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Brave New Era For Superannuation, Says AXA

The announcement of the details of the Government’s proposed New Zealand Superannuation scheme should usher in a brave new era of greater certainty for New Zealanders, says AXA Chief Executive Ross McEwan.

“It is a bold move which has been a long time coming. Not for many years has a government taken such a far sighted approach to meeting the future retirement needs of New Zealanders.

“Instead of focussing on paring back superannuation and transferring more responsibility for provision to individuals, which have proved politically unsustainable at the polling booths, this government has introduced a sustainable scheme which will retain the value of pensions and encourage people who can to save for their retirement,” Mr McEwan said.

The scheme re-introduces much needed certainty into the superannuation debate. New Zealanders now know that they can at least rely on the level of benefit that applies to today’s superannuitants. This gives them the opportunity to set realistic and achievable savings goals which can be met through private savings.

“It’s a signal we have been waiting for. People saving for retirement have been operating in a vacuum. They’ve been fearing the worst, assuming state provision will wither and recoiling from the task of saving for retirement. Now they know they have only to fund the gap between certain levels of state provision and their desired retirement income.

“The scheme imposes a vital responsibility on the funds management industry. Our role now is to provide the fund’s board with professional investment services that meet best practice and make a strong contribution to the fund’s rising value. To achieve this, the new fund will need to take a global approach to its investment mandate.”

Mr McEwan added that it was time for political parties to accommodate the Government’s initiative and provide the political certainty needed to underpin the scheme.

“New Zealanders will be looking closely at the response of political parties to this initiative.” he said.
ENDS

For more information:
Mark Pickering – 021 670-915


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