Cabinet considering extending employer Kiwisaver beyond the age of 65

NZ First leader and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says that Cabinet is considering extending the age when employers have to contribute to employees’ Kiwisaver. The age employers are required by law to contribute is currently 65.

But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says that no decisions have been made.

And Seniors Minister Tracey Martin says “we need older people to stay in paid work”.

RNZ: Peters and Ardern send mixed messages over KiwiSaver changes

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Seniors, Tracey Martin, were at a Grey Power conference yesterday to announce an injection of more than $8 million to revamp the SuperGold card website, a new app and in funding digital literacy training for seniors.

During the announcement Ms Martin stressed the importance of maintaining a workforce over the age of 65.

“We are going to increasingly need older people to stay in paid work if they want to. We can not have 1.2 million seniors dropping out of the workforce,” she said.

At the conference, Horowhenua Grey Power president Terry Hemmingsen, who was called in to work after he had retired, asked why his employer – the government – had scrapped its contributions to his fund.

“The day you turn 65, that 2 percent employer contribution stops. With government agencies, so being in education, I could keep paying in myself, and did. But I lost the 2 percent. Now that’s discriminatory on the basis of age, wouldn’t you think?”

On that basis you could also say that paying people National Superannuation from age 65 is discriminatory on the basis of age.

But Hemmingsen has a point. People employed with negotiable wage rates can factor in things like the the employer contribution. The KiwiSaver contribution is part of an overall remuneration package, and once that ceases at 65 theoretically at least pay rates can be renegotiated.

But people employed by the Government with industry wide rates of pay, like teachers, may not be able to do that.

Perhaps a solution is for public servant pay rates to be adjusted once someone turns 65.

NZ Herald: Deputy PM Winston Peters says Cabinet is looking into changes to NZ Super eligibility

He said that Cabinet is considering changing the KiwiSaver rules so people over 65 were able to have their contributions matched by their employer.

speaking at the Grey Power annual meeting today, Peters hinted that changes were on the way in this area.

“Something like 70,000–80,000 people have come into our country … and whether they pay tax or not, have acquired full superannuation just like some of you who have worked 45 years,” he told those gathered.

“The issue of being able to arrive in our country and get full super after just 10 years is being addressed as I speak.”

Speaking to media after the speech, he said the Government was looking into increasing the amount of time someone has to live in New Zealand before being eligible for the scheme.

Asked if the Government’s position on the issue would be unveiled before the 2020 election, he said: “Very much so, yes”.

At the moment, if someone over 65 is still working their employer is not obligated to match their contribution.

Peters said this was “not right”.

“And the Government and Cabinet are looking at that matter as we speak – trying to see why that would be fair and, more broadly, why would we not keep on encouraging older people to keep on saving?

“It’s a serious question, we’re looking at that right now.”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was less enthusiastic, but also non-committal:

“New Zealand First has long held a policy in this area and it’s absolutely within any party leader’s rights to reiterate that,” she said at a post-Cabinet press conference today.

“But I note that the Deputy Prime Minister also acknowledged that no decisions have been made.”

“When we make any decision related to retirement or savings, they will be announced – I’m not going to speculate on any other policy work that is being done, or has been done”.

I am concerned that Cabinet could be discussing this possibility and could make a decision according to Peters without proper public discussion and debate.

There is no reference to KiwiSaver in the Labour-NZ First Coalition Agreement.

Steven Joyce leaving New National

Steven Joyce is retiring from Parliament. He has been a list MP since 2008, and has been a significant part of  National’s leadership along with John key and Bill English.

This isn’t a surprise after Joyce missed out on becoming leader after English’s retirement.

This leaves Simon Bridges to establish a ‘new generation’ leadership and a new look National Party before the 2020 election. That’s an opportunity that may or may not work out well, but they can have a go at it.

National:  Bridges pays tribute to Steven Joyce

National Party Leader Simon Bridges has thanked retiring MP Steven Joyce for his service to New Zealand and the National Party.

“Steven has made a huge contribution during his 15 year political career, including in the last decade in Parliament. In that time he has proven an exceptional minister, colleague, advisor and political strategist.

“As a minister, Steven has played a major role in helping create a stronger New Zealand, particularly in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis.

“Among his many successes, he oversaw the rollout of the ambitious Ultra-Fast Broadband programme, ensuring New Zealand is one of the most digitally advanced economies in the world.

“As Science and Innovation Minister he worked with the private sector to substantially lift investment in R and D, helping pave the way for some of the world leading science and business initiatives we are seeing and benefiting from today.

“And as Transport Minister he helped make New Zealand’s roads safer and more resilient, through initiatives like the Roads of National Significance.

“He was someone both John Key and Bill English turned to for advice and to get things done. That meant he was given some tough tasks but he consistently rose to those challenges. And I will also continue to use him as a sounding board as the National Party looks to 2020.

“He played a major role in rebuilding the National Party, leading the past five elections and helping turn National into New Zealand’s largest and most popular political party.

“Steven is a huge loss to Parliament and to the National Party and I want to thank him for his immense contribution to New Zealand, and his wife Suzanne and their children for sharing them with us. We wish him all the best.”


One observation with reaction to this news – I am again shocked at how petty and nasty many people are in politics. Joyce has played a significant and successful role in governing New Zealand over the last decade. Some people just don’t seem to be able to help pissing all over people with different political leanings.

The Nation – retirement, mental health

Today on

Can we afford to keep retiring at 65? We talk to and

An affordability problem that National remains in denial of.

