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?