A suggested Super solution

As soon as practical after this year’s election (next year) we should have an survey type referendum (non-binding)that asks us the public what we want. It should ask questions on:

  • age of eligibility
  • set age or flexible
  • means testing
  • rate of payment – indexed or otherwise
  • Super fund contributions locked in or not
  • targeted assistance for those who have to retire younger for health reasons
  • anything else?

Then all parties MPs in Parliament, using the help of an expert group, should work together to come up with a legislative package based on public preferences plus fiscal prudence and social responsibility. Any votes should be on a conscience basis.

The resulting package should then go to the public for a binding referendum vote.

Parliament should abide be this and pass the legislation if required.

Included in the legislation there should be a higher vote threshold required to overturn any parts of the Super legislation to minimise the chances of Super becoming a political football again. Suggested somewhere in the range of 60-75% required to overturn.

Then we would have future certainty based on public preference and Parliamentary consensus.

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  1. Bob

     /  11th March 2017

    While entrenchment of legislation requiring a vote of 75% to then change it sounds good my understanding is that there is nothing to stop a goverment from repealing the actual entrenchment legislation and changing it from 75% to a simple 51% majority and then change the entrenched legislation. There would be political fallout and howls of outrage but it could be done, NZ Parliment is sovereign and cannot be be bound if the house decides by simple majority to do otherwise.

    • Nothing is absolute in a democracy but if it is harder to meddle it is less likely to happen on election whim.

      At the moment Super policy could swing on coalition horse trading, which isn’t a good thing for something of that importance.

  2. Bob

     /  11th March 2017

    This may be outdated but some additional detail on entrenchment –

    “In recent years there has been limited public support for proposals that New Zealand should adopt “a written constitution”, which would be “entrenched” in such a way as to prevent its amendment by ordinary Act of Parliament passed by a simple majority. The only step in this direction that has actually been taken is to be found in the Electoral Act 1956. Section 189 requires that sections of the Act – those relating to the composition and number of electoral districts, the adult franchise, the secret ballot, and the life of Parliament – are not to be amended unless by an Act passed by a majority of 75 per cent of all members of the House of Representatives or unless the proposal for amendment has been carried by a majority of the electorate in a referendum. There is nothing to prevent Parliament from repealing section 189 itself, so the entrenchment involved is not very effective from the legal point of view. Nevertheless, since the provision was passed unanimously, it is likely to be respected both by National and by Labour Governments.”


  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  11th March 2017

    The obvious way to get anything free from political interference is to privatize it wholly or partially.

    • Gezza

       /  12th March 2017

      Nonsense. How does privatising anything stop politicians interfering with it? Governments pass laws and make poltical decisions governing private businesses and operators all the time. One of your more fatuous comments Al.

  4. NOEL

     /  11th March 2017

    So flexible super is back on the table.
    Back to the future 2008.

    Click to access Flexi-Super%20Discussion%20Document.pdf

  5. Certainly the desirable ideal is some shared vision of Super, if such a thing is possible in a diverse [so-called] democracy … and to remove it from the ‘political football’ arena …

    For me this also begs the question of an overall ‘vision’ for our society, but leaving that aside for now …

    What worries me about even a non-binding ‘survey’ referendum is –

    1) the complexity of the subject and whether everything would (or even could) be asked. For example, how will increased Kiwisaver and private Super Scheme savings amounts influence and effect peoples’ Super? What if interest rates and consequent investment income dramatically increase?

    2) the fallibility (and maleability) of referendum questions. There is plenty of proof of this in Aotearoa NZ’s short referendum history.

    I believe that creative problem solving is what’s required, “other ways of looking at it” from the orthodox taxpayer-beneficiary paradigm which is always exaggerated in election years.

    Personally I believe we should start from the premise: This is my entitlement, what do I want to do with it? What limitations need to be placed around that? Do I even need it? A [fully enforced] fair tax regime may mean I pay it all back as income tax …? [I guess I favour a return to some form of Super Surcharge]. Some incentive might even be provided NOT to take up Super?

    But I believe we should look at it positively. The negativity surrounding this is infectious and community soul-destroying. What are the potential benefits for our society, eg of Flexi-Super? Work opportunities for younger people? Health benefits for early retirees? Benefits to the economy from retirees spending rather than saving …?

    Creative problem solving implies Future Flexibility, which is the potential problem with ‘entrenchment’ IMHO. The changing face of education, employment and retirement could mean drastically different conditions in the future … hopefully much better ones …

    I’d favour a well developed, non-partisan referendum over an appointed advisory panel any day of the week though …

  1. Super shit fight | Your NZ
  2. A suggested Super solution – NZ Conservative Coalition

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