Labour's savings policy will support Retirement Commissioner's call to raise retirement age from 65 to 67 by 2033, TV3 reports

Labour's savings policy will support Retirement Commissioner's call to raise retirement age from 65 to 67 by 2033, TV3 reports

Labour will support the Retirement Commissioner's call to raise the retirement age from 65 to 67 by 2033, TV3 reports.

In a blog post previewing the policy, TV3 political editor Duncan Garner says Labour will agree with the policy, which would see the retirement age lifted by two months a year from 2020 to 2033.

Prime Minister John Key has promised to resign rather than back a policy that would see the retirement age rise.

Labour will be unveiling its policy, which will also propose a form of KiwiSaver compulsion, in Parliament Buildings at 3pm today.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.


Responsible but not enough

Irresponsible towards older people and plain stupid as far as winning votes, but Labour will never understand why, even if they try...

Might be responsible, but election time is All about winning votes, and this is not going to win them votes, hence why national won't go there, not before an Election, once you're in power again then you can.

a good move but to late in my opinion.should have been policy when they last held power for nine long years.what it shows is that political parties only think ahead when under the kosh.

I hate that meme. Basically the undertone is that Labour isn't allowed to bring good new ideas to the table because they were in government for so long. An approach that doesn't really address the policies themselves.

Good call, has to be done, smile and wave won't do it though, he'd rather borrow for everything and stay popular until we're bankrupt.

*** Electile Dysfunction: the inability to become aroused over any of the choices put forth by either party in the 2011 election year.

Very funny and unfortunately very true.  OECD social welfare democracies are all doomed because the political party that wins is the one that gives the most to the majority of voters.  Who wants free money - almost everyone.  Who wants to pay for it - nobody.

Yeah, bribing the voters by raising the retirement age, cutting social welfare spending, increasing tax on low and middle incomes (while reducing it on high incomes), underfunding education, reducing ACC coverage, underfunding the health service, privatising state energy, cutting the youth minimum wage. Those National guys are so corrupt with all their bribery. Naughty of them to pander to the democratic majority.


I'm quite sure you talk for thousands if not millions of people on that issue. So...........where is true "democracy" in all this?

I'm sure that when Bernard read this he went all moist and gooey! In fact he probably even teared up.

If the govt can run budget surpluses as it claims it can, and will, why then is it necessary to raise the age of eligibility for National super?

Because it won't be able to run budget surpluses so soon, their claims are rubbish.

So are you Labour people saying then that govt. well never run a budget surplus again? 

That's a bold call.  

Not being a Labour person/voter.....but looking at peak Oil, and what it will do to NZ's and the World's economy yes that about sums it up.....At least in the conext of running a surplus for in 2014 say if the Govn manages it for 6~12months or so.....maybe.....but not for years....not once peak oil bites......taxes will have to go up and there will be a rush emergency program to move NZ to renewables....fat chance on prolonged surpluses....


Labour people?? don't try to pin a label on someone just because you don't agree with them.

I've actually voted National all my life, but these current guys have just about managed to convert me away from National now.

With respect, philthy, but that would have to be among the shallowest of political reasoning I've read in quite some time. If that's at good as it gets with you, might I suggest that you try not voting at all.

David B, are you a party voting stooge?

We know you are old enough by now to have realised that party politics is not going to make a lick of differnce to NZ, because the 40 year slide will blow a hole in any argument you can try to peg to a party taking NZ forward, or perhaps you still look to the state for answers., you won't get them!

Anyone who is stuck on voting for a party, or who votes because of election bribes needs an upper cut!

Wake up NZ your government or does not give a stuff, and simply can't and won't even have the kahunas to be honest with you about what is going on. You have been lied to for so long that you now would not know the truth if it hit you in the face.

Please do not vote, it gives the illusion of having a democracy, which of course we do not!

Many are party voters, thats left and right.....however these days its the swing voter who decides an election and its been that way for 15 years.....

"illusion of having a democracy" yep......both parties have enough of the brainwashed faithful that new parties or new policies will have little hope of making a big impact........"your wallet" it seems still has more to do with how you vote than anything else......the difference is one lot will vote on whom ever is offering the biggest bribe on the day....the other two blindly vote for red or blue....til death.

"NZ forward" depends on "forward" we are at peak everything give or take 10 years....if "forward" has growth involved it wont be happening....what we need is the realisation we have to shrink post peak oil and plan that to minimise the impact.....wont happen of course.....every pollie is wedded to growth and so is the I'll sit here and watch and laugh when I see the looks on ppls faces when they realise that......

Now if you want a conspiracy, the downright ignoring of peak oil is it...



If the govt can run budget surpluses as it claims it can, and will, why then is it necessary to raise the age of eligibility for National super?

Hahaha good one David, you made my day! ;-)

JK says he wont....

We will need surpluses to pay back the debt.....


"If the govt can run budget surpluses as it claims it can, and will, why then is it necessary to raise the age of eligibility for National super? "

The Government believes in achieving budget surpluses, the Labour Party believe the super age has to be increased. Government is not Labour, Labour is not Government (and won't be for a while...)

