Labour pledges to lift Super age to 67

David Parker says the Census data backs Labour's decision. Photo / NZ Herald
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 power.

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 challenging.

"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 superannuation."

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 that category.

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

Super tax age

I am now 64 and a bit. By this time next year I shall be receiving superannuation, but I shall also be paying the maximum tax rate on this benefit. I am quite happy that this benefit be waived until I am no longer able to fully contribute to society at whatever age I am deemed to be ineffective.

I have also been contributing the maximum amount to Kiwisaver (or equivalent) schemes that have managed to return < 1% over the last 20 years. Where did the rest go?  Feeding the financial zombies who get to play with the money and absolutely no accountability!

Although I have been required to work offshore due to lack of projects within NZ, I have whenever possible paid the balance of taxation in NZ in addition to all earnings that my company has made through my work. I have also been able to obtain direct offshore work for many of my NZ based colleagues over many years.

I do not believe that I am preventing younger folk from getting a job - rather I am bringing work to them.  They are our future - and the moment that I cannot make a positive contribution to NZ in whatever capacity that I am able is the day that I die! Hopefully after that day I'll get to meet dispatch some of the zombies to the other place thereafter, or will join them if I have wronged our country in any way shape or form.

Means testing

Leave the old age pension at 65 but means test, as happens in Australia. If you have a heap of money you don't really need the pension, do you?

Mixed feelings but...

People are living longer and medical science has got better in the last few decades so the age should be adjusted even to at least 65.5 to 66. Apart from smaller wars, people in their 60's and 70's now didn't have the same World Wars or great depressions to deal with, like my great-grandfather would have.

Jobs and retirement

Speedfreak: Do you perceive a lack of jobs for young people at the moment? I suggest anyone you know looking for a job should google dairy farm jobs. They are bringing people in from overseas because not enough Kiwis will do the job. 

However, to be clear, I totally agree that the pension shouldn't be cut. If we cut the pension for hard-working retirees we should cut other benefits entirely first.

Retirement age

One of the main points that got Mr Key's National governmernt elected first time round was that he would not increase the age. Good chance it will be another point to help them be re-elected at the next election. I'm sure I read in international news last week that someone else had put it up and were now bringing it back to 65. Can't recall where it was though.

The way i see it is the age must be slowly brought down and the unemployment benefit slowly phased out. This would enable those that had done their bit to enjoy some of what they had worked their lives for and also ensure there would job opportunities for the young seeking to enter the workforce.

Retirement should be optional for those that have reached the age and if proven they had been in employment for most of their working life, should be entitled to the pension and the choice to continue to work, without penalty should be theirs alone. 

Labour pledge....

I read the pledge this way....

Labour gifts next election to National. 

Raise the age pledge and I know where my vote will go 

Pay for pension

Even if Labour raise the age the baby boomers still get their pension anyway. And so they should! As should anyone who has worked all their life. It's worth paying tax for because everyone gets to use it in the end and it will be unfair for whoever doesn't make the cut because they will have to work longer. Ironic that Labour will raise taxes and not spend it on what they traditionally would fight for.

Retirement at 67 is a bad joke by Labour

I have read that there are many thousands of young people in this country 25yrs old  and younger, who have never held a job - that in my opinon is a National Disgrace. When are these young people ever going to be employed, and get on with their lives, if the retirement age keeps rising?

The only ones to benefit, by raising it, are the high earners and the ones in the halls of power. Just look at the age of many members in Government. Same faces, same stale ideas for decades, with some only leaving, when pushed. Most people in heavy industies, I know, are in bad health well before they are 65yrs old, never mind 67yrs. And many people won't even live to have any retirement at all, after working a lifetime. There doesn't seem to be any justice in that.

Collecting the superann' as well as holding down a full time job should be stopped immediately.  These people are getting most of their tax back via their Superann' -  Why should they get Superann', and hold down a full time job as well, when many young people are left on the scrap heap, collecting the dole, and in some cases, living hopeless lives?

There is no telling me that 60- 67yr old workers are as productive as fit and healthy young people. Young people should be working and building their futures, as we, who are already retired, did. I would really be interested to know how many people of retirement age are fully employed while collecting Superann' and how much tax the Government is missing out on because of it. 

 

 

 

 

Super age

The age for getting superannuation must go up, and the sooner the better. The only reason National isn't doing it is because they don't want to lose votes. At least Labour has balls.

It is unsustainable, period.

 

Work two years longer?

As well as promising to tax Kiwis more Labour now promise to force us all work two years longer in our one and only lifetime, and some people are going to vote for them at the next elections? Madness!

 

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