6 Mar 2017

Bill English: Superannuation reset a case of "wait and see"

From Morning Report, 7:25 am on 6 March 2017

Prime Minister Bill English has turned superannuation into an election issue with one word: reset.

But he's refusing to give any solid details telling Morning Report people will have to wait and see.

Mr English told Morning Report's Susie Ferguson today he would announce the policy on superannuation "quite soon".

He said people would have to wait and see whether the age of eligibility would change.

He didn't rule out arranging a meeting with United Future's Peter Dunne to discuss his idea of a more flexible form of superannuation.

But he did rule out reducing the age for Maori and Pasifika people.

He said there would be no change to the entitlement to superannuation. "We are not contemplating any change to the way the national super is paid," he said.

Mr English said the government had not considered means-testing.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters. Photo: RNZ

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters told Morning Report there was no evidence the age of eligibility should rise.

He said the government's track record on superannuation is "pretty miserable'

Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell

Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell. Photo: Supplied

Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell said she was pleased the issue of New Zealand's ageing population was finally being discussed.

She says we should look at toughening super rules for migrants.

Ms Maxwell has proposed no change in eligibility for the next 10 years and then a gradual raising of the age of eligibility to 67 by three months a year, over eight years.

Grey Power said it wanted a reasonable conversation with Mr English about what was likely to happen.

President Tom O'Connor told Morning Report it's socially and morally unacceptable to change the pension age and the lobby group was due to meet with Mr English in the next two weeks.