While returning to budget surplus is important it shouldn't be the ultimate goal. We have built up a mountain of debt over the last few years, and ultimately need to run large surpluses to repay that debt.

This recession is unlikely to be the last of my lifetime, within a few years we need to start to prepare the country for the next period of economic instability. I don’t know what will cause it but I bet it will come in my lifetime.

Also I think that retirement transfer payments are a pretty inefficient way to spend government money. I think that it would be better spent on health, education or infrastructure. Of course any changes need to happen slowly so people are given warning to save for their retirement.

Im sure not counting on a transfer payment from the goverment when I retire. (Im 22)

This one wont end in my lifetime Im pretty sure its a 30 odd year event. If you look around you today at 22 I think this will be your best "day"  I think you will live the biggest 30+ year depression ever.....I suggest looking up the lifestyle of the Amish (ignore the religion bit) if you sruvive thats your future. Pensions, none.....your community / society around you will be the pension provider such as it will be.

"Infrastructure" is all oil based and needs lot of oil to function, thats stored sunlight, you dont invest in what you cant use.....30 years from now you will be living in the energy budget on the annual sunlight fall, electrical power will be wind, and tide, geo.........just how useful these will be with AGW remains to be seen.....

"people" I suspect the world's population by 2050 wont exceed 2billion.....4million in NZ will be lower....hopefully not too much lower.....


"If the govt can run budget surpluses..."

I have talked to various people about the economy, & never met anyone who believes Keys claims about our return to surpluses.  I often wondered who, apart (apparently) from John Key, actually believes that.

But now I know who that person is.  Well done David, & thanks for that.


I said if, Philly, not when. Can't you read? It certainly appears that from the replies above that many of you certainly have very poor comprehension skills.

On what basis?, I would say on this governments results it's very good reasoning.

All their overly optimistic projections have come out wrong so far

Ok we won't call it lying just yet, but it's not far off

great stuff - a party actually willing to tackle this immense issue head on

I find myself in the weird situation of thinking I might vote for Labour this time

What a load of doggyy do do..

two months a year from 2020.  what a wimpy nothing announcement.

... they are making decison for some other Govt that has not yet been elected.

Who are they to announce what they believe the elected pollies in 2020 should do....

Garbage, rubbish and spineless...Labour ...tell us what youre going to do come December 2011...not some date in the never never when you still won't be in gummint anyway????

OK, I didn't read the detail, I withdraw my previous comment of support - timid effort

I don't deny change is required, however the continued approach of trying to introduce a policy  with these distant caveats is wearing thin - and this applies to both lots.  They are always desperate not to take the downside to any policy.  They fail to recognise that some of us (perhaps more than they think) recognise the need to act now...and not when the current lot are gone and receiving  their ex MP super for life..

Harvey Norman style politics...get your goodies (make your announcements) now and pay for them in xxx months time..

Ex-MP super for life......well a new bunch of MPs can vote that out....I wouldnt hold my breadth I admit on that.....



If you are going to raise the NZS age, you have to do it with several years' notice.  You can't suddenly tell somebody now aged 64 years 11 months, who is expecting to get their NZS in a few weeks' time, that they will not get their NZS until they are 67, not giving them any time to adjust their personal financial planning for retirement.   

If this policy is to be adopted it will need a cross-party consensus to ensure stability, so that people are clear when they are going to be able to receive NZS in good time to organise their savings plans in line with that.

Yes but 2033 is too late, should be 2023

The proposal to be precise is to start in 2020 and raise the age by two months per year, so that somebody who is now 57 would not get their NZS until they are 65 years and 2 months, and people who are now 45 and under would not get it until they are 67. 

By all means argue that it should be sooner and quicker, that will save money faster; but it won't make it any easier to create a political consensus, given that even this very modest approach has already attracted such opposition

that's where LEADERSHIP is necessary - the implications of not acting boldy on the issue clearly articulated to the NZ public

politics should not be a popularity contest. Key might maintain his short term popularity by doing nothing / very little, but his longer term legacy could look ugly

bravery is required - unfortunately I don't think that is an tribute our main parties possess

haha still live in the fantasy world where everything is stable, life is fair, markets are stable, oil is abundant, our students discuss philosophy and liberal arts as they bask in the Wellington sunshine and Richie just won the World Cup for the third is so good

sorry back to reality plese......a big financial jolt wont give the gummint any will be done in a hurry, not when goofy thinks it will be politically acceptable.



Yep, greece is the latest classic example....


By 2033.

Says it all.



Yup.  It's designed to give the superficial impression that the demographic issues are being addressed, whilst bypassing any negative effect on the boomer voting block and falling squarely on Gen X.  The usual MO.  And people wonder how we got so cynical.

Exactly. Most boomers will escape the raise. Cynical and timid policy. They won't win election anyway

How old is GOFFY...58..he will start to raise it in 2020 by 2 months per year...oh he has reached retirement age just in time to beat the increase....Nice...

He has a pollie pension anyway, suspect tahts locked to 65.


Better than the Embarrassing Handshake Crasher's proposal.  Labour has my vote.

