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How Voluntary is KiwiSaver?

How Voluntary is KiwiSaver?

Blog: Dr Jamie Whyte
18 June 2014

The reactions to Labour’s proposals for KiwiSaver have been generally negative. National, NZ First and even the Greens have said that KiwiSaver should be kept voluntary. People should still be able to opt out.

But the idea that KiwiSaver is now voluntary is misleading. Of course, employees can opt out, but employers cannot. The politicians who object to Labour’s proposal are concerned about the liberty of employees but not, apparently, about the liberty of employers. Why not?

Why do these politicians think that allowing employees to make choices will lead to better outcomes but leaving employers with choices will not? I cannot understand their ethics or their economic thinking.

It would be nice if one of them could explain their reasoning – especially someone senior from the National Party, since they like to present themselves as pro-liberty and pro-enterprise.


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