the conjecture and political posturing a bit pointless.

UPDATE: English has just said on RNZ that there will be “no change to the entitlement” but it wasn’t clarified exactly what that refers to eg age or amount or universality.

On RNZ  Peters has just said that it’s not a bottom line for NZ First but that people could trust their consistency on the Super age for the past 25 years. “We’re not going to compromise”.

29 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  March 6, 2017

    Good to hear. I’m still a small few years off qualifying for a Gold Card, but scoring National Super is till part of my long-term financial planning.

  2. Gezza

     /  March 6, 2017

    Shit. till = still.

    • Gezza

       /  March 6, 2017

      Damn, & that was supposed to appear under my first comment. Time to give up & start paving, I think. 😕

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  March 6, 2017

    Tweaking the Super age makes bugger all difference to the costs. Lot of nonsense gets spouted on this.

  4. Corky

     /  March 6, 2017

    So, if Peters sticks to his word, and National stick to theirs re Pike River and other issues, the chances of a National/NZ First coalition looks unlikely. Maybe Winston is smitten with Cindy?

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  March 6, 2017

    English “announces” a change in 20 years time – except his government won’t be there to make it so no one knows if it will actually happen. The perfect election promise you don’t have to keep.

    • MaureenW

       /  March 6, 2017

      Gutless. I hope he’s got more up his sleeves than empty wishes. Bye Bill, you have failed your first trial.

      • Corky

         /  March 6, 2017

        Second trial failure. Pike River was his first. He could have won the election on that issue alone.

        • High Flying Duck

           /  March 6, 2017

          I’m not sure Pike River resonates with anyone outside the beltway and the affected families. I can’t imagine it swinging votes.
          Retirement age may, but at least he acted, even if in a manner so cautious he almost may as well not have acted at all.
          Winston has already back-tracked about not working with parties who raise the age of retirement…

    • High Flying Duck

       /  March 6, 2017

      Once legislated, no-one will undo it.

      The logic for the change is pretty compelling – 65 years used to be “old”. These days it is fairly middle aged and few people outside manual labourers are ready to play golf for 20 – 30 years at that age.

      The argument is more should it have been 70 like Australia is looking at and should it have been phased in earlier.

      • MaureenW

         /  March 6, 2017

        Including politicians HFD?

        • High Flying Duck

           /  March 6, 2017

          MP’s are not as special as they think they are. They shouldn’t get special treatment as far as I’m concerned – but that is a different argument.

          The fact is life expectancy has gone up significantly and people are, in general, far fitter and healthier in their 60’s than they used to be. There is no justification to keep the age where it is.

          • MaureenW

             /  March 6, 2017

            If it’s a National scheme, it should include politicians. I don’t see why they legislate rules for the country, they don’t abide by themselves.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  March 6, 2017

              They farm out their own remuneration to an “independent body” so they can have plausible deniability.
              I believe ex-MP perks have been curtailed significantly, but without knowing the details, I’m sure they are still obscenely generous.
              I’m not going to argue against you on this one Maureen!

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  March 6, 2017

            Average life expectancy has increased significantly by about a decade – mostly due to decreased smoking and better heart disease prevention and treatment I expect.

            But I’m not sure that makes a big difference to the ability to work after 65 – just to the proportion who attain those ages. It won’t necessarily save money if a lot are on invalid or unemployment benefits rather than superannuation. Arguably the increase in self-employment and removal of compulsory retirement have been a bigger boost to Govt finances than tweaking the super eligibility would be.

  6. Blazer

     /  March 6, 2017

    Legislation for the future ….the Natz M.O…retain the status quo,but sometime in the future,our water will be better,we will be pest free,super entitlement age will change,and…the OBR will kick in.All part of being on the cusp of something…special….and a …brighter ..future…..OMG!

  7. I would not mind so much if the majority of Politicians earned their perks of office free travel and transport and inflated pensions if they added value to the country by their sacrifices (there are some). However, to read of a soldier blinded by cobra spit in Malaysia being denied his full pension rights because the applicable Pensions Appeal Board no longer exists is beyond the pale. If needed the politicians should change the Act, perhaps at the same time as they rightthe injustice of ex SAS personnel having to pay higher insurance rates because of Reserve liability, and the Veteran s Affairs Policy of requiring qualified war pensioners to use any health insurance before providing treatment for disabilities attributed to active service. There is a need for some public support now to demand fait treatment for our soldiers for the undoubted sacrifices they have made for all of us. Soldiers fight the wars that politicians make, yet Vietnam veterans were spat upon by the Mayor of Auckland carrying a North Vietnamese Flag when he was a failed politician alongside Her Heleness.

    • High Flying Duck

       /  March 6, 2017

      You’re right BJ – politics and precedent trump good decision making far too often. Worthy individuals who sacrifice for the country are far too often left in disgraceful circumstances without even basic, let alone rightful Government assistance.

      • Thanks HFD. Some of the sh** thrown at us by the “we don’t wanna goes” gets very close to the core. If you read the principles of the Veterans Act 2014 (Section 10 I think) it has lofty ideals, but its all political bullshit and they do not follow their own principles that the Act says is mandatory. It is a legal case awaiting a judicial review that could cost the Government big bikkies.

    • Blazer

       /  March 6, 2017

      the American War in Vietnam was a mistake,unnecessary,and achieved nothing except death and destruction and profits for Corporations .

      • Yes Blazer, but it was the NZ Government of the day as the majority elected Government of NZ that decided to commit NZ troops in 1965 on behalf of the people of NZ. Yes you are right about the corruption in South Vietnam, but I can assure you that any NZ soldier involved in feathering their nest in Vietnam would have been treated harshly. As the last Commander of NZ Force Vietnam in 1972, I can assure you that there is no substance to allegations of corruption or War Crimes by our troops. I am prepared to stand in front of any tribunal including Saint Peter to confirm the honour of our soldiers in War. Whispers and innuendo cheapen any claims to the contrary.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  March 6, 2017

          Well said, BJ, and I say that as a conscientious objector to the Vietnam war. I disagreed with our Government but not with our soldiers who went and did their best.

          • Blazer

             /  March 6, 2017

            its called kissing yankee ass…something Key popularised again….prick.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  March 6, 2017

              Yes, Holyoake placated the Yanks, but he did it minimally citing the public opposition in NZ. As BJ has pointed out, our professional soldiers were caught in the middle and treated unfairly and disrespectfully because of that.

  8. Blazer

     /  March 6, 2017

    @Al,as a CO….Key would say you needed to ….’get some…guts’!

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  March 6, 2017

      Far too many ellipses. Brains before guts was important for those decisions otherwise you are trying to kill people who shouldn’t be killed and risking your life for that bad cause. Training Iraq soldiers to beat ISIS is not in the same question as a bad cause.