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Election 2011 - Party Policies - Social Welfare - Superannuation

Election 2011 - Party Policies - Social Welfare - Superannuation

Superannuation/ Senior Citizens Issues

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  • The transition to the new retirement system will take 40 years when 90 percent+ of New Zealanders are expected to have sufficient savings to provide for themselves.
  • It will be available to New Zealand citizens aged 18 - 65 years of age.
  • During the transition, retirees will receive two pensions. One based on the fund accumulated via tax savings each year and the second a percentage of the existing government benefit, dependent on the number of years individual has been eligible to be a member of new retirement system. See Superannuation Policy Schedule, chart 2.
  • Minimum combined benefit during transition to be at least what people get today but in most cases will be considerably more.
  • Capital after 47 years in the workforce for those who make no drawdown on that capital would be approximately $1.8 million or $850,000 in real terms. See Superannuation Policy Schedule, chart 1.
  • Government will contribute $30.80 a week, the individual to contribute $30.80 a week and the employer to contribute $15.40 a week, therefore total savings $77.00 a week, $4,000 a year.
  • Low-income workers will be able to phase in their contribution with government top-up available.
  • Will be paid for by a mix of the following:
    • Money currently being put aside for retirement fund $2 billion.
    • Money currently being used to subsidise KiwiSaver scheme $1½ billion.
    • Interest on current fund already put aside for future retirees $1 billion
  • Must be invested with organisations that have retirement authority approval.
  • A working partner can make contributions on behalf of their partner. (more here)

  • Restrict the dollar for dollar abatement regime on overseas pensions to apply only if the overseas pension is paid from overseas government schemes funded through taxation (similar to New Zealand benefits); and treat income from contributory overseas pension, superannuation and savings schemes no differently from other income for benefit abatement purposes.
  • Maintain universal New Zealand Superannuation for all New Zealanders 65 years and older, adjusted annually in accordance with movement in the Consumer Price Index published by the Department of Statistics, and within the constraints that: the rate for a couple cannot fall below 65% of the average ordinary time weekly earnings (after the deduction of standard tax and the earner premium payable on those earnings) as determined by the Department of Statistics; the rate for a couple cannot exceed 72.5 % of the average ordinary time weekly earnings (after the deduction of standard tax and the earner premium payable on those earnings) as determined by the Department of Statistics; the rate for a single person living alone is 65% of the rate for a couple; the rate for a single person not living alone is 60% of that for a couple; and person who is living alone because his or her partner is in long-term residential care should be considered to be "living alone." (more here)

  • Labour will gradually lift the age of NZ Super eligibility from 65 to 67 starting in 1 April 2020 and taking 12 years to phase in.
  • Labour is committed to ensuring the transition to a NZ Super eligibility age of 67 is done fairly. Labour will ensure there is transitional assistance for those who can’t keep working.
  • There will be no change to the rate of NZ Super. Labour is committed to retaining the current rate for a couple of 66 per cent of the average wage.
  • Labour will restart contributions starting with $750 million in 2012/13 rising by $750 million a year until we reach the legislated contribution rate in 2015/16. (more here)
  • Labour will review the Implementation of the Health of Older Persons Strategy, 2002, and develop an Aged Care Strategy.
  • Labour will review the process of engagement ensuring real consultation with older persons in health planning through a strengthened Community Public Health Advisory Committee of district health boards.
  • Labour will work with the Ministry of Social Development to standardise a nation-wide contracting model for Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention Services to ensure consistency of access of service provision across the country.
  • Labour plans to build on the New Zealand Carers Strategy to ensure the five year action plan is being implemented and achieved. (more here)

Not set out on their website.

  • The Māori Party has always advocated lowering the age of entitlement to New Zealand superannuation to 60 years for groups whose life expectancy is lower than average. A lower entitlement age will allow more equitable uptake of New Zealand superannuation for all citizens. All those who reach a certain asset threshold will be mean-tested. (more here)

  • Ensure New Zealand Superannuation for married couples continues to be at least 66 per cent of the after-tax average wage, paid from age 65. All other Superannuation rates will continue to be calculated from this base.
  • Pass the Social Assistance (Living Alone Payment) Amendment Bill.
  • Encourage the Police to work closely with partner organisations to share information and improve responses to elder abuse. For example, co-locating Age Concern staff in Police National Headquarters alongside Victim 
    Support and Community Patrols to improve national co-ordination.
  • Continue to grow the numbers of aged care nurses in the Voluntary Bonding Scheme. (more here)

  • Change the formulation of NZ Super, by calculating it based upon the anticipated forecasted changes to the consumer price index and increases in the average wage for the following 12 months. The current formulation creates a lag that cheats our over 65s of their full entitlement. Any unforeseen changes to inflation or wages will be adjusted at each April, in favour of superannuitants.
  • Encourage people eligible for national Superannuation to continue working at reduced hours (30 or 20 hours a week) as they still have value to add to the workforce.
  • Give people the option of choosing to receive New Zealand Superannuation at a reduced rate from the age of 60, or at an enhanced rate from the age of 70, if they delay uptake till that time.
  • In UnitedFuture’s view, the provisions of Section 70 should only apply where the overseas pension in question has been fully funded from general tax revenues. Overseas pensions that are based on either a compulsory individual contribution, or are in the form of a national insurance scheme, or which may be a combination of both and are deemed to be equivalent to a national pension should be exempted from the requirements of Section 70 and therefore should be paid in full to the recipient without impacting on the entitlement to New Zealand Superannuation.
  • This would mean that the only pension arrangements to be captured by the provision of Section 70 would be national tax-payer funded pension schemes in other countries. Contributory pensions, regardless of whether they are on a compulsory national basis or not, and private pensions should, in our view, be exempted from the provisions of Section 70. (more here)
  • Make KiwiSaver compulsory. (more here)
  • Subsidise the power bills of over-65s by $50 per month for the three coldest months of the year- June, July, August - so our seniors can afford to keep warm.
  • A free 'warrant of fitness' annual health check for those over-65s to identify health problems and illness early. (more here)

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