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Time for cross party accord on super

Written By: - Date published: 1:24 pm, December 12th, 2016 - 87 comments
Categories: labour, national, superannuation - Tags: , ,

English is not making the same stupid pledge as Key, to let superannuation consume the future. Good. (Time to start repayments to the Cullen fund while you’re at it Bill.)

Labour campaigned on restructuring super (raising the age of eligibility) in 2011 and 2014. But Andrew Little abandoned that policy, leaving clear decks for 2017. So Labour could go populist and oppose any move from National to do so. But I hope that they do not.

With suitable protections for vulnerable people, such as physical labourers, the age of eligibility for universal superannuation needs to rise.

English’s position creates an opportunity. Time for a cross party accord. Take super off the table as a political football and solve the damn problem. For the good of NZ.


For a counter view see I/S at No Right Turn: Opportunity knocks.


87 comments on “Time for cross party accord on super”

  1. Enough is Enough 1

    “With suitable protections for vulnerable people, such as physical labourers, the age of eligibility for universal superannuation needs to rise”

    Bullshit it does.

    That is the type of cost cutting statement a classic Tory government would implement.

    It needs to be funded properly. That isn’t done through cutting costs and austerity measures.

  2. Sam C 2

    Couldn’t agree more.

    This is too important to be used as a political football next year – all parties need to have the same position; that the universal super eligibility age needs to be subject to some rigorous examination.

  3. johnm 3

    You want to save money? Simple! Don’t give Super to the rich who don’t need it! The likes of Brash, key, politicians and rich business types and property speculators who have stashed huge capital gains away in Trusts and banks.

    It’s not rocket science leave the ordinary bloke alone!

    100% Enough is Enough 🙂

    • Sam C 3.1

      So, what are you suggesting? Means testing? That’ll be a real vote winner.

      • Cinny 3.1.1

        Lololz you know it. Maybe means testing LESS the family home, would be a fair way around it.

        Means testing is not popular with the oldies

        • Carolyn_nth 3.1.1.1

          means testing without taking into account the family home is surely unfair to old people with savings but who don’t own property – and there are a lot of renting pensioners.

          Edit: I’m against means testing for super. Costs a lot in admin. There’ll always be those who try to hide assets/finances in order to sneak in under the bar. Best to just deal with it by taxing higher incomes.

          But UBI would be better.

          • Cinny 3.1.1.1.1

            good points Carolyn re renting means testing and admin costs etc

            UBI, of course, once again, it’s such a good solution for so many issues, UBI, low admin costs and everything. Simple, sensible and fair. UBI yes please.

        • Ovid 3.1.1.2

          So should I stop putting aside 8% of my income in Kiwisaver and drop back down to 3 if it’s just going to be six of one and half a dozen of the other? Might as well just spend that money now if it’s going to be means tested in retirement.

          Universality is important. It’s a demonstration of a UBI for starters.

    • Well, that’s what means-testing it is, and that’s as much of a third rail as raising the age. The Left favours means-testing, the Right favours pushing it back so that less people qualify in the first place.

      Andrew Little supported means-testing for a while, until he pulled it back in a rather ungracious fashion. I think of all the options to reduce the cost, that’s the least worst one, but it does put a significant administrative burden onto the Super system. (of course, structuring a UBI to take over from NZ Super would effectively integrate means testing into the system)

      • alwyn 3.2.1

        “the Right favours pushing it back so that less people qualify in the first place.”.

        How do you come to that conclusion?
        The last time they came out swinging on this subject both the Labour Party and the Green Party were in favour of raising the age of eligibility. I know Little then threw his toys out of the cot but have the Green Party also done so?
        National on the other hand refused to go with their U-turn and refused to raise the age.

        Do you somehow class National as being on the Left and Labour and the Greens as being on the Right?
        No it can’t be as simple as that. National, quite correctly in my view don’t want to asset test it. They do that in Australia and it is a grossly unfair approach. It pays you not to save anything over about $375k.

        • I don’t recall the Greens ever talking about raising the age of eligibility, although I suppose it’s possible I missed it. The current policy is that they support NZ Super and will move to peg the benefits to inflation-adjusted cost of living.

          Labour has variously talked about raising the age of eligibility and means-testing. Most serious talk has been around means-testing.

          Peter Dunne has also proposed raising the age.

          What English refused to rule out was raising the age.

          As for means testing, there’s ways to do it that are relatively fair and like you mention, ways that simply discourage savings. Probably the simplest way is to just look at direct income and capital gains, and simply abate Super by income. (so it effectively acts as a minimum guaranteed income) That provides a certain incentive to actually retire, doesn’t punish savings at all, and is comparatively simple to administer, and should catch most of the people who really don’t need access to NZ Super without unduly punishing people who worked hard and saved.

