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Review of Retirement Income Policies: Toys Talk Retirement

For immediate release
8th August 2016

Toys Talk Retirement

We promised we were going to do things differently with our 2016 Review of Retirement Income Policies and we don’t like to disappoint.

Today we are releasing the first of two sets of recommendations for change, which we are presenting to the government. But you won’t find them buried in a traditional policy document.

This is less about policymakers and pension geeks and more about voters and the public, so we have packaged the information in a way that has never been done before and which we hope will appeal.

We have created an interactive video series “Toys Talk Retirement” using stop motion animation, superheroes, abs, a love triangle, and more innuendo than a Benny Hill Xmas special: http://v.wirewax.com/cffcreview2016

But don’t be fooled by the wrapping: the nine months of work behind the recommendations are all in there too, using a digital interactive platform that allows you to choose how you experience the review.

The first release features episodes 1-3 and within the short movies you will find more than 100 pieces of content ranging from surveys, research findings, blogs, podcasts, expert opinion, public feedback and video interviews to the recommendations themselves.

Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell said: “We’ve got some big issues to discuss and some important recommendations for change, but we’re acutely aware that a printed report won’t grab the public’s interest and we think it’s crucial that they are part of this discussion.

“So we’re letting Ken and Barbie and a team of superheroes do the talking, with all the work supporting our recommendations tucked into the interactive videos that everyone can access online.

“We’re pretty sure it is the first time this approach has been used for a report of this kind and we hope it will make it easier for people to think about the future and how we should prepare for it.”

The recommendations are being released in two phases, starting with KiwiSaver today and followed by NZ Superannuation next week.

Scott McMurray, Review Manager, said: “The KiwiSaver recommendations could make a significant difference to New Zealanders’ balances and retirement outcomes. They are aimed at making it easier for people to save more for the future and provide greater flexibility and certainty over their retirement savings.”

The KiwiSaver changes we are recommending to the government are:

1. Increase employer and employee contributions from 3% to 4%: an annual automated increase of 0.25% from 2018, allowing a gradual rise of employer and member contributions from 3% to 4% by 2021, resulting in a total contribution rate of 8%.

2. An automated option for members to increase their contributions by 0.25%, 0.5 % or 1 % up to a capped maximum rate. Members will be able to set and step back from KiwiSaver knowing that their contributions and savings will increase over time.

3. Add 6% and 10% to increase the range of employee contribution rates options, taking them to: 4%, 6%, 8% and 10%.

4. Decouple the age of access to KiwiSaver funds from NZ Superannuation and discuss appropriate eligibility age for KiwiSaver funds.

5. Allow people over 65 years to join KiwiSaver.

6. Change the name of ‘contributions holiday’ to ‘savings suspension’ and reduce the maximum time to one year.

7. KiwiSaver providers to disclose the total dollar cost of all fees on annual statements.

We also considered recommendations around decumulation and New Zealand’s ageing workforce.

More work is required to develop tools and information to help older people use their savings and assets to provide income and meet their retirement needs.

We are also recommending that the government, business sector and other organisations work together to support older workers with retraining and career transition, as well as developing guides and best practice frameworks to manage the country’s ageing workforce.

Use this link to find the interactive video series: http://v.wirewax.com/cffcreview2016

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