Politicians’ heads in sand over retirement age - Act

The government must take notice of the Retirement Commissioner and raise the age of superannuation eligibility, says Act.

Act finance spokesman Sir Roger Douglas has welcomed retirement commissioner Diana Crossan’s comments on superannuation and called on the Government to heed her advice and raise the age of eligibility to 67.

“Since its introduction, the life expectancy of superannuitants has increased by 40% while the age of eligibility has only increased by 8.3% – this is clearly unsustainable,” Sir Roger said.

He said the US, UK, Canada and Australia are already moving - or have moved – to raise their retirement age but the New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has shut down the debate locally by threatening to resign.

"Most New Zealanders realise that an age increase is inevitable. Act believes it would be better to phase in an age increase over time rather than implement a drastic increase when we reach crisis point," Sir Roger said.

“But the retirement age is not the only problem. Not only are we living longer, we are not having as many children - our population is aging. New Zealand super is, in reality, a giant Ponzi scheme requiring ever increasing numbers at the bottom to pay for those at the top. Demographics show a decreasing number of workers to every superannuitant from 4.5 workers today to 2.2 workers by 2036.

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