Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Faafoi slow to fix unfair KiwiSaver withdrawal rule

Faafoi slow to fix unfair KiwiSaver withdrawal rule

New Zealanders with life-shortening conditions are being left in limbo for longer about access to their KiwiSaver funds because the Government hasn’t taken advantage of cross-party support to fix the problem, National List MP Nicola Willis says.

“The majority of New Zealanders can expect to retire at 65 and draw their pension for many years. But current law doesn’t recognise Kiwis with a chronic illness or health conditions that means they’re unlikely to live until 65. This effectively prevents some KiwiSavers from accessing the funds they have built-up over years of hard work.

“I’m really disappointed that Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi has refused to adopt my Member’s Bill, which would provide a mechanism to permit someone with a life-shortening illness or condition to apply for compassionate consideration to make withdrawals prior to age 65.

“This shouldn’t be a party-political issue. My KiwiSaver (Compassionate Consideration) Amendment Bill was published in December and could have been adopted as the template, allowing a select committee to get stuck in and given this issue much needed momentum.

“Instead, the Minister commissioned advisers to report back on the issue by the end of February. Nothing came of that and I again wrote to him in March suggesting we work together to fix this. He ignored my approaches and now says any solution will be late this year.

“The Minister still has scope to adopt my Bill as Government legislation, allowing Parliament to get to work on changing the law.

“I’m gutted for people like Tim Fairhall, a lovely man who has worked hard to accumulate KiwiSaver funds. Tim wants to access that money before his condition, Down Syndrome, prevents him from doing so.

“The proposed mechanism in my Bill would be consistent with KiwiSaver’s purpose of encouraging the development of a savings habit while allowing New Zealanders to provide for their own well-being and financial independence.

“I committed to Tim and his family that I would work across the House to get progress on this issue as soon as possible. I urge the Minister to show the same spirit and pick up my Bill.”

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On Reforming Parliament’s Toxic Culture

It would be nice to think Parliament was a forum where rationality ruled – and where policies are raised and evaluated in terms of their contribution to the greater good. Obviously, it isn’t like that... More>>

Historic Assualt Allegation: Parliamentary Service Staff Member Stood Down
Rt Hon Trevor Mallard said today: “I do not want to cut across any employment or possible police investigations, but I am satisfied that the Parliamentary Service has removed a threat to the safety of women working in the Parliamentary complex." More>>


Fatal 2018 Crash: Police Officer Should Not Have Engaged In Pursuit

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that a Police officer should not have tried to stop or pursue a car thought to contain young people in Palmerston North on 28 May 2018. More>>


New Poverty Targets: Goals Overlook 174000 Children In Worst Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group is pleased to see the Government set ambitious 10-year targets for child poverty reduction, but we are disappointed not to see a target set for improving thousands of young lives where the worst of poverty is found. More>>


Study: Guidelines Needed To Avoid Risks In Government AI

New Zealand is a world leader in government algorithm use – but measures are needed to guard against their dangers. This is the conclusion of a New Zealand Law Foundation-funded report from the University of Otago’s Artificial Intelligence and Law in New Zealand Project. More>>


Pike River: Families Welcome Opening Of Drift

The group representing 29 of the Pike River Families - the Pike River Family Reference Group - has welcomed the unsealing of the mine at a private family event this morning... More>>


Auckland Harbour Bridge: New Design For Walking And Cycling Crossing

The NZ Transport Agency has released plans for its preferred option for a shared path over the Auckland Harbour Bridge which will transform walking and cycling not only across the harbour, but throughout the city. The Transport Agency says its preferred ... More>>



Shaw First Reading Speech: Climate Change Response Bill

Madam Speaker, today we begin the task of amending the Climate Change Response Act [2002], to fulfil the commitment that we have made, as a country, to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. More>>


Housing: More Unsold Kiwibuild Houses Bought By Govt

The Crown underwrite for unsold Kiwibuild homes has been triggered for a second time. Now lack of sales in Mike Greer's development in Canterbury and Auckland means the government has had to buy back seven more homes. More>>





InfoPages News Channels