Prime Minister Bill English said today the Government would progressively lift the age of eligibility for NZ superannuation from 65 to 67, starting in 20 years.
The proposal assumes National will win the election, scheduled for 23 September. Mr English said (assuming he’s still in power), the change would go into legislation next year.
As justification for a measure his predecessor, John Key, wouldn’t take, Mr English said: “New Zealanders are healthier and living longer, so adjusting the long-term settings of NZ super while there is time for people to adapt is the right thing to do….
“Gradually increasing the retirement age from 2037 will more fairly spread the costs & benefits of NZ super between generations, ensure the scheme remains affordable into the future and give people time to adjust. It will also bring New Zealand into line with other countries like Australia, the UK, Denmark, Germany & the US, which are all moving to a retirement age of 67.”
Mr English said universality & indexation wouldn’t change. He said he was announcing the change now so political parties could debate superannuation transparently in the lead-up to the election.
Little says Labour will hold it at 65
Labour Party leader Andrew Little said before the announcement that Mr English was fuelling uncertainty: “On Saturday he talked about a ‘reset’ for super, but wouldn’t be drawn on what that meant. By Monday he was ruling out changes to entitlements. What will tomorrow bring? A rise in the age of entitlement from 65? This drip feed of options is irresponsible.
“It’s just more poor leadership from Bill English, just like his approach to the housing crisis. His dithering is creating unnecessary anxiety over something he needs to be absolutely clear about because it affects the lives of so many. It’s one thing to be uncertain about what’s going to happen. It’s another thing to say let’s have a debate about it without actually putting the case for change….
“Labour’s policy is very clear. There will be no change. A Labour government I lead will keep the age of entitlement at 65 and we will re-start contributions to the NZ Superannuation Fund.”
Attribution: English release.