web analytics

Retirement age

Written By: - Date published: 7:18 am, July 23rd, 2010 - 20 comments
Categories: john key, superannuation - Tags: ,

Speaking of things that should retire, Don Brash has been in the news:

Let individuals choose when to retire

Former National leader Don Brash has waded back into the retirement debate, suggesting future governments let workers decide for themselves what age to retire.

His call coincides with a major retirement income policy seminar in Wellington this week where there are expected to be calls for compulsory superannuation to help prepare for a looming “silver tsunami”.

Dr Brash is also raising the alarm over New Zealand’s ageing population. In a speech to an Auckland business audience yesterday, he said workers should be able to decide what age to collect a pension, with the rate determined by the age at which they start.

Both National and Labour were quick to reject the proposal:

National and Labour spurn Brash’s suggestion of flexible pension

New Zealand’s two major parties have been quick to shoot down a novel proposal by former National Party leader Don Brash to raise the state pension age to 67, but with flexibility to retire earlier or later on different rates. …

But a spokesman for Finance Minister Bill English said there would be no changes to either the qualifying age or payment levels of NZ super. “This is built into the Government’s long-term spending path and fiscal forecasts.”

Labour deputy leader Annette King said Labour also supported keeping the qualifying age at 65 and saving money for it through the “Cullen fund”, with people also encouraged to save extra through KiwiSaver.

No Right Turn points out some of the problems with the proposal:

The only reason is to soften us up for an increase in the retirement age – an increase which would be unfair to Maori and unfair to the poor, who are more likely to die before retirement age. We know Brash doesn’t care about those groups – his willingness to use racially divisive politics and his advocacy for the abolition of the minimum wage shows that clearly enough – but the rest of us should. A retirement benefit that is paid only to the rich and lucky is no benefit at all.

I suspect that there are many in National who would love to raise the retirement age, but their hands are very much tied by Key’s highly publicised promise to resign if that takes place. But the ball is blatantly in National’s court here. The problem of funding future retirement is very real. Labour made a solid start in the previous government with the Cullen fund and Kiwisaver. The Nats – as ever unable to think further than the next election – have done nothing except weaken both of Labour’s initiatives. So having rejected Brash’s advice, what does National have to offer? Where is the brighter future for our retirees John?

20 comments on “Retirement age ”

  1. ghostwhowalksnz 1

    The well off will game the system, as their national super would mostly go in taxes ( the people over 65 allready pay 25-30% of the cost of the super scheme in income taxes alone).
    Thus they would forgo the money to collect more later when their tax payments would be lower.
    Brash himself would be a prime example , earning big money for a few years due to feeding at the public trough, but not likely to last .
    BTW what ever happened to his big career in high finance after he resigned as Opposition leader and left parliament- they didnt want him is the answer.
    We should say the same

  2. Irascible 2

    Any of Key’s promises are not worth the air they were spoken on. Resign if the age for superannuation was raised? Yes, but things have changed since I made the promise… eligibility is now 70 as the till is empty following our usual policy failures.

    • felix 2.1

      Resign as PM? Nah, I said “Re-Sign as PM”. I’ll sign anything you like as PM. Pretty relaxed about it too.

  3. tc 3

    Sad that after Brash was given the opportunity and proved to everyone that he’s got no relevant new ideas. only previously failed ones, he’s still trotted out by the MSM as someone who’s opinion is worth considering.

    But then this is a MSM that thinks such items as Beiber fever, apple’s new toy launch and Hosking/Hawkseby rate as news worthy.

    For balance they should randomly select people from all over and put their views up as worthy rather than persist with has-beens like Brash and obvious govt mouthpieces like Phil O’Reilly etc

  4. Gosman 4

    Instead or raising the retirement age for all perhaps the Government could timebox the pension to say 25 years. Then it would be up to the individual if they wanted to retire at 65 or not.

    The other option would be to reestablish the Super surcharge for wealthier retirerees from age 65 through to maybe 75.

  5. toad 5

    r0b, there was a conference I went to in Wellington over the last two days on this very issue, hosted by the Retirement Commissioner and Victoria University’s Institute of Policy Studies. The conference documents are here.

    The view that the funding of future retirement income is a real problem is not just that of the Treasury – even economists like Ganesh Nana and Susan St John, neither of whom espouse the sort of neo-liberal crap that comes from Brash and often from Treasury, agree there is a problem.

    Disturbingly, no MPs were there and of the political parties only the Greens bothered to send a staffer.

    I think one of the silliest things we ever did re retirement policy was abolish the surcharge that Gosman refers to at 9:49 above. Reinstating something like that (ie maintaining universal entitlement, but taxing other income of people who receive NZ Super at a higher rate) would address a large part of the problem. Brash’s “solution” won’t – it will just further redistribute from the poor to the wealthy (because the wealthy tend to live longer).

    Love your opening line BTW, r0b.

    • prism 5.1

      Have you figures to back that statement toad – that the wealthy tend to live longer. Is that in general, or just after the retirement age of 65 is reached. It is well known that the longest living people are women, and being wealthy may make a difference to that longevity. They could afford better access to medical intervention and that would affect the defining stat.

      A surgeon recently referred to 80 year olds having heart surgery and that would be affected by money. Would this be state funded I wonder or privately, through having insurance, as this would be most expensive? Perhaps there should be special health insurances set up and all those over 75 could draw on it when they wanted life-extending operations. The state would just assist mobility with joint surgery, vision with eye surgery and pain relief.

      (At present there is not enough money to treat child ailments and the continuing failure of early treatment for ear problems leading to disability resulting in a poorer grasp of education and loss of opportunities in future life.)

