21 May 2007
Union support for Kiwisaver overwhelming
“Union support for Kiwisaver is overwhelming despite some high profile media comment suggesting otherwise,” CTU president Ross Wilson said today.
“Kiwisaver has been the subject of very thorough discussion among CTU unions and a campaign is being developed which may actively support the IRIS superannuation scheme which unions like the NDU have long promoted for second tier superannuation.”
“I expect that there will be very wide support for Kiwisaver from working New Zealanders,” Ross Wilson said.
“This is clearly second tier provision and the CTU has always supported it as an optional add-on for workers who choose to,” he said. “The CTU will continue to fight for New Zealand superannuation as the basic right for all New Zealanders.”
“The CTU has consistently argued for a 2% threshold level for contributions to assist the lower paid," Ross Wilson said. “There are transitional arrangements in the Bill which allow workers to agree prior to April next year to go halves with their employer in a 2 plus 2 arrangement for a 4 per cent contribution into KiwiSaver, and maintain that arrangement as well as attract the member tax credit.”
“The requirement for a 4% contribution can be deferred until 2011 in that situation but we will also continue to push for improvements in KiwiSaver and in particular support moves that can increase participation by lower paid workers.”
“But the real solution to low wages is strengthening collective bargaining so that low wages can be addressed at an industry level by workers and employers.”
“CTU unions are actively working on that while employers and opposition parties are significantly silent.”
“Kiwisaver will be on the agenda for the CTU National Council meeting on Thursday at which all affiliated unions will be able to address the Budget enhancements,” Ross Wilson said.