Kiwisaver: Bringing kindness back?

Stuff reports: quote:

A 39-year-old man with Down syndrome who wants access to his KiwiSaver funds early has taken his fight to Parliament.

Tim Fairhall spoke to MPs in Parliament on Wednesday – appealing to have access to his KiwiSaver funds before the age of 65 so he could travel overseas to see his brother and best friend while he was still in good health.

Having Down syndrome means Fairhall is ageing faster than most people.

In a TVNZ video, Fairhall said he would not live as long as most people but “it doesn’t matter how long you live as long as you make the most of your life”. end quote

Well, he has a great attitude. And this is supposed to be the government that ‘brings kindness back’. So would it be kind to let a man with Downs Syndrome take out his KiwiSaver money to go on an overseas trip? quote:

Fairhall’s mother, Joan, told TVNZ they wanted change in the law to allow him early access.

“We want it as soon as possible please so that Tim and other people like him can actually enjoy the money that they saved,” Fairhall said.

According to the NZ Herald, Fairhall’s mother enrolled him in KiwiSaver 10 years ago, thinking she was helping him save for his retirement, which she said would be in his 40s.

“This is Tim’s money, he earned it, he saved it. He saved it with a particular goal in mind. It’s important that he has a goal to look forward to. Tim is very hung up on that,” Fairhall said. end quote.

There are some obvious problems with this. The first is that, if he wanted to save his money for an overseas trip, KiwiSaver is not the vehicle in which to do it. His mother, who advised him to go into KiwiSaver, should have realised that the rules would normally mean that he would not be able to pull out the money when he wanted to. Apart from using the money to buy a house, it is not available to use for any other purpose, until he reaches the age of 65.

But he won’t reach 65. He is ageing rapidly, and may not make 45. So what do you do? quote.

On Wednesday, Commerce Minister Kris Faafoi told TVNZ legislation did not allow Fairhall to get “that flexibility” of accessing his KiwiSaver funds before age 65.

Faafoi did not think giving Fairhall access to his KiwiSaver funds early was “the right thing to do, though we obviously have sympathy for Tim and his situation,” he said. end quote.

Kindness is something that needs to be applied on a case by case basis. This would be a good example of where ‘kindness’ could be applied by this government. But no.

Of course, you can always argue that the rules are rules, and if they make an exception in this case, then what about the fact that women often live longer than men? And on it goes. In my opinion, he should never have been put into KiwiSaver in the first place. And yes, it might open the floodgates for a lot of other cases. But a government that wants to show itself to be kind might want to give this case more consideration, rather than just applying the rules as they currently stand. That would be the ‘kind’ thing to do.

I have another question for you on KiwiSaver.

Is it important to you if your KiwiSaver scheme scores well on an ethical ratings scale?

It is becoming clear these days that virtue signalling affects everything we do. Nowadays, when it comes to investments, it seems that the most important thing is what the fund managers actually invest in, not the return on your investment. And, as night follows day, this will mean that profitable companies that produce less ‘ethical’ products will not be included in the range of investment included in the funds.

This will mean more investment in green technology companies and less in traditional energy companies, tobacco or alcohol producing companies, or even food companies that use sugar or produce fast foods. You can completely forget companies like Monsanto, or even aluminium producing companies. It is just another form of control, but this particular control can significantly affect the amount of money you have for your retirement. Most people are not even aware that this is common practice nowadays.

Here is a good example for you. Lockheed Martin produce weapons. Virtually every ‘ethical’ fund manager would avoid it with a 10-foot pole.

But Lockheed Martin also produces rescue helicopters. Wouldn’t you want to invest in those?


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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

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