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Backing Super Fund for NZ's sake: Copeland

Backing Super Fund for NZ's sake: Copeland

United Future has formally advised the Government of its support for Finance Minister Michael Cullen's NZ Superannuation Fund, established to pre-fund a proportion of the huge bulge in benefits that will hit New Zealand from 2020 on.

Contributions, from current tax revenue, will average around $1.5 billion per annum over the next five years. All going well, when the earnings on the fund are taken into account, some $40 billion will have been put aside by 2020.

United Future supports the "Cullen fund" because it believes that the pre-funding of future retirement income is of vital importance to the future well-being and financial security of both present and future retirees, the party's superannuation spokesman, Gordon Copeland, said today.

"Anything other than support for the fund would represent a dereliction of that duty and leave thousands of New Zealanders facing poverty in their old age," he said.

"United Future therefore challenges National, Act and the Greens to make a similar irrevocable commitment to the principles of the fund. It is simply not good enough to leave this as a political football.

"Those who want to play that game are dicing with the future financial security of New Zealanders, particularly those who are less well-off," he said.

At the same time Mr Copeland called upon the Government to do more to encourage private savings.

"It is clear to me that specific tax incentives will be required to achieve that; a fact confirmed by the release of yesterday's Sovereign survey which indicates that 79 percent of New Zealanders would increase their retirement savings if there was a tax incentive to do so."

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