2 Jun 2009

Super entitlements are secure, says Key

9:55 pm on 2 June 2009

Prime Minister John Key says it is his firm belief that suspending government superannuation contributions now will have no effect on entitlements over the next 20 years.

The Government has suspended its annual payments of about $2 billion into the Super Fund until its books are back in surplus.

Mr Key says it may be 2020 before Government payments are fully resumed.

A $250 million contribution will still be made to the fund in the next financial year.

Mr Key says the Government is committed to superannuation and the fund, but will not be borrowing to make contributions.

He has promised to resign if the level of superannuation payments, or the age of eligibility, are changed under National.

On Tuesday, Mr Key insisted that entitlements will remain unchanged for the next 20 years and says it is ridiculous to claim that suspending the Super Fund contributions will have any impact on payments.

However, the Labour Party says it defies belief that stripping billions of dollars out of the fund over the next decade will not impact upon the entitlements of those set to retire in 20 to 30 years.

Labour says any effect will not be felt until long after Mr Key is out of office, and his pledge to resign over any entitlement change is an empty promise.