        • Peter 3.2.1.2

          The problem with means testing is how often you do it.

          To do a means test just once at the qualifying age will not work.
          Someone who is a pauper on Friday may well win Lotto on Saturday or inherit on Monday.

          So you need to repeat the means test on every individual how often?
          Monthly? Six monthly? Yearly?

          A highly expensive exercise in offices, staff, mileage, paper and ink.

          • alwyn 3.2.1.2.1

            I may be wrong but as far as I remember you had to notify the Australians whenever anything changed. Anything!
            My wife and I were forced to apply for the Australian Super when we turned 65 in New Zealand. We had worked there for some years. It was a 46 page document to fill in!
            As we knew would happen we weren’t eligible. We were well above the threshold for getting any payments from Australia. The New Zealand department made us apply though. A complete and utter waste of time.
            Luckily they haven’t made us do it again. I don’t know whether the rules have changed or whether they forgot us.

    • saveNZ 3.3

      Only Johnm on paper the super rich don’t have any money…. but also don’t forget we have so many migrant ‘chefs’, ‘farm workers’ and ‘fruit pickers’ coming in, how much tax are they really able to pay on minimum wages? How soon before their backs give out and they end up on ACC?

      I’d say migration is more corporate welfare so they can get cheap workers in or in many cases are offered bribes to hire them, but from Day 1, it probably costs the state in health, accommodation supplements, ACC and so forth, and then the more skilled Kiwis presumably have to support them, and the local unemployed workers that never got the job in the first place.

      In short the whole system is broken and telling those already paying to pay more, work longer and harder, well my guess is that most tax paying Kiwis get angry at the thought of it all…. especially when brainac politicians suggest those that save get penalised yet again.

  4. DoublePlusGood 4

    Just actually tax capital, income and wealth properly and there is no problem affording superannuation. The money is easily there to fund a UBI, let alone only super, you just need to make sure it gets from those people and organisations accumulating it to those that need it.
    No need to raise the super age whatsoever.

    • Whispering Kate 4.1

      Are you discussing a Financial Transaction Tax here? I hear it suggested often enough, why won’t any Party want to take this up for discussion.

      • saveNZ 4.1.1

        Exactly, whispering Kate??? A transactions tax would take from those who actually have enough money to spend on stuff and in particular take from financial institutions.

        You have places like the UK, which has capital gains taxes, stamp duty taxes, $17.5% VAT, inheritance tax, taxes on taxes (even for a TV licence which they religiously patrol!) but somehow being the financial capital of Europe have never got around to taxing the financial institutions at the same levels…. hence the rise of extreme bonuses…. $50 million, $100 million all carefully arranged to pay as little tax as possible using tax havens around the world and financial individuals and institutions that gain more and more power to lobby to decrease their taxes by loopholes and increase other sector’s taxes that affect them the least.

        P.S. In spite of tremendous taxes on property (and many other sectors) in the UK, like NZ they have found that local people can’t actually afford to buy a house on their wages due to opening their market up to the world to buy their property as ‘gold brick’ investments, often through tax havens while locals are taxed to death. (and afterwards).

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1

          P.S. In spite of tremendous taxes on property (and many other sectors) in the UK, like NZ they have found that local people can’t actually afford to buy a house on their wages due to opening their market up to the world to buy their property as ‘gold brick’ investments, often through tax havens while locals are taxed to death. (and afterwards).

          Yep. Need to ban offshore ownership.

    • You’re correct that a Capital Gains Tax would likely cover the current cost of NZ Super, (assuming it takes in similar revenue to VUW’s modelled proposal) and leave you a few billion to put into the Super Fund. I’d have to see some modelling on projected growth in costs with boomers coming into the system now as to how much it’ll cost in say, a decade to see if it’s sustainable to fund super that way.

      If you wanted to repeal Super in favour of a true UBI that fulfills the same role with similar payouts, you would need between $7 billion and $30 billion extra in revenue beyond the CGT. (the roughly $30 billion figure is for a UBI with payouts identical to NZ Super) A transactions tax is estimated to be worth only about $1 billion in revenue. I factored in a Carbon Tax to the equation and only just made it balance out with a $20,000 UBI and flat tax reform in modelling. I would presume that if you want to fund a UBI entirely on wealth taxes, you would need to consider either an estate tax or an automation tax to fully fund the system.

  5. Ad 5

    English should simply re-start payments to NZSuper and take the whole of superannuation off the election table for good.

    National already has most of those seniors votes locked in and there’s no need to disturb that.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      English should simply re-start payments to NZSuper and take the whole of superannuation off the election table for good.

