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Super. Reprise.

Written By: - Date published: 3:50 pm, October 31st, 2013 - 41 comments
Categories: benefits, Economy, poverty, socialism, superannuation, tax, welfare - Tags:

The meme of “we cannot afford super, welfare seems to be very powerful. So powerful, that even those who know better have been taken in.

http://kjt-kt.blogspot.co.nz/2012/06/on-new-zealands-retirement-income.html

“The finance industry have been creaming their pants, for a return to the halcyon days, before the tax rebates were removed from superannuation savings. When they got to play with our money for free, and the negative returns and high charges were ignored, because of tax payer subsidies.
Egged on by the neo-liberals who prefer the elderly, the unemployed and the sick to starve in the streets, as an incentive to scare working people into accepting starvation wages, while they continue to get 17% increases in wealth, the finance industry is dreaming of getting more of their sticky hands on our wealth,  with private super funds.”

We, apparently, cannot afford to pay a little more tax now to build capability for the future so we can sustain a “pay as you go” super, and, feed, house and look after everyone, no matter their age, BUT we can, apparently,  afford to gift a large proportion of our national wealth to the finance industry, to gamble with, and extract profits from.

What is the Government going to tell Kiwi saver investors, when it all disappears in the next GFC?

Unless we build capability within New Zealand, all we are going to have is a large number of pensioners trying to buy services with maturing retirement funds, that the country is no longer capable of providing, after years of neo-liberal hollowing out.

The USA has already shown what the finance industry can do to pension funds.
Look at all the State servants schemes, and 401 k’s over there, that have found there is no money in the till, after people have put large proportions of their income in for most of their life.

We have a viable, cheap, easy to administer and successful super scheme. Paid as we go through taxation.

A scheme that has been so successful in eliminating poverty amongst New Zealand’s elderly, at a reasonable cost, it should be extended to all ages.

41 comments on “Super. Reprise. ”

  1. Tracey 1

    Business confidence is highest in 14 years so we will see wages moving up now.

    buwahahahaga

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1

      They think things have sunk so low they can only get better, but National have twelve months to go yet.

      • aerobubble 1.1.1

        I just question whose running the world economy, the US is printing money, its has to have an effect, there has to be a day of accounting, and clawing back that claim on future value.

  2. phil 2

    The elderly are too well off! They have to suffer just like other beneficiaries, the poor, the low paid, shed dwellers, and earthquake victims. Equal opportunity for government neglect!

  3. Tat Loo 3

    Labour Party Conference delegates. Vote down the super age increase. Tell Conference, “NO WAY: find real alternatives.”

    • Jenny Kirk 3.1

      + 1 Tat Loo.

      There are definitely alternatives to the policy idea that Labour needs to increase the age of NZ Superannuation. A little bit of research starts unearthing these alternatives, and should not be beyond the skills of Labour MPs to find out. Already David Cunliffe has said he’s not opposed to increasing the top tax rates, and this is a basic starter to a fair superannuation scheme. Universal superannuation relies on a progressive tax system to work well. Labour needs to re-think this issue.

      • Tat Loo 3.1.1

        Absolutely. The money needed can always be found or otherwise credited as required. The real question, and the main one which should be occupying our minds, is whether or not we are developing an economy which has the real resources to look after an older population: enough medical specialists, enough suitable housing, enough care facilities, enough young people, etc.

      • Jim Nald 3.1.2

        Yup. Agree. Vote it down. Need more policy work.

  4. Jerry Ross 4

    a small tax increase in the top end would do a huge amount to the affordability of the scheme. The problem seems to be that the people that come up with these (raise the age ) ideas earn a lot more than the people that need to retire earlier because of hard physical work. Sure if you work in an office and earn a couple hundred thousand a year then raising the age seems like a great idea, hell you can retire anytime, not like someone that needs to retire with a broken body after busting their arse for years for next to nothing but has to work till the last as they have nothing in the bank but a little kiwisaver and some debt. I find it hard to believe that the party of the working people would raise the age rather than the tax on those that can easily afford it. Go on do something for the majority of the people that is good for a change and not just about your own financial position.

    • Tat Loo 4.1

      Yep. And there should probably be a medical circumstances exemption available for those who are 63 or 64 who should start receiving their super 1 or 2 years earlier.

      These will often be people who will probably be dead by the time they are 70 or so.

