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National moves to secure NZ's future

National moves to secure NZ's future

The National-led government has got NZ back on its feet, people into jobs, the economy into surplus, and tackled natural disasters.

The challenge now is to sustain that growth and build for more growth.

We need to be ready to adapt to a still fragile and uncertain world, and prepare ourselves for long term prosperity.

To that end, Prime Minister Bill English today announced the National Party will go into the election with a responsible policy of lifting the age of entitlement for NZ Super from 65 to 67 starting in 20 years’ time.

Under our policy, the age of entitlement for NZ Super increases by six months each year from July 2037 until it reaches 67 in July 2040.

This means everyone born on or after 1 January 1974 will be eligible for NZ Super from age 67.

Other settings such as indexing NZ Super to the average wage and universal entitlement without means testing will remain unchanged.

National’s policy also proposes doubling the residency requirements for NZ Super to ensure applicants have lived in New Zealand for 20 years, with five of those after the age of 50.

People who are already citizens or residents will remain eligible under the existing rules.

National has chosen 67 because increases in life expectancy mean somebody retiring at 67 in 2041 will spend on average almost a quarter of their lives receiving superannuation, which is the same as someone who retires at 65 today.

While New Zealand has a more affordable scheme than most other countries, our greater life expectancy, while positive, is driving up the cost of NZ Super.

Without making changes, future trade-offs - such as restricting spending increases in areas like health and education or increasing taxes - would be necessary.

Under our changes to the age of eligibility and residency requirements, we expect to save New Zealand taxpayers in excess of 0.6 per cent of GDP or $4 billion annually once the changes are fully in place in 2041.

National’s NZ Super plan ensures the sustainability of the NZ Super Scheme in the long term and provides assurances for generations of hard-working New Zealanders.

It’s the right and responsible thing to do to secure New Zealand’s future.

Kind regards

Peter Goodfellow
President


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