      Except that even with full payments being made over the last 8 years and ongoing it wouldn’t have been enough.

      • Ad 5.1.1

        It would be enough to take the edge off the liability which is all it was ever designed to do.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1

          Which means that it would require something else which mean that the whole of superannuation would not be off the election table for good.

  6. Phil 6

    Time for a cross party accord.

    There’s a reasonably compelling argument to be made that the Superannuation Accord of 1993 simply papered over the already obvious cracks in our system, and made the problem worse today.

  7. saveNZ 7

    I think you need to solve the immigration problem before you start to take away more rights of tax payers…. people pay tax for health, super, education and so forth. If the governments want to push thousands of people into NZ each month and then allow migrant parents to come in and take up super within 10 years then I think you have not only gross unfairness to the existing tax payers who’s goal posts have been widened, but social disruption on your hands aka Trump.

    As for getting Labour and Greens involved – like the unitary plan – stay out of it. If English wants to increase the age of super and betray workers, go for it!

    I’d like to see the opposite, the left government actually wanting to have a UBI and have minimum living standards kept, not the opposite!

    • Cinny 7.1

      “migrant parents to come in and take up super within 10 years”

      that sure does need to be addressed, that pisses heaps of people off, right wing, left wing, multi wing, no wing, it pisses people off. Especially when the kids up and leave once their parents have the super, thanks lax immigration laws for looking after NZ Citizens.. not.

  8. saveNZ 8

    P.S. Probably just a Natz ploy to get Labour/Greens to agree to agree to cross party talks to betray workers on Super and then hey presto, who doesn’t turn out again to vote in next years election, Labour voters or Natz voters??

  9. Jenny Kirk 9

    There are plenty of options to avoid superannuation becoming a huge burden – renewing the payments to the Super Fund,and increasing the numbers of years immigrants have to live in NZ before qualifying for it, for starters.

    Increasing the age of superannuation will be very unfair on those who are made redundant in their late 50s/early 60s and cannot get another job, people who work in a number of low-income jobs to make a reasonable living, those who become too ill or incapacitated to work in their older years, and so on.

    • Not to mention there are very valid reasons that we should be considering the possibility of making it eligible to younger people in certain circumstances (eg. for Māori) if we’re going to continue on Super with settings somewhat similar to today.

  10. Sanctuary 10

    How about we just accept that we’ve made a deal with hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders that they’ll get super at 65, that for most of them it will be their sole source of income, and just fund it properly? How about we just accept that we will be paying higher taxes for a couple of decades? And since when did socialists so easily consign the principle of universality to the rubbish bin? Jesus wept.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      And since when did socialists so easily consign the principle of universality to the rubbish bin?

      Socialists didn’t. The problem is that we don’t have a socialist party any more and even socialists don’t really know how an economy works (the RWNJs are far worse of course).

    • Ross 10.2

      The principle of universality can be maintained at the same time as the age of eligibility is increased. There is nothing magical or mystical about the age of 65. Many people work past the age of 65.

      • GregJ 10.2.1

        Which would suggest something more sophisticated is probably required. UBI plus various options on taking up superannuation at differing ages (tax, rebates etc. etc.) – that would have the advantage of also considering that the changing nature of work might mean people “retire” at an earlier age as well as later ages. Life expectancy is going up so unless we’ve screwed the planet so thoroughly civilization collapses (or we go extinct!) we need to start applying much more sophisticated models to income, income distribution and allocation.

  11. saveNZ 11

    If English is so worried about Superannuation, they clearly have the numbers to raise the Super age now with The Maori Party, and United Future. National created most of the Super problem so now it’s time for them to take sole responsibility for their poor economic management, outrageous debt levels, stopping Cullen fund contributions, tax cuts….

    And since National under Muldoon canned the Super of the day, and stole the money…

    Take responsibility for stealing our wealth National! And flooding our social welfare system with lazy migration for future tax payers to sort out and pay for.

    And don’t come to labour to ‘help you solve it’ so you can hide your responsibility and muddy the waters so voters don’t have a clue what the hell just went on.

    • Carolyn_nth 11.2

      I think Māori Party would be against raising the super age – Māori on average don’t live as long as Pakeha.

      • BM 11.2.1

        Did you know if you filter out deaths under the age of 5, the average life expectancy for women is 89 and men around 87?

      • alwyn 11.2.2

        That isn’t a sensible argument I’m afraid.

        The purpose of National Super is to provide people with an income in their old age so that they can live out there lives without being in penury.
        It is not something you get because you paid into the scheme and it isn’t something where everyone is to get the same amount.
        When you die you don’t need superannuation any longer. You don’t have any living costs.

