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.

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    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Fossils
    When the new government promised to allow new offshore oil and gas exploration, they were warned that there would be international criticism and reputational damage. Naturally, they arrogantly denied any possibility that that would happen. And then they finally turned up at COP, to criticism from Palau, and a "fossil ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • GEOFFREY MILLER:  NZ’s foreign policy resets on AUKUS, Gaza and Ukraine
    Geoffrey Miller writes – New Zealand’s international relations are under new management. And Winston Peters, the new foreign minister, is already setting a change agenda. As expected, this includes a more pro-US positioning when it comes to the Pacific – where Peters will be picking up where he ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the government’s smokefree laws debacle
    The most charitable explanation for National’s behaviour over the smokefree legislation is that they have dutifully fulfilled the wishes of the Big Tobacco lobby and then cast around – incompetently, as it turns out – for excuses that might sell this health policy U-turn to the public. The less charitable ...
    5 days ago
  • Top 10 links at 10 am for Monday, December 4
    As Deb Te Kawa writes in an op-ed, the new Government seems to have immediately bought itself fights with just about everyone. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s my pick of the top 10 news and analysis links elsewhere as of 10 am on Monday December 4, including:Palau’s President ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Be Honest.
    Let’s begin today by thinking about job interviews.During my career in Software Development I must have interviewed hundreds of people, hired at least a hundred, but few stick in the memory.I remember one guy who was so laid back he was practically horizontal, leaning back in his chair until his ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand’s foreign policy resets on AUKUS, Gaza and Ukraine
    New Zealand’s international relations are under new management. And Winston Peters, the new foreign minister, is already setting a change agenda. As expected, this includes a more pro-US positioning when it comes to the Pacific – where Peters will be picking up where he left off. Peters sought to align ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    6 days ago
  • Auckland rail tunnel the world’s most expensive
    Auckland’s city rail link is the most expensive rail project in the world per km, and the CRL boss has described the cost of infrastructure construction in Aotearoa as a crisis. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The 3.5 km City Rail Link (CRL) tunnel under Auckland’s CBD has cost ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • First big test coming
    The first big test of the new Government’s approach to Treaty matters is likely to be seen in the return of the Resource Management Act. RMA Minister Chris Bishop has confirmed that he intends to introduce legislation to repeal Labour’s recently passed Natural and Built Environments Act and its ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • The Song of Saqua: Volume III
    Time to revisit something I haven’t covered in a while: the D&D campaign, with Saqua the aquatic half-vampire. Last seen in July: https://phuulishfellow.wordpress.com/2023/07/27/the-song-of-saqua-volume-ii/ The delay is understandable, once one realises that the interim saw our DM come down with a life-threatening medical situation. They have since survived to make ...
    6 days ago
  • Chris Bishop: Smokin’
    Yes. Correct. It was an election result. And now we are the elected government. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    6 days ago
  • 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #48
    A chronological listing of news and opinion articles posted on the Skeptical Science  Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Nov 26, 2023 thru Dec 2, 2023. Story of the Week CO2 readings from Mauna Loa show failure to combat climate change Daily atmospheric carbon dioxide data from Hawaiian volcano more ...
    6 days ago
  • Affirmative Action.
    Affirmative Action was a key theme at this election, although I don’t recall anyone using those particular words during the campaign.They’re positive words, and the way the topic was talked about was anything but. It certainly wasn’t a campaign of saying that Affirmative Action was a good thing, but that, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • 100 days of something
    It was at the end of the Foxton straights, at the end of 1978, at 100km/h, that someone tried to grab me from behind on my Yamaha.They seemed to be yanking my backpack. My first thought was outrage. My second was: but how? Where have they come from? And my ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Look who’s stepped up to champion Winston
    There’s no news to be gleaned from the government’s official website today  – it contains nothing more than the message about the site being under maintenance. The time this maintenance job is taking and the costs being incurred have us musing on the government’s commitment to an assault on inflation. ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • What's The Story?
