David Parker says the Census data backs Labour's decision.
Photo / NZ Herald
Labour would raise the age of eligibility for New Zealand
Superannuation to 67, make KiwiSaver compulsory for employees
and increase the KiwiSaver contribution rate if voted into
Deputy Labour leader David Parker told members of the
superannuation industry his party was not afraid to tackle
the age of eligibility issue despite it being politically
"I am willing to deal with the age of eligibility for
superannuation. This is not populist politics."
Parker said the Census data released this week backed its
decision. He pointed to the number of people in the 50 to 59
age group increasing by 22 per cent since 2006 to 989,000.
"Although the total population increased, fewer people are
under 15 than in 2006 and this reinforces the need to address
Paying for superannuation cost more than all benefits
combined and within two years he expected it to exceed the
annual spend on education. Labour has proposed raising the
age of eligibility for New Zealand Superannuation from 2020
increasing it two months at a time to reach 67 by 2026.
But Parker said he was also mindful of the need to protect
people who could not work beyond 65 - especially given many
of those people were typically Labour voters.
He said it hoped to continue to support those who could not
work after 65 in their normal occupation.
"We are not going to force people to work in a lower
occupation. It will be on the basis of need." He estimated 5
to 10 per cent of those aged between 65 and 67 would be in
The party would also make KiwiSaver compulsory for those in
employment. It would be optional for the self-employed and
those without an income.
The National-led Government put off automatically enrolling
all employees in KiwiSaver because of the cost.
Parker said it would not drop KiwiSaver's incentives after
making the scheme compulsory despite the added costs
associated with keeping them.
Labour would also look to change the default setting from
conservative to an age-appropriate one - a decision which the
Government recently decided against.
- Tamsyn Parker of the NZ Herald