        It is exactly the same as any other form of insurance. You don’t have anything to complain about if you never have a fire and never get to collect on your fire insurance. You are in the same situation with super. If you don’t live to an age when you can’t work you don’t need the super payments.

        • BM 11.2.2.1

          According to experts, my partner was told at her age, she’s got to get together enough savings to last to at least 95.

          That’s 30 years, I have no idea how countries are going to afford to pay for all these elderly folk.

          • greg 11.2.2.1.1

            its nationals fault BM

          • alwyn 11.2.2.1.2

            It’s a transfer payment. It doesn’t actually cost very much to operate. It is only taking money from one group in the population and giving it to another.
            Even in about 30 years it is only going to be about 6.7% of GDP if we go on as we are. It is currently under 5%

          • saveNZ 11.2.2.1.3

            BM – well National are adding more and more old folks with migration – so maybe National’s plan is to destroy super once and for all. After all similar to asset sales, you run it down, make a lot of additional problems, and then low and behold you tell everyone it’s not working – it must be sold, changed, privatised!

            And don’t forget the rest of the welfare state, health – education – social services – can’t afford that either with another 10+% rise in population numbers mostly by migration but little change in GDP per capita, flat productivity – ding-a-ling – we are getting nothing from migration apart from government debt levels increasing 6 fold under National to pay for it, a housing crisis and impending disaster for superannuation.

            • Zid 11.2.2.1.3.1

              Of course, why didn’t I think that National is trying to destroy super, it’s obvious….

  12. Cinny 12

    We should start contributing back to the super fund.

    Immigration laws should be overhauled, re the parents and ten years rule, actually i wonder how much super is paid annually to the ’10 year parents of immigrants’

    Super is sweet FA, increase the super payments to the oldies, or offer free doctors visits (even if it’s just 12 free visits to the Dr a year), how about a pensioners discount on the power and rates? We need to look after the oldies, and the outgoing government has been neglecting them for way to long, way to long.

    The outgoing government isn’t too keen on any cross party talks, for a number of issues and it sucks. The next government I hope will be open to cross party talks on any subject, am sick of the division on pressing issues from national, they spend too much time trying to win an argument rather than helping those whom need it.

    I’m not sure how i feel about the retirement age, i worry that some will lose their jobs to close to retirement age and have massive difficulty getting another job in their older years. Maybe some sort of government incentive for employers to hire older people? Maybe the government could employ some older people whom are looking for a few years work before retiring?

    Interesting thread, super does need to be addressed and fast

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Super is sweet FA

      You do understand that super is already the largest part of the social welfare spend don’t you?

      • Andrea 12.1.1

        You do understand that superannuation is about the only part of ‘trickle down’ into the local economy that even part-way works? Redistribution to people who certainly aren’t all luxuriating in having ‘a little bit of extra.’ Barely scraping through, mostly, then spending locally in useful community services (eg medical centres).

        And, for those trusting to some sort of rip-off retirement scheme – well, the governments of any shade of greed will have to do a LOT to give all Kiwis financial training, keep the ‘advisers’ under control, and actually run a decent economy so stocks, shares, savings, pay out more than the less than adult minumum.

        Oh. And keep their kleptomania under control and out of people’s pockets and dreams. Here’s looking at you, National, with your GST hikes.

        Plus – if local body councils could remember that heaps of people may have homes but they sure aren’t pulling in $50k+ a year. So restraint, Big Spenders. Restraint.

      • Cinny 12.1.2

        Yes I do, and there are many people whom need it, but I see many oldies struggling, oldies getting sick rather than turning on the heater for fear of a massive power bill. Oldies whom are sick but unable to afford the Dr’s. These things trouble me greatly

        Our country has been financially mismanaged for way way to long.

    • greg 12.2

      the current rate super is set with the expectation you own your own home debt free
      and you can save fat chance of that for the none boomer’s

      • Cinny 12.2.1

        I didn’t know that Greg, so it’s set up with expectations from another era when it was possible. Time to change things to make it up to date with the current environment of low home ownership and high debt, shouldn’t be this way but it is at the moment.

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    (Time to start repayments to the Cullen fund while you’re at it Bill.)

    And what will that do?

    Saving money is a fundamental misunderstanding of what the economy truly is.

    What we actually need to be doing is replacing the productivity that’s lost from people retiring with new productivity. We can do this either through an increasing population or through increasing productivity. Continuous exponential increase in population is unsustainable and it causes severe social problems which means that it’s an impractical solution. That leaves us with only increasing productivity.

    Now, people are going to tell me that’s what savings are for as they fund investment in new technologies but that’s not actually working as our productivity simply increasing enough and the benefits of any increase in productivity is going to the rich bludgers both onshore and offshore as the decreasing share of income going to workers shows.

