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Security in Superannuation

29 November 2004

Don Brash - National Party Leader

Security in Superannuation

Opposition Leader Don Brash tonight confirmed the National Party's support for the New Zealand Superannuation Fund.

"If New Zealand is ever to gain some certainty about how we are to deal with the sustainability of the New Zealand Superannuation scheme, then it is going to require an opposition political party to make the hard decision to stop kicking the political football," he said in a speech tonight.

"If ever we are going to give New Zealanders the greater certainty they deserve about retirement savings, a Leader of the Opposition is going to have to declare the game over.

"And that is what I am doing tonight.

"Tonight I am announcing that National will retain the New Zealand Superannuation Fund.

"National will continue the New Zealand Superannuation Fund in its current form, and with the current contribution rate. There will be no difference between the two major parties on this, and that will allow a more productive discussion about how we deal with the strains on financing superannuation through the middle part of this century.

"We - and I mean all political parties - do need to establish a process for exploring the need for future changes if, in the future, they look to be necessary. And that process should be as distanced from political manoeuvring as possible, just as we have removed the day-to-day control of monetary policy from political control.

"In my view, the Retirement Commission's role should be extended.

"A National Government will ask the Retirement Commission to lead the debate that New Zealand must now have on the issues that I have touched on. To that end, we intend strengthening the Retirement Commission so it has the necessary resources - both money and people.

"This suggested framework would, to the greatest extent possible, de-politicise the issues and the process, in particular by having a very long horizon - looking at any changes that might be necessary 20 years ahead. However, it won't remove from Parliament the ultimate responsibility for bringing into law changes that are needed to give younger New Zealanders the certainty they deserve," Dr Brash said.

ENDS

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