    Don’t you sometimes wish they’d just tell the truth? No matter how abhorrent or ugly, just straight up tell us the truth?C’mon guys, what you’re doing is bad enough anyway, pretending you’re not is only adding insult to injury.Instead of all this bollocks about the Smokefree changes being to do ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The longest of weeks
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Friday Under New Management Week in review, quiz style1. Which of these best describes Aotearoa?a. Progressive nation, proud of its egalitarian spirit and belief in a fair go b. Best little country on the planet c. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Suggested sessions of EGU24 to submit abstracts to
    Like earlier this year, members from our team will be involved with next year's General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (EGU). The conference will take place on premise in Vienna as well as online from April 14 to 19, 2024. The session catalog has been available since November 1 ...
    1 week ago
  • Under New Management
    1. Which of these best describes Aotearoa?a. Progressive nation, proud of its egalitarian spirit and belief in a fair go b. Best little country on the planet c. Under New Management 2. Which of these best describes the 100 days of action announced this week by the new government?a. Petulantb. Simplistic and wrongheaded c. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • While we wait patiently, our new Minister of Education is up and going with a 100-day action plan
    Sorry to say, the government’s official website is still out of action. When Point of Order paid its daily visit, the message was the same as it has been for the past week: Site under maintenance Beehive.govt.nz is currently under maintenance. We will be back shortly. Thank you for your ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • DAVID FARRAR: Hysterical bullshit
    Radio NZ reports: Te Pāti Māori’s co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer has accused the new government of “deliberate .. systemic genocide” over its policies to roll back the smokefree policy and the Māori Health Authority. The left love hysterical language. If you oppose racial quotas in laws, you are a racist. And now if you sack ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago

  • Ministers visit Hawke’s Bay to grasp recovery needs
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon joined Cyclone Recovery Minister Mark Mitchell and Transport and Local Government Minister Simeon Brown, to meet leaders of cyclone and flood-affected regions in the Hawke’s Bay. The visit reinforced the coalition Government’s commitment to support the region and better understand its ongoing requirements, Mr Mitchell says.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand condemns malicious cyber activity
    New Zealand has joined the UK and other partners in condemning malicious cyber activity conducted by the Russian Government, Minister Responsible for the Government Communications Security Bureau Judith Collins says. The statement follows the UK’s attribution today of malicious cyber activity impacting its domestic democratic institutions and processes, as well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Disestablishment of Te Pūkenga begins
    The Government has begun the process of disestablishing Te Pūkenga as part of its 100-day plan, Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills Penny Simmonds says.  “I have started putting that plan into action and have met with the chair and chief Executive of Te Pūkenga to advise them of my ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend COP28 in Dubai
    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will be leaving for Dubai today to attend COP28, the 28th annual UN climate summit, this week. Simon Watts says he will push for accelerated action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement, deliver New Zealand’s national statement and connect with partner countries, private sector leaders ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to host 2024 Pacific defence meeting
    Defence Minister Judith Collins yesterday announced New Zealand will host next year’s South Pacific Defence Ministers’ Meeting (SPDMM). “Having just returned from this year’s meeting in Nouméa, I witnessed first-hand the value of meeting with my Pacific counterparts to discuss regional security and defence matters. I welcome the opportunity to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Study shows need to remove distractions in class
    The Government is committed to lifting school achievement in the basics and that starts with removing distractions so young people can focus on their learning, Education Minister Erica Stanford says.   The 2022 PISA results released this week found that Kiwi kids ranked 5th in the world for being distracted ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister sets expectations of Commissioner
    Today I met with Police Commissioner Andrew Coster to set out my expectations, which he has agreed to, says Police Minister Mark Mitchell. Under section 16(1) of the Policing Act 2008, the Minister can expect the Police Commissioner to deliver on the Government’s direction and priorities, as now outlined in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a strong and stable ETS
    New Zealand needs a strong and stable Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) that is well placed for the future, after emission units failed to sell for the fourth and final auction of the year, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says.  At today’s auction, 15 million New Zealand units (NZUs) – each ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • PISA results show urgent need to teach the basics