    Basically, the interest and dividends that are returned to those ‘savings’ exceed the increasing productivity in the first place and the increase in productivity that it produces isn’t enough to cover the loss of productivity of the people retiring.

    We need to develop our economy and we need to do it massively. We need far more automation than we have and we need to decrease our imports of expensive items such as computers. We need to shift away from being an agricultural economy into a high tech economy that also produces enough food to feed ourselves (producing enough to feed ourselves would free up ~100k people to do other, far more worthwhile, stuff).

    To do that means that we have to shift away from the capitalist free-market which is actively preventing us from doing what’s needed.

  14. Ross 14

    The apparently apolitical Retirement Commissioner has consistently stated that the age of eligibility for super needs to rise, albeit gradually. She states that 18 OECD countries have raised the age of entitlement for super to over 65. An accord is an option that should be seriously considered.

    The following is from economists:

    If there are no changes to superannuation, the Treasury has estimated that growth in healthcare spending would need to be limited to 7 billion dollars by 2031 if government spending is to remain about 45% of GDP. The health budget would need to grow at half the pace it has in the past. This obviously has implications for access to healthcare services. We must ask ourselves if this is a trade-off we are willing to make. Relying on finding savings from healthcare is a risky strategy. International experience shows that making lasting changes to the growth in spending on healthcare is extremely difficult. The changes would need to be radical.

    A far easier and more certain way would be to control the cost of superannuation. One approach would be to target eligibility, based on some form of means testing. While New Zealand is lauded for the simplicity of its universal system, it may need to be looked at. But if that is too radical or complex a change, there are two other, even simpler, options that ought to be considered. One of these options is to increase the age of eligibility to New Zealand Superannuation from 65 to, say, 67. Other countries have gone down this track, recognising ever-increasing healthy life expectancy.
    People would need to be given time to adjust to such a policy change. If people were given 10 years to prepare, and a higher age of eligibility were introduced in 2022, it would reduce the number of eligible people by over 100,000 a year. This is equivalent to 2 billion dollars a year.  But, while helpful, it only shifts the budget pressure out by a few years; it does not change the rate of growth.

    A more meaningful change would be to limit the growth in the amount people get paid. Currently the rate of New Zealand Superannuation cannot fall below 65% of the average wage. But this floor could be lowered to a more affordable level.

    http://nzier.org.nz/publication/superannuation-dilemma
    http://www.interest.co.nz/personal-finance/83137/diane-maxwell-making-nz-super-sustainable-increasing-age-eligibility-means

    • Nic the NZer 14.1

      Quoting from such authority positions is fine but some attention should be payed to the caveats.

      ” Treasury has estimated that growth in healthcare spending would need to be limited to 7 billion dollars by 2031 if government spending is to remain about 45% of GDP.”

      Treasury forecasts have a margin of error of Billions of dollers over about year. How much confidence should we have in an estimate for 15 years hence anyway. And since when was it a goal for govt healthcare spending to be about 45% of GDP anyway? Why is that a target. I don’t think there is much good in restructuring retirement in persuit of arbitrary account ratios which we are highly uncertain about anyway.

      • alwyn 14.1.1

        “And since when was it a goal for govt healthcare spending to be about 45% of GDP anyway? “.
        It never has been. You have misread the report.
        It is talking about the TOTAL Government spending, not the spending on health care alone.
        Even in the US, where healthcare costs are totally out of control, healthcare spending is only about 16% of GDP. That is probably twice as much as most developed countries.

        • Nic the NZer 14.1.1.1

          So its a goal for govt spending to not be more than 45% of GDP then? Where do these magic fractions originate from?

  15. greg 15

    its a bit rich of national that it wants to put up the retirement age given they sabotaged any attempt in last 30 year to build a saving base this is there mess. labour campaigned in 2011 on raising the retirement age but the national voting property owning baby boomer’s said no way . IAM GEN X we are paying our taxes to the baby boomer’s while being ripped off shafted screwed over on the cost housing, cost of living cost ,record house hold debt , again the main beneficialness the property owning baby boomer’s
    well lets means test the bastards tax there capital. National wants to strip us of our retirement while the boomer’s live on the pigs back IT is not good enough…f english

  16. alwyn 16

    Their is an entirely logical, and sensible way to get a cross party accord on National Super.
    All that would be required is for the other parties to accept the fact that they were wrong in claiming that we can’t afford the current system. We can, without any problems continue with a universal system, at about the current level of payment and paid from the age of 65. After all, even at its peak it will not be as high as the average transfer levels in the OECD countries.

