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Super Policies Assessment Should Continue

Independent Assessment of Super Policies Should Continue

The New Zealand Business Roundtable opposes a plan to cease independent assessment of government policies on retirement income, executive director Roger Kerr said today.

The New Zealand Superannuation Amendment Bill would remove all statutory references to the 1993 Accord on Retirement Income Policies, including the present requirement for periodic reports on retirement income policies to be prepared by an independent report group.

In a submission to the social services select committee considering the legislation, Mr Kerr said that achieving consensus and stability on retirement income policies depended on sound conceptual foundations and informed public debate. The Accord process and the Periodic Report Groups had played a helpful role in developing the level of consensus that now exists around retirement income, including the paramount importance of economic growth and the need for greater private provision.

"This process should be continued to help shape future decision making, including longer-term modifications to New Zealand Superannuation, since its parameters strongly influence private savings decisions", Mr Kerr said.

"The fact that last year's Periodic Review Group had biased terms of reference and produced a weak report is not a good reason to scrap the process.

"While the Business Roundtable supports the proposed functions of the retirement commissioner and an ongoing work programme by the Retirement Commission, there is still a need for such periodic, independent reports”, Mr Kerr said.

The Business Roundtable recommended that a requirement for independent reports at intervals of five years be inserted into the New Zealand Superannuation Act 2001.

The Business Roundtable's submission is available online at http://www.nzbr.org.nz

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