Recommendation that the government raise the NZ Super eligibility age

NZ Initiative fellow Vanessa Jerame believes the pension age should rise and also be linked to health expectancy because men die on average five years earlier than women, therefore, they should get their pension five years earlier. Quote.

Jerame cites data from Statistics New Zealand which calculates the dependency ratio of those aged 65 and over to the working-age population of 15 to 64 years will rise from 20 per 100 people in 2011 to 39-51 per 100 in 2061.

And Treasury has calculated that if no changes are made now to spending, taxes or responses to debt, the gross cost of New Zealand Superannuation will rise from about 5% of government spending in 2015 to 8 percent in 2060.” End of quote.

The NZ initiative report just released is calling for the pension age to be raised above 65 because we are all living longer than we used to. Quote.

The pension age is the same as it was in 1898 when fewer than half of all males were expected to live that long,” Jeram said in her report: ‘Embracing a Super Model: The superannuation sky is not falling.’ End of quote.

The sky might well fall in for an over 65-year-old too physically burnt out by manual labour, or who just can’t get work in a market with a preference for youth.

But that’s of no consequence to a young person in a well-paying job with her whole working career ahead of her. Quote.

Specific features of the model contribute to its success but keeping the eligibility age at 65 is not one of them.

New Zealand’s tax and welfare system is generally progressive in that it transfers money from the rich to the poor, but keeping the superannuation age at 65 could reverse that, she said.” End of quote.

It is not progressive to simply keep taking from the rich and giving to the poor. Jerame’s socialist worldview has stamped its mark on her report.

A progressive approach would be to stop the growth of our welfare-dependent population and strong arm the poor into looking after themselves.

When asked on the AM show whether the government would move on her suggestion to raise the eligibility age Jerame said: quote.

We don’t have strong signals from government either way about what is going to happen in the future, and actually it’s doing young people a huge disservice.” End of quote.

What Jerome thinks is that super is a hefty burden on working youth but she forgets people on super paid 40 plus years of taxes in advance of receiving it.  Would you pay taxes your whole working life and happily forgo retirement to look after someone who hasn’t worked or contributed a single cent?

Winston Peters agrees NZ super has an issue over inequality but he points to a different bunch of bludgers. On the AM show, he said migrants are eligible to receive super after living here for 10 years regardless of their lack of contributions to the New Zealand tax system. Quote.

What did they say about the 90,000 people over the last 15 years who have got full time super after ten years, that’s ten year’s residence in NZ, whether they’ve paid any tax or made any contribution at all.” End of quote.

Winston has a bill to increase the migrant eligibility age to 20 years.  I think he’s onto a winner.

Winston also argues that we are at half the level of funding that other first world countries are at around 5% of GDP, so leave the eligibility age alone he says.

Fingers crossed Winnie will cross the finish line on both issues.


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