    It’ll never happen of course. Very few politicians are as pragmatic as John Key was where there was no ideology behind his actions but merely a pragmatic approach to doing whatever worked.
    The current politicians on the left are not like that of course. If National is for something they are against it. Look at Little Andy with the flag debate. He opposed the change because Key was in favour, even though what Key had proposed was exactly what the Labour Party policy was in 2014.

    By the way, is there anyone here who claims that we can’t afford transfer payments for National Super but that we can afford the vastly higher amounts that a UBI would entail? Come on admit it, and admit that you are not being logical in your beliefs.

    The only thing that is wrong with the current system is that they haven’t scrapped the Cullen fund. It is totally unnecessary and should be dumped before idiots from some party in Government gets their grubby little hands on it and blow it on some of their crackpot hobbies.

    The Cullen fund was set up to satisfy Michael’s loathing of letting taxpayers have the excess funds he was hoovering up with his far to high tax rates. If investments make sense you make them. If they don’t make sense don’t go near them. You don’t do it because you have a fixed size pile of money to tie up or because it gives you the warm fuzzies.

    • Ad 16.1

      The Cullen Fund was set up to decrease liability of future taxpayers and governments for superannuation entitlements. If English does what he always should have done and restores full payments to it, the NZSuperfund will do what it’s designed to do and take some of the load off future governments.

      The only thing wrong with the SuperFund is that it hasn’t had a consistent advertising campaign to remind entitled people like yourself that it is the only reason New Zealand has one of the lowest levels of poverty of elderly people in the entire world. And that is a good thing.

      If you aren’t getting the warm fuzzes, hey Alwyn here’s an idea: just you give all your back.

      • alwyn 16.1.1

        I fear you don’t understand how it works.
        The only way to get back the funds is to sell the assets owned by the fund to someone. Would you allow that?
        However the important thing to remember is that the only way people who no longer work can have things to consume is if someone else, who continues to work and produce things does without the production of their labour. You can’t actually eat money you know.
        If we really wanted to do something we would have to invest in foreign assets. Then, at some later date, we could sell them and spend the funds on imports to supply people who aren’t working. Are you willing to propose this?
        It is also crazy to let pollies anywhere near such a pool of money. Look at some of the ideas the Green Party come up with on how to “invest” the fund.

        • Ad 16.1.1.1

          Oh no, I get it. It’s just you that has the problem.

          What you do, when you get your Superannuation payments free from the taxpayer, is go to your bank, withdraw the whole thing, and reverse the payment back to whence it came. We will all thank you I am sure. Go ahead and start a trend.

          If you think you can’t eat money, try living without it.

          “Pollies” are nowhere hear that NZSuper money, of course. But I am sure you knew that. Across the House they actually had some collective wisdom at the time they set it up. If you really needed to, go back to the Hansard debates from the time and you will see all of your little problems well considered.

          • alwyn 16.1.1.1.1

            All parties change their minds of course. That is why we will never get a permanent consensus.

            Remember when the Green Party said things like
            “The Green Party supports the universal provision of superannuation for everyone aged 65 and over, paid at not less than 65% of the average net ordinary time wage to couples and 60% of that amount to single people. ”
            and
            “The Greens opposed their (Labour) solution because we don’t believe building up a large fund and investing it on the overseas share and bond markets is the best way to pay for future superannuation. In fact we regard Dr Cullen’s prescription as down right dangerous.”
            and
            “We believe the current “pay as you go” system is sustainable and affordable. We are not alone, Retirement Commissioner Colin Blair says that New Zealand has one of the simplest and most efficient tax funded retirement pensions in the world. ”
            They really did you know.
            https://home.greens.org.nz/speeches/green-alternative-cullen-super-fund

            A terrible loss to New Zealand was the only really sane member of the Green Party.

            Of course the politicians aren’t getting near the Cullen fund – YET. They want to though by telling them where they are to invest the money. They want to do the same with peoples KiwiSaver funds too. I imagine they will do it if the lunatic parties ever get near the Treasury benches.

            What do you think these press releases were demanding?
            https://blog.greens.org.nz/2015/06/17/will-the-super-fund-follow-its-own-advice-and-divest-from-coal/
            https://blog.greens.org.nz/2016/08/30/how-to-earn-good-returns-on-your-kiwisaver/
            They want to set the rules of course.

            As for your silly statement “If you think you can’t eat money, try living without it. ”
            Of course you can eat what you BUY with it. Money itself is indigestible.
            Look at the people in places like Venezuela where they might have money but there is nothing to buy.
            Worse still, look at Zimbabwe where they tried the Green Party recommended money printing campaign.

