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Incentives Needed For Private Pension Saving

"The ACT Party is disappointed the government is determined to make national superannuation a political football again," ACT leader Richard Prebble says.

Mr Prebble has confirmed the ACT Party caucus yesterday decided to vote against both Part A and Part B of the government's proposed superannuation fund.

"When the bill was introduced, ACT voted for it to be referred to the select committee and we made a public commitment that we'd be willing to work with all other parties to try to create a sustainable scheme and a lasting consensus," Mr Prebble said.

"But the Prime Minister dismisses any constructive proposals, saying the government wants to make it an election issue.

"The revelation in the Finance and Expenditure Committee that the scheme won't be funded from surpluses and every dollar will be borrowed, makes a nonsense of Part B of the scheme. (See: www.act.org.nz/item.jsp?id==20864 (http://www.act.org.nz/item.jsp?id==20864)). There's not a single witness who appeared before the committee who has supported the idea that it's sensible to borrow to speculate on the world sharemarket," Mr Prebble said.

"Part A, which purports to guarantee not just the present level of super but also to increase super in line with wages, is an outrageous act of political hypocrisy.

"Labour, National, the Alliance and NZ First are all on record as saying the present scheme is unsustainable, and an investment fund financed by borrowing will only add to the problem. So how can any political party with integrity vote for Part A when there's no financially viable scheme to finance it?

"ACT believes we should be up front with voters. Parliament can say to the present retired: 'we can guarantee your present living standards, which the Ministry of Social Policy's recent survey indicates is adequate'.

"We should be up front with younger voters and say the present super scheme is not sustainable into the future. They should save for their own retirement and Parliament should be looking for sensible ways to help people do that.

"We're talking about changes to super that a 20 years away and if Parliament gives proper notice, today's 40-year-olds can plan. But to tell today's 40-year-olds: 'don't worry, everything's okay', is the reason why politicians have such a bad name," Mr Prebble said.

ENDS


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