Past and future growth of the elderly population

Between 1901 and 1951, the number of New Zealanders aged 65 years and over increased almost six-fold, from 31,000 to 177,000. Over the next 48 years, it grew by another 151 percent to reach 446,000 in 1999. This was much faster than for the rest of the population: for instance the number of children under 15 years and those in the working ages (15-64 years), increased by 54 and 109 percent respectively.

Between 1950-52 and 1995-97, the expectation of life at age 65 years increased by 2.7 years for males and 4.2 years for females, to 15.5 and 19.0 years, respectively (Statistics New Zealand, 1998).

The elderly’s share of New Zealand’s population has trebled from 4 percent in 1901 to over 12 percent in 1999 (see Figure 1).

Graph, Elderly Population.

Latest projections indicate that the population aged 65 years and over is expected to grow by about 100,000 during the current decade, to reach 552,000 by 2011. The pace of increase is projected to pick up after the year 2011, when the large baby boom generation begins to enter this age group. For instance, between 2011 and 2021 the elderly population is projected to grow by about 200,000 and in the following ten years by 230,000.

By 2051, there will be over 1.14 million people aged 65 years and over in New Zealand. This represents an increase of 715,000 or 166 percent over the base (1996) population. They are expected to make up 25.5 percent (or 1 in every 4) of all New Zealanders (4.49 million). At present there are about half as many elderly New Zealanders as children. By 2051, there are projected to be at least 60 percent more elderly than children.

http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/people_and_communities/older_people/pop-ageing-in-nz.aspx

Is our mental health sector in crisis, and is an inquiry needed?

This is a serious issue. Time and resources would be better directed at remedies rather than yet another inquiry. The term crisis is confusing.

If you are personally in crisis:

  1. If this is an emergency phone 111
  2. Or go to your nearest hospital emergency department (ED)
  3. Or phone your local DHB Mental Health Crisis Team (CATT Team) or ring Healthline 0800 611 116

  4. Or if you need to talk to someone else:

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or (09) 522 2999

Suicide Prevention Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOK0)

Youthline – 0800 376 633

Samaritans – 800 726 666

https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/get-help/in-crisis/

Is Scientology a religion or a rort? We talk to about his new book “Fair Game”.

 

 

On Tau Henare’s retirement announcement

National list MP Tau Henare confirmed he was retiring from Parliament at the end of this term.  This was an expected announcement. He did this via Twitter.

Well, I’m on my way to caucus to inform my colleagues of the that I intend to retire at the upcoming General Election.

It’s been a pleasure and a privelige and a very humbling experience. Thanks heaps folks.

Best friends and comrades have been wife and kids.

There’s been a few reactions from MPs.

Strangely sad to wake to the news that is retiring. One of Parliament’s true free thinkers and a great champion of LGBT rights.

Still at least you’ll be free now to speak your mind on twitter

Gonna miss you.

You too sis. Good luck.

Others:

Best of luck with everything .. Your a good bloke and I’ve quite enjoyed the yarns we’ve had over the years .

Tau, we’ll miss your wicked sense of humour and your huge support of us & our causes. Best of luck for the future 🙂 

the very best of luck on the next adventure. On a personal note, holy heck I’m looking forward to seeing what you tweet now haha

But more seriously, with Tau retiring w’ll have lost something important — an MP who’s willing to speak his mind. Kia ora 

Sorry to hear that Tau, you were always my favourite in National’s ranks. Congrats on your legacy, & best of luck for the future!

And Ruminator brings up a guest post written by Henare last year:

Tau Henare: Culture – all the good stuff

National Party MP Tau Henare writes on what he feels Maori Culture is, and how it can help society as a whole.

With all the talk of recession and how to get out of it, I remember only too well the last one. The 80s downturn for us in Otara was like a bald-faced gate crasher who arrived early, wrecked the place and wouldn’t leave.  Sixth form certificate wasn’t enough to get me a job. 30 years of service on the railways wasn’t enough to protect my father from redundancy. Yet as bad as things may have appeared to others, it was still one of the most upbeat times of my youth. I owe this to the rise of Maori culture. A culture largely forgotten by many of my father’s generation as they settled into the gentle pace of urban life. But its timely revival in rough times had given my own generation enthusiasm mixed with hope.

He concludes:

As someone that has traversed the full spectrum of political thought, and indeed started a party based on this very concept of culture, I have come to the conclusion that it has no natural political home but that culture should be woven into the fabric of all ideologies, because its true worth, particularly in times of crisis and uncertainty, is that it encourages the energy, enterprise and intellect in people to aspire to a greater cause or as my old uncle would say “all the good stuff”.

Tau Henare: “the PM’s got a team to run, if I don’t like it I can leave.” Says he likes everyone in Parl and won’t go kicking & screaming.

Tau also rules out returning to Parliament with another party.

Audrey Young: Memories of Henare

Mallard retirement – 2040?

Trevor Mallard indicated yesterday he is mid way through his career.

Trevor Mallard
17 May 2012 at 4:00 pm

Me final term who suggested that ? Midpoint of career more like it. Was involved in discussion in relation to one of my predecessors Walter Nash yesterday. Good precedent.

Mallard was first elected to parliament in 1984, twenty eight years ago. Doubling that would see him retire in 2040, when he’s 86 years old – the age Walter Nash was when he died in office. Nash was in parliament for 39 years and included a term as Prime Minister. If Mallard stays on as promised it would mean his career would span 56 years.

This means there’s plenty of time to find Mallard to serve defamation papers.

It appears that voters haven’t yet been consulted on their intentions for the next three decades.

Labour stalwarts hoping their party can recover and rebuild have not commented.