          • alwyn 16.1.1.1.2

            “Go ahead and start a trend”.
            Why on earth should I be the one doing such a thing? I am in favour of a universal system with no means testing, and therefore I am entitled to take the money.
            You are the one who doesn’t like that. Will you confirm that you do not accept it, if you are over 65, or that you will never accept it in the future if you are under that age?
            You don’t get to set the parameters of MY actions.
            If you aren’t collecting it but are earning an above average wage why don’t you make voluntary tax payments to reduce your income to the average value, if that is your belief in how the world should work?

      • Nic the NZer 16.1.2

        Your correct that the Cullen fund is just to reduce liability on future governments for super payments. But the question is if all that happens, for a super payment to occur, is some account entry is transferred from the govt account to said pensioners account inside the reserve bank, then how can this obligation ever be a burden?

        • alwyn 16.1.2.1

          If it was really as simple as that we wouldn’t need any Cullen Fund at all, would we?
          We wouldn’t need any taxes either. Just transfer money without limit.
          That is roughly the way that Zimbabwe did it and look where they have ended up.

          • Nic the NZer 16.1.2.1.1

            Of course you need taxes. You just don’t need them in order for the govt to make payments. That is not the purpose of taxation.

            When you say roughly the way Zimbabwe did it you are leaving out the part where the farming base of the country was decimated. That has been a factor in every hyperinflation. But your welcome to your ignorance about how the economy works if it keeps you happy.

            New Zealand used to pay super before the Cullen fund of course.

            • alwyn 16.1.2.1.1.1

              “farming base of the country was decimated”.
              You clearly don’t know what the phrase means. The damage was much, much worse than that. Look it up.
              http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=decimate

              ” how the economy works “.
              Have you ever considered learning some economics? Something more than a Readers Digest condensed book or the material that the old Social Credit Party turned out.
              You might find it instructive and it would help you contribute something useful to a debate. Your normal attempts are quite risible.

  17. With suitable protections for vulnerable people, such as physical labourers, the age of eligibility for universal superannuation needs to rise.

    Yes. People like me do not need the country’s long-suffering taxpayers to fund us a lifestyle of leisure at 65. We’re usually capable of earning our own living at 65 and there’s no reason we shouldn’t.

    • Shona 17.1

      Like fuck the age for super needs to be raised!! ANY party proposing that is toast and rightly so. That shithead Muldoon canned Bill Sutch’s brilliant super scheme and this useless mongrel English has steadily strip mined the Cullen Fund. We can afford it! At gross 4.3%of GDP,the cost of New Zealand super is relatively low by international standards.This compares very well with an OECD average of around 7%. Because NZ Super is taxable, its cost net of tax is around 3.7% of GDP. Wanna guarantee Winston gets 15% of the vote just try taking it away. You whining miserable sods.There’s fuck all work for us oldies irrespective of our qualifications and experience. We are not wanted we cost too much! Most of us are debt free healthy and can afford some private health care . BUT a joint replacement costs in excess of $20,000 how many of these are we supposed to be able to pay for, for example as well as support ourselves at around $30,000(net) p.a. going into your late 60’s?????? ( I’ve already paid for two of these ops )Try working 40 hours a week at 65 years Anthony with osteoarthritis! Oh and then there’s reading glasses and driving glasses at $500 a pop every 3 years . The list goes on and on! Those of us who took years out of the workforce so our offspring would be functional contributors to society are penalised by dickhead Kiwi employers every step of the way. Regardless of qualifications. Work for yourself?? did that when I was young ain’t doing it now.
      We CAN AFFORD SUPER , stick your ageist propganda up your arse!

      • greg 17.1.1

        nationals after looting the country they have looting the future as well is make us pay they can go to hell
        Norman kirk
        Winston peters
        Michele Cullen
        all tried only to have national commit treason and fuck over any attempt at building a savings base. there latest fuck over is to allow http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/opinion-analysis/83228941/Rob-Stock-Law-to-let-banks-raid-debtors-KiwiSaver-accounts-planned
        they screwed over kiwi saver by constantly changing the rules totally stuffed the Cullen fund as well if national can do it for the baby boomer’s then national can do it for the rest of us as well.

      • Psycho Milt 17.1.2

        BUT a joint replacement costs in excess of $20,000 how many of these are we supposed to be able to pay for, for example as well as support ourselves at around $30,000(net) p.a. going into your late 60’s?

        So, your argument is that receiving national superannuation at 65 rather than 67 is essential because otherwise it would be impossible to pay for expensive operations. How does that work, exactly?

        • Shona 17.1.2.1

          Fuck off psycho! Disingenuous as ever! Not an argument an example of the realities of old age. Super takes the edge off living costs you moron! We have paid our effing taxes we have saved we continue to provide for ourselves etc etc. My argument is contained in the figures for the costs of Super so up yours you Tory fucker!

