Poll finds strong support for compulsory KiwiSaver
New Zealanders who responded to a new poll are overwhelmingly in favour of some form of compulsory saving.
The survey of 3177 respondents, carried out by Horizon Research for the Dame Jenny Shipley-chaired Financial Services Council, shows 74% believe New Zealand should, over time, introduce a retirement savings scheme with compulsory contributions from employers and employees.
Only 16% opposed the idea, the survey shows.
It asked a number of questions on compulsory savings, and although all received different results, the broad message is favourable to the idea.
Asked about the Financial Services Council's proposal of phasing in contributions up to 10% of income, with 5% from employers and 5% from employers, 72% are in favour.
The more specific the proposals get, the survey seems to show, the lower the support is – although it still records a majority in favour of some form of compulsion.
Slightly more than half – 52% – support the idea of contributions being made of 0.5% each year by the employee and employer over 10 years, until the annual total reaches 10% of an employees’ income.
Asked whether they thought making KiwiSaver compulsory would be good for New Zealand – regardless of whether they personally favoured the idea or not – 63.7% are in favour, with 26.7% preferring voluntary saving and 9.6% who didn’t know.
Those surveyed also gave more general feedback, and the report notes there is strong support for not changing the current entitlements for the state-funded pension for those in or near retirement, and also that any change would need to be to a model that is as simple as possible.
"This survey finds any compulsory scheme would have to be flexible, allowing such things as being able to withdraw funds to help buy a first home, allowing contributions for children and grandchildren, and perhaps allowing employees to manage their own funds in a compulsory retirement savings scheme if they wished to do so," the council said.