26 August 2013
Today I launched a Government discussion paper on UnitedFuture’s flagship FlexiSuper plan.
Under FlexiSuper, people have a choice of taking a reduced rate of superannuation from the age of 60, or a higher rate if they decide to wait until they are up to 70 before picking it up. The basic age of entitlement remains 65, and no change is planned for the rate of superannuation.
FlexiSuper offers a number of advantages. For Māori, Pasifika and other groups with shorter post retirement life spans it offers some dignity in their last years. For those who might wish to work longer, they can look forward to a greater nest egg when they retire and pick up an increased rate of superannuation after 65. For everyone, it offers greater choice in retirement income planning.
And it also lets both National and Labour off their respective superannuation high horses. National can continue to hold to its policy of not increasing the age of entitlement beyond 65, knowing that people will choose for themselves when they pick up superannuation at either an enhanced or discounted rate. Labour can get itself off the hook it got onto by pledging an increase to 67 (which was interpreted by many of its working class voters as meaning they were being told they had work for two years longer) by also letting people choose for themselves.
The discussion paper is open for public comment until 11 October. Then the government will decide what action it may wish to take about FlexiSuper. So the next few weeks are an opportunity for all New Zealanders to have their say, and I encourage them to do so.
The current proposal does not include making Kiwisaver compulsory, but that is another long standing UnitedFuture policy we would like to see action upon.
The combination of FlexiSuper and compulsory Kiwisaver is an attractive package that would go a long way to restoring stability in the perennial superannuation debate.
You can view a copy of the discussion paper at www.unitedfuture.org.nz