A Herald poll asked people their views on raising the retirement age. Surprisingly, support was strong – 52.3% think the issue needs addressing
National whines the country is broke so they have to cut public services and sell assets (while keeping on borrowing for tax cuts for the rich), but super for 65 year olds alone costs $625 million a year. That means just raising the retirement age by one year would save over ten years about as much as National is hoping to get from asset sales. And we wouldn’t lose the dividends from and control over our strategic assets.
12% of the money the government is spending this year will go on super, by 2015 that will be 15%, and by 2025 it will be 21%. Simply put, the system was never designed to support the majority of people for 15+ years of their lives. It’s not realistic to expect that the retirement age won’t rise while life expectancy does.
The UK and Australia are raising the retirement age to 67 in 2020 and 2023 respectively. A 67 retirement age in New Zealand would save $1.2 billion a year today, and more as the population ages. Should we follow other countries’ lead?
John Key has said he will never act on superannuation. He said this morning he can’t worry about something ten years off because he has too much worry about in the next ten weeks. That wonderful short-termism again. (he also said that selling assets reduces the country’s indebtedness to the rest of the world – its impossible to believe anything out of his mouth).
Will any party have the courage to take on super?