retirement

Flip-floppery over super all the rage

Vernon Small comments on the superannuation debate reignited by Bill English.

So the dance of hypocrisy takes another whirl.

The flip-flop-athon of superannuation policy continues.

Those of us condemned to remember, or report on, the 1980s and 1990s can recall Labour breaking an election promise by implementing a superannuation surcharge – effectively means testing the universal pension – and then National increasing the impost after promising “no ifs, no buts, no maybes” to abolish it. The upshot was a cross-party accord that went nuclear, as in Chernobyl.

We can also remember when National tried to argue that reducing the indexation link from 65 per cent of the net average wage to 60 per cent was not a cut – just a reduction in future upward adjustments.   Read more »

NZ ranked first in the world as best place… …to retire

Best country to live?  New Zealand ranked 13th

The ranking, by US News and World Report’s so called “informed elites”, pitted New Zealand 14th overall, while Switzerland, which is highly regarded for its citizenship, business climate and quality of life, took out the top spot.

Switzerland unseated Germany for the top spot in the US news magazine’s annual ranking of the world’s best countries, which said the Alpine nation is “a sanctuary for calm reason”. Read more »

Cat fight: Ardern vs Kaye

Nikkie Kaye calls out Jacinda Ardern over superannuation:

Youth Minister Nikki Kaye has taken a swipe at freshly-appointed Labour deputy Jacinda Ardern over her “flip-flopping” on raising the pension age.

Kaye, 37, and Ardern, 36, will both have to wait an extra two years for state superannuation under National’s plan to raise the age of eligibility to 67 by 2040.

The pair have history after Ardern ran against and lost to Kaye in the largely young professional electorate of Auckland Central in the previous two elections – their contest was labelled the “Battle of the Babes”.

Speaking to media on Tuesday morning, Kaye said many of her friends assumed they wouldn’t get anything from the state when they retired and raising the age was the “most honest thing to do”.   Read more »

Told you, Winston craps on Bill’s super plans

It didn’t take a rocket scientist to work out Winston Peters wasn’t going to have a bar of Bill English’s never-never plan to increase the age of eligibility for superannuation.

New Zealand First’s leader Winston Peters has completely ruled out supporting legislation that would raise the age of entitlement for superannuation.

Prime Minister Bill English yesterday announced his intention to raise the super age from 65 to 67, in six-month increments from 2037 to 2040.

Every other party in Parliament, except ACT, opposes an increase in the age of eligibility.   Read more »

Isaac nails it, Bill’s superannuation plans unlikely to survive election

Isaac Davison nails it, Bill English’s superannuation plans are highly unlikely to survive the election.

Prime Minister Bill English’s proposal to lift the retirement age to 67 may not survive past the election after National’s likely coalition partners and opponents roundly rejected it.

The major policy shift by National is not scheduled to take place until 2037. It will affect every New Zealander under 45.

It is also set down to pass into law next year, meaning its progress will hinge on the general election result in September.

Labour said it would not raise the age if it came into power at the election – a position which was backed by its campaigning partner, the Greens.

New Zealand First, which could hold the balance of power after the election, is firmly against lifting the eligibility age. However, leader Winston Peters praised a separate proposal to require immigrants to live in New Zealand for twice as long – 20 years – to get access to NZ Super.

Read more »

Simply inept political improvisation

Chris Trotter comments on Bill English’s superannuation screw up:

We’ll probably never know whether Monday’s announcement on NZ Superannuation was carefully planned, or simply inept political improvisation. Either way, it is highly likely that Bill English has just cost National the 2017 General Election.

I think it was inept political improvisation but disagree with Chris that it has cost National the election. Labour are so conflicted on this policy and so inept they make even Bill English look competent.

As if high-interest student loans and unaffordable houses were not intergenerational injustice enough for Generation X, a Baby Boomer Prime Minister has just advanced their retirement age from 65 to 67.

For older New Zealanders, English’s announcement has stirred-up bitter memories. Fears that John Key’s pledge to leave NZ Super alone had put to bed for nine years have been reawakened.

Read more »

Bill hands Winston a big stick to beat National with

Bill English misspoke on the weekend and now he is frantically making out like the superannuation changes have been planned for a long time.

All Bill English has done however is create a platform for Winston to stand on and a big stick to beat National with. Winston Peters is now whaling away on Bill’s exposed posterior.

NZ First leader Winston Peters is refusing to say whether he’d support raising the pension age but says a 20 year lead in is “preposterous”.

Prime Minister Bill English announced on Monday the government would gradually phase in raising the age for superannuation to 67 to start reducing the long term costs of an ageing population.

Peters, who has long drawn strong support from the grey vote, says the National Party helped “form the problem and now they say they’re going to solve it”.   Read more »

Time to rip off the Superannuation bandaid

Bill English like John Key isn’t keen to rip off the superannuation band-aid because he knows that making the hard decisions will be painful. The longer the superannuation problem is covered up the worse the infection underneath will become. As an economic whiz, Bill English knows it has to be done and the sooner he acts the better.

Andrew Little wants  New Zealand’s Superfund boosted but he wants the retirement age of 65 to remain unchanged so he is not willing to face unpopular economic reality.

Ex -PM John Key pledged to resign if he ever changed superannuation entitlements. Now that he is gone Bill English has taken the pragmatic step of dropping Keys’ pledge to not increase the age of entitlement. Whether he will follow that up with action remains to be seen.

Read more »

Andrew Little provides another reason for voters to stay with Bill English

Andrew Little really is a political retard. After failing to make a dent against John Key, going backwards, he has now handed voters yet another reason for voters to stay with National.

Superannuation.

The debate over retirement age has ended now, with no pressure on Bill English whatsoever after Andrew little conceded that it should remain the same, at 65. Even Winston Peters supports that.

Newly appointed Prime Minister Bill English should resume payments into the country’s superannuation fund “as a matter of priority” – but keep the retirement age untouched, Labour leader Andrew Little says.

In his first press conference as prime minister, English ruled out making the same commitment as former prime minister John Key, who pledged to resign if he ever changed superannuation entitlements.

“I’m not making the same pledge as the previous prime minister did, that was a product of its time, where there was a need to establish trust.

“I think it was a sound decision then, because the election was followed by a recession, which could have caused real insecurity for older people.”   Read more »

Two out of five of you aren’t just bludgers, you are also getting too old

Guest post

A new look at setting retirement income policies

by Michael Littlewood
Former co-director, Retirement Policy and Research Centre, University of Auckland

The Retirement Commissioner is currently reviewing the country’s retirement income policies and has called for suggestions to assist her.  This kind of review has happened regularly (1992, 1997, 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013) but governments of the day have essentially ignored all but the first one in 1992.  There have been contemporary political reasons for this relative indifference but I wonder if we need to step back a piece from the detail and think about the public policy issues from a wider perspective.

My submission to the 2016 review (accessible here) suggests such an approach.  We need to discuss what governments can do and, based on the evidence, what they seem unable to do.

I suggest that there are just four main things that only the government can do with respect to retirement incomes and saving:

  • Tax and redistribute: Using its power to tax and redistribute, a government can reduce or, perhaps even eliminate poverty in old age.  New Zealand Superannuation presently does a reasonable job of that but the question is whether NZS can fulfil a similar role over coming decades?
  • Regulating and taxing investments: Its power to regulate means that only a government can set disclosure requirements for investment offerings and tax equivalent investments equivalently.  That does not happen at the moment.  For example, the tax treatment of ‘collective investment vehicles’ is a complex, inconsistent mess. Read more »
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