          • Psycho Milt 17.1.2.1.1

            Not an argument…

            Yes, I could see it wasn’t, that’s why I asked what your point was. You still don’t seem to have one, you’re just very angry that someone’s arguing the able-bodied should contribute some form of work to society (which, by the way, is a socialist argument, not a Tory one).

      • Carolyn_nth 17.1.3

        Hearing aids ain’t cheap either.

      • alwyn 17.1.4

        “Bill Sutch’s brilliant super scheme”
        Really? And there I was thinking it was Roger Douglas’s brainchild.
        What did Bill Sutch, who was long out of Government and was about to go on trial for espionage, have to do with it?

  18. saveNZ 18

    Your’re all looking at the wrong targets for tax avoidance… why we need a transaction tax!!!

    “THE AUSTRALIAN TAX OFFICE (ATO) released the ‘Corporate Tax Transparency Report’ last week.

    It shows that 38% of the 1539 public and private foreign companies with turnover greater than $100 million paid no income tax in the 2013-14 financial year.

    Recent amendments to the disclosure rules will see the ATO release similar tax details for Australian private companies with turnover greater than $200 million, possibly as early as January 2016.

    This first report specifically names the companies. It shows that 579 big businesses paid no income tax in 2013-14. Let that figure sink in as the government attacks those on welfare, the aged, low paid workers and others and plays around with increasing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and extending its base to fresh food, health, education, sewage and water.

    Among those who paid no income tax were (and this is just a few of the As)

    Adani Abbott Point Terminal Holdings (despite having almost $270 m in gross revenue);
    Australian Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd (with over $3 billion in gross revenue)
    American Express (with sales of $943 million)
    Other non-taxables chosen more or less at random include David Jones with over $2 billion in sales revenue, Qantas, with gross revenue of more than $14 billion, its competitor Virgin, with more than $4 billion in sales, ExxonMobil with more than $9 billion in gross revenue and the University Cooperative Bookshop with sales of $115 million. None had any taxable income or paid any income tax.”

    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/tax-big-business-avoidance-and-other-bruises,8509

    • Henry Filth 18.1

      Thats because they tax income less expenses.

      Tax income without deductions and avoidance becomes much harder. While enforcement becomes much easier.

      Its simple to have income with no profitt, less simple to have profit with no income.

      Keep it simple.

      Bring business taxation into line with personal taxation. End the feather-bedding.

  19. Nic the NZer 19

    Looks to me like Labour would like to double down on its foolish neoliberal super ambitions…and lose another election in the process. FFS, Labour needs to leave pushing ACT policy goals to the ACT party.

  20. Robertina 20

    As any child poverty campaigner will tell you, the universality of Super means deprivation among older people is much less than those aged 0-17.
    Its low admin costs from not having to put people through hoops to qualify as ”vulnerable” helps offset the cost of universality.
    Of course older people’s financial security is also underpinned by home ownership rates, and home ownership rates will be substantially less by the time any change in the eligibility age takes effect.

  21. Carolyn_nth 21

    On Morning Report, Little said, as PM, he would not raise the age for super:

    Labour Party leader Andrew Little says he wouldn’t raise the age for eligibility on Superannuation if he was in power.

    His comments come after new Prime Minister Bill English said yesterday he would not renew predecessor John Key’s pledge not to raise the retirement age.

    Speaking to Morning Report’s Susie Ferguson, Mr Little said some people struggled to continue working until they were 65 as it is.

    Watch the interview here:

    • Ross 21.1

      Little used an example in that interview of a linesman who was 64 years old. That’s a bad example as someone who was 64 wouldn’t be affected by a gradual increase to the age of eligiblity to 67.

      It’s worth noting that the Cullen fund won’t be used until about 2030 and when the fund is used, it will contribute only about 9% of the cost of super.

    • alwyn 21.2

      ABOUT TURN.
      Get into line you Little acolytes.
      The Great Leader has spoken and now everyone must get back in step.
      A change in eligibility age is NOT required.

      How can anyone possibly expect to get a lasting cross party accord on superannuation when the Labour Party flips its stance every year or two when they change their leader?

      Are there any Labour Party members here who have been saying that the age must increase who are willing to say that Little is wrong?
      The penalty is, of course, that you will get the Leggett treatment from the Great Leader. Abused, called a scab and booted out of the party.

  22. Baarn 22

    It may not be so easy to determine who qualifies as physical labourers eg some nurses often have ruined backs from the lifting they do every day (regardless of H & S nonsense about using hoists etc there’s never time for messing around like that.) While nurses in some areas will never have had to do any lifting at all.

  23. Zid 23

    And now Angry Andy has come out and said he wouldn’t raise the retirement age. What a fool, he is the gift that keeps on giving to National. He will pay for that statement

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