    • Er, these days the majority of the people in NZ don’t spend their working lives in constant hard physical labour. They also have increasing life expectancy. On that basis, it makes a lot more sense to provide for the “physical-wreck-by-60” people as exceptions rather than fund blanket retirement at 60 for everyone so that a small minority is covered.

      • Tat Loo (CV) 4.2.1

        Enough serving the man by 60 to let people do their own thing with their families and in communities.

      • miravox 4.2.2

        ” it makes a lot more sense to provide for the “physical-wreck-by-60″ people as exceptions”

        I agree with you on this point – my problem with increasing the age of retirement is that there is a big problem with young people out of work already and having more older people working on may exacerbate that. I don’t know anything about the trade-off between older and younger workers (or even if there is one), but it seems to me that having young people with bugger all hope is not a good plan for social cohesion or personal or financial growth.

        The UBI’s time has arrived, I reckon. The age thing is just tinkering.

        • Psycho Milt 4.2.2.1

          I don’t think youth unemployment is an issue for the retirement age. Employment isn’t a zero-sum game in which there’s a fixed number of jobs and if old people have them then young people can’t have them. High youth unemployment is pretty much a “feature” of capitalism the way NZ currently has it configured (ie, leaving it to private enterprise to provide jobs, but also legislating to make young workers a poor economic proposition for private enterprise – those two in combination are a recipe for high youth unemployment). The number of old people still in the workforce has little to do with it.

          • millsy 4.2.2.1.1

            So you think that young worker should have their wages slashed?

            First slash pensions, then wages. What it is with right wing fuckwits like you who want to make people broke?

          • miravox 4.2.2.1.2

            “legislating to make young workers a poor economic proposition for private enterprise “
            I don’t know about that. I think Europe and the UK show that there are structural problems rather than youth rates being the major problem. In the UK they’ve been making young people work for nothing and it’s not helping (unpaid internships and forcing them to work in private enterprise for the dole).

            I do see a problem with leaving private enterprise to provide jobs and suspect there is little incentive to train up new workers when you can continue to have the older workers doing the job. Private enterprise is not known for long term planning.

            Older workers, when they do lose their jobs, have an awful time trying to get new ones as well. There simply aren’t enough jobs there and some for of job blocking going on with ‘types’ of preferred workers, I guess.

      • Mary 4.2.3

        So you’re arguing against an exemption applying to a minority because that minority is not a majority? Clever.

      • Foreign Waka 4.2.4

        This is not so. A lot of people are working 2 jobs, most likely one is very physical – i.e. cleaners, handy men work etc to earn more money. Have you done such a job lately on a regular basis due to need not want? There is also the consequence of low income and health issues generally. In fact I would say that the generation that is retired or about to now had more of a chance of having a longer live due to less stress and better food options. This would include most politicians, government employees today and give me a guess who is saying that this can be changed? I am looking at men in particular at the age of around 60-62 and I can for the life of it no see that they have to go working as they do for another 7-8 years. Anyone who proposes this is actually saying that there is no pension at all, its just lip service to hoodwink large sections of the community. Proof me different without parading lifelong government sector employees for that purpose.

  5. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 5

    The meme of “we cannot afford super, welfare” seems to be powerful.

    I’ve noticed that.

    I’ve also noticed that the meme that the earth is spherical seems to be powerful.

    • Macro 5.1

      “I’ve also noticed that the meme that the earth is spherical seems to be powerful.”

      So you’re a flat earther as well as a Gormless Fool!

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      And the Gormless One proves that RWNJs can’t tell the difference between fact and fiction.

    • Murray Olsen 5.3

      Funnily enough, the Earth is not spherical.

  6. Macro 6

    “A scheme that has been so successful in eliminating poverty amongst New Zealand’s elderly, at a reasonable cost, it should be extended to all ages.”

    QFT

  7. The meme of “we cannot afford super, welfare seems to be very powerful. So powerful, that even those who know better have been taken in.

    Or, to put it another way, your personal view of this is not shared by the people who have some expertise in the area, so your conclusion is the experts must all be deluded. That is of course possible, but a simpler alernative explanation – that your view isn’t shared by the experts because it’s wrong – strikes me as a somewhat more likely one.

    • Tat Loo (CV) 7.1

      The global economic experts have led us to this wonderful global economic place; why shouldn’t we continue to trust their judgements?

    • framu 7.2

      then how did we afford the boomer buldge when they were kids?

      im guessing we had a depleted work force after WW2 and we certainly provided a hell of a lot of “freebies” to kids then – just where did all the money go?

