Retirement & Superannuation (index)

Keywords: Retirement & Savings; Social Policy;

Lock into Savings (October 2004)
Old Money: If Life Expectancy is Rising, Should the Age for the Pension Rise, Too? (November 2003)
Rewarding Service by Neil Atkinson (Book Review) (August 2002)
Whimpering of the State Chapter 5 (July 1999)
Richard Thaler’s Savings Principles (July 1999)
In the Abstract: Will Most of Us Have an Impoverished Retirement? (June 1998)
Globalization and A Welfare State: 12 Appendix: Provision for Retirement (December 1997)
Divided We Stand (November 1997)
Crisis What Crisis? The Aging Problem Needs to Be Tackled Soberly (September 1997)
The Sweet Hereafter: Will You Be Better Off Under RSS? (August 1997)
Different Strokes: Superannuation Schemes Are Being Designed by Successful Men (August 1996)
Risky Retirement
(May 1996)
Selfish Generations by David Thomson (May 1992)

Footnote for Listener 7 November 1998


The government claims it’s recent change in retirement policy was merely following the last seven years’ practice of increasing New Zealand superannuation in line with prices, rather than wages. But the 1993 Accord on retirement provision agreed that when a certain floor was reached (65 percent of the average wage for a married couple), wage indexation would recommence, so the retired would share in any rising prosperity. The level has just fallen below the 65 percent, and the government simply ignored the Accord. We have no guarantee that when the new floor of 60 percent is reached it will be ignored again, for there already has been talk of a 55 percent of wages floor.

In announcements not noticeably transparent for their honesty, the government said that nobody would be worse off, and there was a fiscal saving of $2.5b over ten years, outperforming the miracle of the loaves and the fishes. The removal of the surcharge on the top third of the elderly also costs about $2.5b over a decade. The net effect has be the bottom two thirds of the elderly pay for the disposable income gains of the top third.