5 Aug 2010

Maori exemption urged if superannuation age raised

6:38 am on 5 August 2010

A Waikato University demographer says Maori need to be exempted if the age of eligibility for superannuation is raised.

Don Brash, the head of the Government's 2020 Task Force, has called for the age to be raised from 65 to 67 years to prevent a future blow-out in Government debt.

Professor Natalie Jackson of the centre of population studies at the university, says Maori have lower life expectancy, with only one in 20 people over 65 being Maori, while four in 20 under the age of 24 are Maori.

She told Waatea News that means increasing numbers of young Maori earners would be paying for a benefit they're unlikely to collect.

Professor Jackson says this was ignored back in the early 1990s when the age for adult unemployment benefits was put up and it may happen again if the age of entitlement for superannuation is lifted.