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Time to Agree on Policy to Provide Comfortable Retirement

EMBARGOED TO 9.15AM MONDAY OCTOBER 14 2013

Time to Agree on New Policy to Provide Comfortable Retirement Incomes for New Zealanders

Financial Services Council Chairman, the Rt Hon Dame Jenny Shipley called on all political parties to consider seeking a new cross-party agreement on retirement income policy to enable New Zealanders to plan and save enough for a comfortable retirement.

“This is a safe issue for all political parties, but an essential issue for all New Zealanders,” Dame Jenny said. “Everyone is agreed there is no immediate crisis for current retirees but most are agreed decisive planning for future retirees is required.

“Ageing and retirement income is again the big conversation of our time – and it can’t wait. The longer we procrastinate, the more it will cost, and our options narrow – we don’t want that. New Zealanders continue to make it clear they want certainty so they can make their own plans.”

Dame Jenny told delegates today (October 14) at the landmark, Future of Super Conference, hosted by the Council, that a new retirement income policy was needed to update the 1993 agreement which was based on forecasts that have long since been overtaken on longevity and the number of New Zealanders entering retirement. The numbers and the retirement funding landscape have changed since 1993 with the introduction of KiwiSaver.

Research by the Financial Services Council, whose members manage $80 billion in savings on behalf of 2 million New Zealanders, shows that the majority of people want to save and know they are not saving nearly enough for a comfortable retirement, yet that is what they aspire to.

As a contribution to getting the debate moving and building on the recommendations of the Retirement Commissioner, the FSC has unveiled a package of options at the conference. The options show how all New Zealand employees can have a comfortable retirement, with sufficient savings to enable them to buy a second pension, to have an income double NZ Super by progressively increasing KiwiSaver contribution rates to 7% per annum. (For details of the plan go to: http://fsc.org.nz/SuperSizeRetirementIncome.html)

“The way is clear for cross-party engagement on a range of issues which would assist in providing clear signals as to what is required of New Zealanders as they plan for their future. A renewed cross party consensus for a new retirement income policy accord would provide clear direction and huge confidence to the next generation of retirees as to how they can save more for a comfortable retirement and quality of life,” Dame Jenny said.

ENDS

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