Saturday, April 03, 2010

Raise the Super Age

I have only now found time to go back now (prompted by a comment from yesterday - thanks) and have a look at the IMF recommendations to NZ.

In there is an utterly sane and inarguably sound idea. The age for Super eligibility must go up. The IMF ensconces that more neatly;

10. To address longer-term pressures on the budget, early steps should be taken to contain the projected growth in health care and pension costs. Measures could include improving the efficiency of health care spending and linking the pension eligibility age to life expectancy.

Super makes up the biggest single item of government expenditure ($7.7 billion) and it is going to rise significantly as the population ages. I would like to see a young group (supported by their parent's generation) pick up this recommendation and campaign on it.

It would be very provocative to use the moniker RSA. Some will say it is disrespectful to returned soldiers who have fought for their country, paid their txes etc but most returned soldiers will get a Vets pension anyway.

Grey Power are very strong politically and they are a pain-in-the-proverbial socialists (though not all of their members are). I imagine they would be the foremost opponents. What a bun fight that would be.

This issue needs a real push with Guy Smiley promising to do absolutely nothing about it. It would be a real polariser and sitting on the fence would get more and more uncomfortable.



Rick said...

See what I can do.

Need to ease people into free-market thinking right now before I shock them with applications in retirement, money, babies, parenting, prison. But just give me a few weeks!

KG said...

On the face of it that would seem reasonable Lindsay. But there's a wee problem of justice involved here.

Why should people who've worked all their lives--and contributed vast amounts of tax dollars--be required to keep working when there are so many who've done little more than suck up welfare who will move from welfare on to super with barely a ripple in their lives? The eligibility age will make zero difference to those people.
Is that just?
Reform welfare first (and super is NOT 'welfare' for those who've paid for it) then look at raising the eligibility age.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

KG, I never stop advocating welfare reform.

The qualifying age for the pension was 65 back in 1898. It's incongruous that there has been no change (except downward) when life expectancies are now so much greater.

In 1896-1900 male life expectancy was 57.4 at birth. It is now 78.4 years for males born in 2007–09.