Why doesn't a party seriously explore means testing? I know several wealthy pensioners who think it's a nonsense that they receive it

Yeah, Labour should seriously (and loudly!) consider such a policy. It would discourage saving, encourage assets hiding and relying on the state in one’s older years – all very appropriate for “expropriate and re-distribute” lefties’ philosophy…

I realise this will come to you as a shock Matt but it would cost more to do the means testing than it would save. That cost is partly the bureaucracy needed to run the numbers and hunt down the avoiders...and partly the cost of people deciding they will not save, knowing some pinhead politician will steal their pension while the boozehead living nextdoor who splurged everything for decades, receives a pension....get the message Matt. Your concept of 'fair' is distorted by figure out what that is!

jeeez i'm came out with the same while I was busy aint so dull after all.....

... it would cost more to do the means testing than it would save. 

Is this what the Retirement Comm. report said?

I would be interested to know if there had been an analysis of this, as given Aus has means-testing, I'd have thought they do for the cost savings.  That's not to say we have a similar %age of pensioners who have planned responsibly for their retirement.  Likely not but it would be interesting to see that type of analysis.


The retirement .com is a total waste of taxpayer money. Close it down. Fire them all.

As to how people would behave Kate...just ask people if they would continue to save for retirement knowing the pension would be means tested.

I know plenty who currently manage their affairs to ensure they stay in the lower tax brackets. Why would you risk losing all your capital for an extra half a percent of real income knowing the IRD gets to grab a fatter slice of your cake while you risk the loss of the lot?


...just ask people if they would continue to save for retirement knowing the pension would be means tested

A ludicrous statement.  I joined a super scheme (MFL) at 21 years of age.

Not everyone is like you, Wolly.  Lot's of people wouldn't miss the govt pension on their retirement, but similarly don't turn down the "free" money either.  Means testing can be set at whatever threshold a govt wants. 

Alternately (if means testing is indeed not economically sensible), I've thought an opt out public register might be useful - and perhaps the funds from those who opt out could be donated to say, Starship Hospital.  Kind of a win-win - those that planned and saved properly for their retirement would know that the funds from their opting out were being used exclusively for improving the lot of future generations of NZers.  All the names of those NZers who had opted out could be listed in a data projection on the entrance foyer wall of the hospital. 




A better option than means testing would be to give proportionately more pension to those who opt to receive it later, rather like an annuity. You could use a calculation based on average life expectancy and the age of receipt.

Another method would be to receive wage and salary income tax free in lieu of a pension after 65. This would acheive the same effect as means testing in that those who would pay more tax then the pension would elect not receive it.

Main social wlefare benefits and residential care are means tested...and Nat  Super. used to be.

 I suspect some (ie lawyers and accoutants) would like it to come back in as it would give them a much needed revenue stream (gift duty has been abolished which was money for jam) as they set up Companies and Trusts to divert their clients income .

So downside is the compliance cost as we need more gummit resources to uncover the schemes..and of course ma and pa will be incentivised to be poor, not wealthy.

That said, it's a little disconcerting when you work collegaues are pulling in Nat Super on top of their salaries. ...... having of course also benfited from free tertiary education and so on.....

Because means testing sends so many wrong signals and is counter-productive.....for instance if I can only save a little and its means tested I would be no or little better off than someone who spent it.  A better way is too approach it from a different angle.....CGT, land taxes so the rich retirees see a heavier tax burden as a way to see means testing...The Cullen fund also...the better paid in effect contribute more into the fund over their working lifetime than a poorly paid worker....yet both withdraw the same pension......the latter is my best choice.....



If you look carefully at the details of the proposed policy , you realise that rather than a total shift in the age, what Labour is really doing is introducing means testing for 65 and 66 year olds. If you are 65 and 66 and not earning, Labour says they will still pay a "transition" payment at the same level as NZ Super.

I think this is a positive step towards fixing our pension systems so that they are fair and sustainable over a long time horizon.

Totally off topic - I haven't seen this on any news sites yet, but new CVs are available on Auckland Council's web site if anyone wants to know how much there house is 'worth'

I'd agree that a split retirement age would work, because no two retirees are the same. Especially considering that airline pilots are required by law to retire at 60 on health & safety grounds, and manual workers' bone joints will deteriorate with age. For journalists, scientists, bean counters et al, it's far less of an issue.

First a proposal for a CGT, then plans to increase the age of eligibility to superannuation.

Well well well! John Key is increasingly looking like a dinosaur with his denials of the obvious.

Good thing the smile & wave still wows the hoi polloi!


The good thing is that with proposals for increased taxation and postponing the national super Labour becomes less and less likely to be elected...

If the two main parties are running on such similar policies why would National be considered the better of the two? Is it because they are blue not red?

"Well, they say geniuses pick green. But you didn't pick it."


Hey Alex, with the headline like that, you might as well divert all internet traffic to Red Alert

By 2033 a total of 704,000 more  NZers would have left for Oz at present drainage rates so wont be many needing Super anyway

Cunny and Shovel will reverse this anyway when Goff is put out to grass next month

Your access to our unique content is free - always has been. But ad revenues are diving so we need your direct support.

Become a supporter

Thanks, I'm already a supporter.