retirement age

A better plan to attack the retirement age problem

Jamie Mackay writes

I want to talk about retirement, a word that doesn’t always sit comfortably with rural folk. In the case of farmers it can sometimes even have deadly consequences. I know too many farmers who have either retired early to town, only to die on their La-Z-Boy recliner, or those who have never retired from the farm at all and died with their boots on!

Which leads me to the big political debate of the past week – the age of eligibility for national superannuation. I reckon the solution to the super debate is simple. Lock Bill, Andrew, James and Metiria, Te Ururoa and Marama, David and Peter in a confined space and let them out when they’re reached a bi-partisan agreement on national super. Note that I haven’t included Winston in the aforementioned group of political party leaders, due to his propensity and penchant for peeing into the tent from the outside.

Although it’s admirable Bill is tackling this thorny (some would say no-win) issue in election year, I question the reasoning for the arbitrary peg in the sand in 2037. That can end up being tinkered with by successive governments over the next two decades. Read more »

Grey Power spits the Retirement Age dummy

The chances of avoiding a head on clash between Grey Power and the Government over raising the age of national superannuation are fading as the organisation?s 65000 members prepare for political war.

National president Tom O?Connor said he had planned to debate the Government?s announced intention, to raise the age of entitlement to 67, at their AGM in May but the response from across the nation had been swift and very angry.

“It?s like someone has kicked a beehive and I wouldn?t to be around when the lid comes off.”

O?Connor said not all Grey Power members were old enough to draw national superannuation yet but they were determined to protect the scheme from political interference.”

I don?t think they have been this angry since an attempt to impose a surtax on superannuation 30 years ago gave rise to Grey Power,” he said.

O?Connor said lifting the age of entitlement because national superannuation had become unaffordable had become an ill-founded mantra of the far right but there was no sound evidence to support it.

“National superannuation amounts to less than 4% of GDP. Even if the amount currently paid doubles over the next twenty years GDP will probably increase by a similar amount or more.” He said. Read more »

“If Mr English had his way he would scrap NZ Super entirely”

Winston isn’t letting Bill off the hook

National?s record of back flips over NZ Superannuation show they cannot be trusted and that won?t change with Prime Minister Bill English?s plan to increase the age of eligibility to 67, says New Zealand First leader and Northland Member of Parliament, Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“If Mr English had his way he would scrap NZ Super entirely; he has never liked it.

“In Parliament today he displayed either selective memory or a sad case of amnesia over National?s NZ Super performance.

“He has been an MP since 1990; in 1996 he became health minister and in 1999 finance minister yet today he acted as though he wasn?t there, as if saying, ?I know nothing.?

“But New Zealanders will be asking why they should trust National when this party made a 1990 election promise to raise the age to 65 over a 20 year period in annual increases of three months which after the election they switched to eight years? Read more »

Trevett: Winston was right all along!

Red Claire hasn’t realised even a broken clock is right twice a day and proposes Winston Peters has been right on the money when he said National was going to betray all the old people by dicking around with Super.

Never let it be said NZ First leader Winston Peters does not keep a promise.

For eight long years, Peters has promised National had a secret plot to cut away at superannuation. For eight long years, Peters was the only one who smelled this putrid, rotting rat as former Prime Minister John Key grinned and held to his pledge not to change super or he’d resign.

Then he did resign and suddenly, lo and behold, there it was – a plan from Prime Minister Bill English to raise the superannuation age from 65 to 67.

Peters’ roar of triumph was immediate. Read more »

A Gen X-er has conniptions

Have I always paid my taxes?


Was I part of the first generation forced to get students loans (at 7 percent compounding interest a year, while studying, then with an extra 10 percent deducted from my pay packet)?


Did the ones before, or after, us have to pay interest on their loans?


Am I jealous?

A smidgen.

Do I protest, too much? Read more »

Dunne tries for relevance on the Superannuation ‘debate’

It’s almost like watching your grandpa get out of a chair to show you he can still do Rock n Roll (he can’t), but you admire the effort rather than the performance. ? Peter Dunne had absolutely no interest in the topic, but now jumps up and does something similar to dancing?as he attempts to find relevance for UnitedFuture.

UnitedFuture leader, Hon Peter Dunne, is calling upon the Government to introduce UnitedFuture?s Flexi-Super policy as well as make KiwiSaver compulsory, to ensure the sustainability of the New Zealand Superannuation scheme into the long term.

“Flexi Super lets people choose when they want to take up superannuation – without being told by the government when they should or should not retire.

“At the moment there is no choice but to continue working until the age of 65 to receive New Zealand Superannuation,” said Mr Dunne.

“That is not an option that suits everyone, particularly those who have physically demanding jobs. Read more »

It must be election year: Winston is scaring his constituents again

Winston Peters

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has warned Grey Power members that NZ Super is under threat – and dismissed Act Party leader David Seymour as Epsom’s “ventriloquist dummy”.

Peters rounded on Seymour as well as National and Labour in a speech to more than 100 Grey Power North Shore members today.

Covering familiar topics such as the bias of media, immigration levels – “a fatal pathway to disaster” – and law and order, Peters’ central message was that NZ Super was under threat.

Yup. ?Winston’s back fanning the flames of fear among the infirm and befuddled.? Read more »

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. Read more »


Retirement Age Debate: not urgent, yet, but important

Currently anyone who has lived in New Zealand for more than a decade and is over 65 is entitled to the national super scheme.

But Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell told TV3’s The Nation the system is unsustainable because of increasing lifespans, and the age needs to be gradually raised from 65 to 67 over the next decade.

“The number of 65-plus will double in the next 25 years. The cost of super will triple in the next 20 years.”

She said on average OECD countries required people to be residents for at least 26 years to be eligible for super schemes, and New Zealand needed to look at shifting its criterion towards the 25-year mark.

She said the government would then need to use the $1.6 billion in savings from those changes to help those in jobs that could not be done into old age.

Read more »

Work until you die…if they’ll let you

It has?been described as a?tidal wave of demographic?change and a looming war over a shrinking pool of talent. But no matter how you put it, the statistical fact remains the same:?New Zealand’s workforce is aging.

After years of reports and discussions about the changing age profile of the country’s workers, the implications?are now beginning to hit home.

The change in the number of people still working past conventional retirement age has reached record levels. A year ago, at 22.2 percent, New Zealand hit the highest ever rate of employment among those aged 65 years and over, and there’s no sign of a let up. Only 30 years ago, the?rate was about 9 percent.

And like Auckland’s infrastructure, no political party will deal with this issue because, when it is finally critical, they’ll be resting on their directorship, OBEs or cemetery plots.? Read more »