      Thats not to say the issue today is the same – but just saying “The experts say this” without looking at other points in history and comparing, or examining the motives and background of those same experts is rather simplistic

      • Psycho Milt 7.2.1

        then how did we afford the boomer buldge when they were kids?

        No national superannuation to pay for, far fewer people on social welfare benefits, far fewer people at university, much less expensive health care – no doubt there are other factors.

        • framu 7.2.1.1

          less of a wealth gap, less people thinking they are separate to society, workers having a greater share of gdp, the abscence of voodoo neoliberal economics etc etc

          i not going to claim any expertise in the area, and your points sound about right

          I just think questions such as this are sorely missing from the debate – and i think it serves a certain sector of the economy and society to trick us into ignoring historical context (much like most political analysis these day)

      • Foreign Waka 7.2.2

        Most “experts” are like well fed fat cats and have something to loose if they don’t produce something “new” to get some living out of it by making the theory work for their end. This is the fallacy within academia and in my opinion why things go so pear shape. To progress independent minds are needed. The notion that the only way funding can be obtained is by supplying a research paper for publication of a popular issue will make any such undertaking financially dependable from supporters of that particular research. It stands to reason that these supporters have their own agenda. Would this not make any research at least questionable? Going back to the research about affordability of pensions….

    • millsy 7.3

      So you think that Super should be scrapped and old people have to live on the street then?

      • KJT 7.3.1

        Yes. That is exactly what Milt thinks.
        He is happy to have people living in dire poverty just so he can pay a few dollars less tax, that is, if he actually pays any taxes.

        He is just too gutless to say it out loud. Like most RWNJ’s.

    • KJT 7.4

      The experts that gave us the GFC, tax payer bailouts of the finance industry, increasing child poverty, the “trickle down theory” sic, unsustainable resource use, decreasing real wages, made us fall behind Australia despite a similar boom in commodity exports, increasing inequality, increasing social dysfunction, etc, etc.

      Those “experts”.

      “Yeah Right”.

  8. millsy 8

    Psycho Milt — does he want to get rid of the pension? Yes

    Is he proud that this country has the lowest level of senior poverty? No.

    Does he want old people living on the street? Yes

    Does he want to force down wages and reduce the purchasing power of the poor. Absolutely.

    • KJT 8.1

      The Psycho Milt’s will not be happy until we have people living in cardboard boxes on the streets like their ideal country.

      They do not realise that in those countries, without New Zealand’s social support, someone as thick as they are would be one of them.

  9. tricledrown 9

    To say costs of caring for an older population aren’t going to rise is burying our heads in the sand.
    Key is playing another Muldoom
    trick.
    Bribe enough voters to get past the next election and leave it to Labour to look like the bad guys.
    Less work in the future.How many jobs can be done by new technology.
    Less workers.Rapidly aging population aren’t going to be working or paying as much tax.
    The Cullen fund and Kiwisaver were a good start but need to be
    Expanded.
    Now and not later Labour are loosing votes for taking the higher moral ground National are letting labour take the hit on this.
    A smart move by Labour Greens would be to phase in a fully funded super scheme combing the Cullen fund to make sure that any body who wanted to retire at 65 could choose to.
    As Universal Super would be phased out as the selffunded super takes over win win.
    Just as is happening in Australia you can retire at 60 on their contrbutary super scheme.
    With the back up of a universal benefit for those who are unable
    To save!

    • KJT 9.1

      Havn’t you been reading.

      A “self funded” super invested in the finance industry will either
      1, disappear in the next financial meltdown or,
      2, lose its value as all the boomers try to spend their savings at once, in a country which has not bothered to develop the resources to provide for the future.

      There is no guarantee that Australia’s “savings” will, maintain their value. Even less likely that New Zealand’s will if we belatedly enter the ponzi scheme.
      Ask the Cypriots. Or the many US state servants whose retirement funds, they took pay cuts to maintain, or paid into for decades, have mysteriously disappeared.

    • KJT 9.2

      Funny we managed to pay for so much in the days when we had much fewer workers.

      In the days when women with families, the old, and ill people, did not have to work.

  10. captain hook 10

    its just more kiwi thug stuff beating up on people who cant fight back.
    There is plenty of money and always will be.
    just put a 5c tax on gasoline and the problem is solved.
    listen to the rugged individualists scream then.
    10c would fix the national debt as well but no the government uses all the tricks to keep the population stirred up about nothing much.
    storm in a d-cup.

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