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PM Press Conference 06/03/17: NZ Super Age Increased to 67

PM Press Conference 06/03/17:
NZ Super Age Increased to 67

Today Prime Minister Bill English and Finance Minister Steven Joyce announced that the government will increase the age of entitlement to New Zealand Superannuation from 65 to 67. Mr English and Mr Joyce were both present to describe the proposal in further detail. Key points included: Life expectancy has increased therefore driving up the cost of NZ Super; changes will not take place for 20 years’ time; other countries such as Australia and UK are also increasing the age; a change for new residents from 10 years to 20 years for entitlement. The Prime Minister spoke of the economy in 2008 and how, with the uncertainty at the time, it was not a viable option to change the age.

Mr English was asked what changed his mind, and he again reiterated that in 2008 and the years following, people wanted more certainty; now, the economy is strong and the government has an opportunity to review various policies, including this. He was questioned about the possibility of negotiating with other parties, why the legislation will be introduced in 2018 and about lowering the Maori age to 63 due to lower life expectancy. Mr English assured that there will be no exceptions for specific ethnic groups, but they will review it for certain professions such as those who have been working in manual labour.

When asked about whether this is a “risky move” just before the election, the Prime Minister insisted that this is right for New Zealand. He also mentioned that announcing this right before the election allows for an open discussion and allows it to be tested in an election.

Mr Joyce was asked if he thinks there will be an influx of migrants due to the change from 10 to 20 years for residents, and he does not believe that will be the case.

Mr English said that he has spoken to the former Prime Minister, John Key, who is supportive of the government’s direction.

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