Retirement age, National and using ACT as a Trojan Horse

ACT Leader David Seymour is commending Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell for starting the conversation New Zealanders need to have about Super and retirement, and challenging other leaders to put their cards on the table for younger voters to see before next years’ election.

“ACT is the only party in parliament willing to have this debate, with every other leader running a mile from a sensible discussion,” says Seymour, “the figures Maxwell provides speak for themselves, with the number of over 65s doubling, the cost of super tripling, and the number of workers supporting each retiree falling from 4.4 to just 2.4 over the coming 20 years.”

Last year ACT proposed having a referendum on Super instead of the flag, but could not gain cross party support for taking on the issue.

“Ultimately this is about what sort of character we want in our governments. Do we want a Government that looks into the future and confronts difficult challenges, as the Retirement Commissioner is doing, or one that tells younger New Zealanders we?re not even allowed to discuss the future.

While there are a number of possible changes, ACT supports a gradual increase in the age of eligibility from 65 to 67, at a pace of two months per year every year beginning as soon as possible.

“John Key has said he will retire before the age raises. He could announce that he only wishes to be a five-term Prime Minister and that the adjustment will start in 2023, young New Zealanders can?t wait much longer than that. As the Commissioner rolls out an informative campaign, the issue will not go away.”

As covered last week, I agree that it is important that we sort our retirement and pension plan out as a country. ?But the problem is that no sitting government wants to open up that can of worms. ?Additionally, they don’t want to reach across the isle and have Labour turn it into a stick to beat them with.

The solution lies in allowing ACT to take on the job. ? Just like Charter Schools, ACT can be given a retirement review as part of its “coalition negotiations”. ?On the whole the Charter School stuff, it’s success and its failures have all been sheeted home to ACT, even though National are into it boots and all.

The same approach can be used where ACT will not take a hit for pushing retirement and National can see it come through without losing support from voters.

The earlier we act, the less severe the intervention will be.