      • Bored 5.1.1

        There is actually plenty of money for retirement etc Prism, the issue is who holds it. Have a look at income and wealth distribution and the issue becomes clear. It is how do you prise the cash from those who have far too much and use it where it is needed? There are some well tested ways, depends how severe we need to be should those that have the cash not volunteer their assistance in redistributing their money holdings.

      • toad 5.1.2

        Try here, prism. There is debate about the mechanisms, but little debate about the correlation.

    • r0b 5.2

      Cheers toad. Depressing to hear the poor turnout for the conference.

  6. Lanthanide 6

    “have done nothing except weaken both of Labour’s initiatives.”

    Disagree.

    As of this October, you will be able to elect 2%, 4%, 6%, 8% or 10% of your income to go towards Kiwisaver, whereas Labour only allowed 4% and 8%. I think National’s numbers make a hell of a lot more sense, and make Kiwisaver a lot more feasible for many NZers. I myself am on the 2% rate, and if it weren’t for that I wouldn’t be saving at all (although my whole portfolio is down 3% thanks to the recession, but of the total money in my account I’ve only contributed about 30% of it myself).

    • r0b 6.1

      Fair call. I have heard the case that the 2% rate increases participation. Whether that balances the losses that occur from those that could (and probably should) do 4% but chose 2 instead, I don’t know of any numbers on this. Will look in to it some time.

  7. deemac 7

    I was pleased to see plenty of media comments about Brash’s own retirement being overdue!

  8. vto 8

    Mean-testing has to be an option. Paying out super to folk who don’t need it from the pockets of workers struggling to make ends meet seems brainless.

    Unfortunately voters vote generally with only themselves in mind and the grey block of voters is a hefty one to try and placate. I know I have never been able to have a rational debate over super with a superannuitant. “I’ve paid taxes all my life” blah blah, they say. Yes, I say, but what did your govts do with your taxes? Why did you vote in Muldoon? Why didn’t your generation do something about this problem before? etc and on it goes.

    Maybe Gareth Morgan has got it right and we just give every single person a basic living allowance …

    • felix 8.1

      There is a certain simple poetry to that idea, ain’t there?

    • prism 8.2

      vto the blah blah ‘all my life’ is what I have heard from olders too. Listening to that reinforces to me the need for active financial regulation. People with such poor understanding of money and distribution need protection from razor sharp minds.

      The study on health deterioration quoting Whitehall and going down the seniority ladder is good toad. Still reading it. Don’t know if it mentions status, the public school toff and same school fag would react differently to each stimulus. Also the stress on a middle or under-manager is apparently much higher than that on the head supervising. The other is a ‘gofer’ interacting above and below and responsible for the outcomes to the boss. That would be mostly men but both genders would have the same reaction I think. Would people in unsatisfying jobs at older ages die earlier than otherwise? It’s grim if you have to work in a hated job for a hated boss at survival wages and anti-social hours with no extra available for fun or pleasure, because of a late retirement age. (Women have less stress at some ages and social status and can manage better on small incomes, helping their longevity.)

  9. burt 9

    The age of retirement should be indexed to the oldest still working member of parliament. Perhaps averaged over a 5 year period to mitigate sudden and unavoidable peaks and troughs.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Jump starting research careers
    The Government is investing up to $10 million to support 30 of the country’s top early-career researchers to develop their research skills. “The pandemic has had widespread impacts across the science system, including the research workforce. After completing their PhD, researchers often travel overseas to gain experience but in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Project protects jobs and nature
    A Waitomo-based Jobs for Nature project will keep up to ten people employed in the village as the tourism sector recovers post Covid-19 Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “This $500,000 project will save ten local jobs by deploying workers from Discover Waitomo into nature-based jobs. They will be undertaking local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Minister Shaw speaks with U.S. Presidential Envoy John Kerry
    Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw spoke yesterday with President Biden’s Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. “I was delighted to have the opportunity to speak with Mr. Kerry this morning about the urgency with which our governments must confront the climate emergency. I am grateful to him and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes three diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today announced three diplomatic appointments: Alana Hudson as Ambassador to Poland John Riley as Consul-General to Hong Kong Stephen Wong as Consul-General to Shanghai   Poland “New Zealand’s relationship with Poland is built on enduring personal, economic and historical connections. Poland is also an important ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Major redevelopment of Wainuiomata High School underway
    Work begins today at Wainuiomata High School to ensure buildings and teaching spaces are fit for purpose, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. The Minister joined principal Janette Melrose and board chair Lynda Koia to kick off demolition for the project, which is worth close to $40 million, as the site ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New expert group appointed to advise Government on Oranga Tamariki
    A skilled and experienced group of people have been named as the newly established Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board by Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis today. The Board will provide independent advice and assurance to the Minister for Children across three key areas of Oranga Tamariki: relationships with families, whānau, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 vaccine slated for possible approval next week
    The green light for New Zealand’s first COVID-19 vaccine could be granted in just over a week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today. “We’re making swift progress towards vaccinating New Zealanders against the virus, but we’re also absolutely committed to ensuring the vaccines are safe and effective,” Jacinda Ardern said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New ACC Board members announced.
    The Minister for ACC is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to join the Board of ACC on 1 February 2021. “All three bring diverse skills and experience to provide strong governance oversight to lead the direction of ACC” said Hon Carmel Sepuloni. Bella Takiari-Brame from Hamilton ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Economic boost for Southland marae
    The Government is investing $9 million to upgrade a significant community facility in Invercargill, creating economic stimulus and jobs, Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson and Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene have announced.  The grant for Waihōpai Rūnaka Inc to make improvements to Murihiku Marae comes from the $3 billion set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago