Thursday, October 29, 2015

Portable pensions

The just-released HLFS population estimates show that there are 642,700 people aged 65+. It's an estimate based on the last census, births, deaths etc but it's the best data available. The large majority - but not all - of this group would qualify for super.

Yet at September 2015 there were 693,409 people receiving Super or a veteran's pension.

Is the difference made up by younger partners sharing the Super?

Not according to the table which I requested from MSD earlier this year showing the numbers and ages of non-qualifying spouses receiving Super. (OK the data is 9 months apart but that wouldn't account for the discrepancy).

Does this mean that the HLFS estimate is significantly wrong? No.

The difference must lie in the number of pensions being paid to people who are not currently residing in New Zealand. Officially...

You can reside almost anywhere in the world and still get part or all of your New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran’s Pension payments. What you’ll get depends on where you go to and how long you’ve resided in New Zealand.

 Potentially there  could be upwards of 40,000 superannuitants living outside of NZ.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Statistics NZ surveys on all sorts of things that are no business of government and serve no useful policy information requirements. The data is then presented in such a way as to be of relevance to the moment.

For instance here's the headline:

New Zealanders belong to a sporting nationAlmost two-thirds of Kiwis belong to a club or organisation, Statistics New Zealand said today. In keeping with a nation that takes great pride in the All Blacks, Silver Ferns, and All Whites, sporting clubs are the most popular. 
Yet 72 percent - almost three quarters - do not belong to a sporting club.

The second highest group membership belongs to religion - 21 percent. A header that said New Zealanders belong to a religious nation would be unthinkable. Especially from a government department. Yet the difference between membership of sporting and religious clubs is only 7 percentage points.