Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Retirement Income Report 2003

19 December 2003

Retirement Income Report 2003

"The Periodic Report Group has missed an opportunity to make a useful contribution to the debate about long-term retirement income policy", the executive director of the New Zealand Business Roundtable, Roger Kerr, said today.

Mr Kerr said that the PRG report acknowledges at the outset that "there is no room for complacency about the current system's ability to provide for future cohorts [of retirees]". It also says "PRG 2003 would like to see an open and informed discussion about future retirement provision". In this context, it mentions possible changes to the age of entitlement for New Zealand Superannuation, the rates of benefit, and the case for targeting NZS.

Having said all this, however, it shies away from any discussion of these issues, claiming it was "not within our remit to do so". This is a complete cop-out. The PRG's terms of reference required it to make "suggestions for the adjustment of any of the Government's retirement income and savings policies in order to enhance the provision of private retirement income". The shape of NZS has a powerful influence on private savings decisions. The report does note that the universal benefit feature of NZS scores poorly on equity grounds.

The PRG report also fails to engage with criticisms of the Cullen Fund made in submissions.

The report correctly emphasises the paramount importance of economic growth for the living standards of future retirees. Once again, however, it ducks any comment on the government's many anti-growth initiatives, and it provides no advice on better pro-growth policies.

Some comfort can be taken from the PRG's conclusions that tax concessions for savings have more costs than benefits, and that Australia 's compulsory scheme has little to commend it in a New Zealand setting. These policy debates appear to have been settled, which makes the lack of discussion of the parameters of NZS, and of the case for lower overall levels of government spending and taxation to encourage private savings, all the more disappointing.

Mr Kerr said the Business Roundtable had opposed the recommendations of the Hickey working party and the Securities Commission for regulation of prospectuses and investment advisers. It was pleased to see the PRG criticism of mandatory prospectuses for employer superannuation schemes and its proposals for a self-regulatory regime for investment advisers.

"Overall, however, the PRG seems to have done little serious work - many of its recommendations involve further work by others - and it has produced a lightweight report that does little to advance public understanding of future superannuation challenges. The efforts made by submitters have largely been wasted. There is a need for more debate and consensus on retirement income policy, but future bland, politically correct reports of this kind would be hardly worth having", Mr Kerr concluded.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Snail's Pace: Aucklanders Face Frustrating Commute Over Harbour Bridge

Journeys into Auckland's CBD took longer than usual as traffic banked up around the damaged Harbour Bridge. More>>


Statistics New Zealand: COVID-19 Sees Record 12.2 Percent Fall In New Zealand’s Economy

Gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 12.2 percent in the June 2020 quarter, the largest quarterly fall recorded since the current series began in 1987, as the COVID-19 restrictions in place through the quarter impacted economic activity, Stats NZ said ... More>>


Climate: Scientists Release ‘Blueprint’ To Save Critical Ecosystems And Stabilize The Earth’s Climate

A group of scientists and experts produced the first comprehensive global-scale analysis of terrestrial areas essential for biodiversity and climate resilience, totaling 50.4% of the Earth's land. The report was published in Science Advances ... More>>


MPI: Independent Review Launched Into Assurances For Safe Transport Of Livestock By Sea

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has launched an independent review of the assurances it receives for the safe transport of livestock by sea. MPI Director-General Ray Smith says Mike Heron QC has been appointed to lead the review, which is expected ... More>>


Computers: New Zealand PC Market Grows Nearly 40% Due To Work From Home Demand

COVID-19 had large impacts on demand for PCs as businesses prepared for lockdowns by purchasing notebooks to mobilise their workforce. In the second quarter of 2020, New Zealand's Traditional PC market experienced a 39.7% year-on-year (YoY) growth ... More>>


Ministry of Health: Public Transport Distancing Requirements Relaxed

Physical distancing requirements on public transport have been reviewed by the Ministry of Health to determine whether they are still required at Alert Level 2 (or below). The Ministry’s assessment is that mandatory face covering and individuals tracking ... More>>


NZHIA: New Zealand Hemp Industry Set To Generate $2 Billion Per Annum And Create 20,000 Jobs

A new report says a fully enabled hemp industry could generate $2 billion in income for New Zealand by 2030, while also creating thousands of new jobs. Written by industry strategist Dr Nick Marsh, the report has prompted calls from the New Zealand Hemp ... More>>


Stats NZ: One In 14 Employed People Report High Risk Of Losing Jobs

About one in 14 workers say they expect to lose their job or business by mid-2021, Stats NZ said today. A survey of employed people in the June 2020 quarter showed 7 percent felt there was a high or almost certain chance of losing their job or business ... More>>

ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast: NZ Economy Doing Better Than Expected, But Challenges Remain

August lockdown estimated to have shaved 8% off NZ’s weekly GDP, and 0.5% off annual GDP Economy now expected to shrink 5% (year-on-year) by end of 2020 Unemployment rate now expected to peak at 7.2% The latest ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast is less ... More>>


SAFE: Live Export Ship Carrying 5,800 New Zealand Cows Goes Missing In East China Sea

Livestock carrier Gulf Livestock 1 sent a distress signal at 4:45am NZT yesterday in the East China Sea. The area is affected by Typhoon Maysak. At 4pm a patrol plane spotted a lifeboat - with no people in it - and a man in lifejacket nearby. The ship ... More>>


FMA: Kiwisaver Fees Don't Match Performance

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) today published an independent report into the passive and active investment management styles [i] used by KiwiSaver providers. The FMA commissioned MyFiduciary to test the extent that KiwiSaver providers were ... More>>