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New Zealand well prepared for ageing population

Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Minister of Finance

18 December 2007 Media Statement

New Zealand well prepared for ageing population

Under the Labour-led government New Zealand has become one of the world’s best-prepared nations to meet the challenge of an ageing population, Finance Minister Michael Cullen said today.

Welcoming the release of the Retirement Commissioner’s review of retirement policy, Dr Cullen said that any effort to focus the attention of New Zealanders on our long-term challenges is one that the government welcomes.

“The Labour-led government believes that all New Zealanders deserve a good standard of living in retirement,” Dr Cullen said.

“That is why we reversed National’s cuts to superannuation rates, why we have committed ourselves to providing superannuation at 65, why we have invested heavily in the Superannuation Fund to make that commitment sustainable, and why we have introduced the hugely successful KiwiSaver scheme.

“The Commissioner is right to point out that fully funding superannuation and KiwiSaver well into the future will be a challenge, but it is a challenge the Labour-led government believes we can meet. Standard and Poors has already called New Zealand one of the best-prepared nations in the world to deal with the costs of an ageing population and we think we can build on that position.

“We will respond fully to the Commissioner’s report early in 2008, but we are opposed to raising the age of superannuation entitlement, cutting superannuation rates, or cutting KiwiSaver entitlements.

“I hope other parties will clarify their positions in the months ahead. We know that John Key personally supports raising the age of superannuation entitlement and that Bill English has already hinted about wanting to cut superannuation rates again.”


ENDS

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