    With 2022 PISA results showing a decline in achievement, Education Minister Erica Stanford is confident that the Coalition Government’s 100-day plan for education will improve outcomes for Kiwi kids.  The 2022 PISA results show a significant decline in the performance of 15-year-old students in maths compared to 2018 and confirms ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Collins leaves for Pacific defence meeting
    Defence Minister Judith Collins today departed for New Caledonia to attend the 8th annual South Pacific Defence Ministers’ meeting (SPDMM). “This meeting is an excellent opportunity to meet face-to-face with my Pacific counterparts to discuss regional security matters and to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the Pacific,” Judith Collins says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Working for Families gets cost of living boost
    Putting more money in the pockets of hard-working families is a priority of this Coalition Government, starting with an increase to Working for Families, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “We are starting our 100-day plan with a laser focus on bringing down the cost of living, because that is what ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Post-Cabinet press conference
    Most weeks, following Cabinet, the Prime Minister holds a press conference for members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery. This page contains the transcripts from those press conferences, which are supplied by Hansard to the Office of the Prime Minister. It is important to note that the transcripts have not been edited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Lake Onslow pumped hydro scheme scrapped
    The Government has axed the $16 billion Lake Onslow pumped hydro scheme championed by the previous government, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says. “This hugely wasteful project was pouring money down the drain at a time when we need to be reining in spending and focussing on rebuilding the economy and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ welcomes further pause in fighting in Gaza
    New Zealand welcomes the further one-day extension of the pause in fighting, which will allow the delivery of more urgently-needed humanitarian aid into Gaza and the release of more hostages, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said. “The human cost of the conflict is horrific, and New Zealand wants to see the violence ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Condolences on passing of Henry Kissinger
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today expressed on behalf of the New Zealand Government his condolences to the family of former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who has passed away at the age of 100 at his home in Connecticut. “While opinions on his legacy are varied, Secretary Kissinger was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Backing our kids to learn the basics
    Every child deserves a world-leading education, and the Coalition Government is making that a priority as part of its 100-day plan. Education Minister Erica Stanford says that will start with banning cellphone use at school and ensuring all primary students spend one hour on reading, writing, and maths each day. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • US Business Summit Speech – Regional stability through trade
    I would like to begin by echoing the Prime Minister’s thanks to the organisers of this Summit, Fran O’Sullivan and the Auckland Business Chamber.  I want to also acknowledge the many leading exporters, sector representatives, diplomats, and other leaders we have joining us in the room. In particular, I would like ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Keynote Address to the United States Business Summit, Auckland
    Good morning. Thank you, Rosemary, for your warm introduction, and to Fran and Simon for this opportunity to make some brief comments about New Zealand’s relationship with the United States.  This is also a chance to acknowledge my colleague, Minister for Trade Todd McClay, Ambassador Tom Udall, Secretary of Foreign ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • India New Zealand Business Council Speech, India as a Strategic Priority
    Good morning, tēnā koutou and namaskar. Many thanks, Michael, for your warm welcome. I would like to acknowledge the work of the India New Zealand Business Council in facilitating today’s event and for the Council’s broader work in supporting a coordinated approach for lifting New Zealand-India relations. I want to also ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Coalition Government unveils 100-day plan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has laid out the Coalition Government’s plan for its first 100 days from today. “The last few years have been incredibly tough for so many New Zealanders. People have put their trust in National, ACT and NZ First to steer them towards a better, more prosperous ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand welcomes European Parliament vote on the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement
    A significant milestone in ratifying the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was reached last night, with 524 of the 705 member European Parliament voting in favour to approve the agreement. “I’m delighted to hear of the successful vote to approve the NZ-EU FTA in the European Parliament overnight. This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

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