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More to the future than just dollars – Age Concern

Age Concern New Zealand media release
Superannuation – 30 October 2009

More to the future than just dollars – Age Concern

Treasury's future options focus on financial issues, but Age Concern New Zealand says that social issues need to be considered too.

"The question has to be asked: what sort of society do we want to have in the future? All New Zealanders young and old need to be included in the discussion – after all, it's their future," Age Concern New Zealand national president Liz Baxendine says.

"Do we want a society where we must all work till we drop?" asks Liz Baxendine. "There has to be more to life than that.

"Calls to raise the Superannuation age to 67, or even higher, ignore the situation of manual workers, Mäori and Pacific people. They have a right to a decent retirement. After a lifetime of work and paying taxes they would receive less benefit if the Super age was raised because they tend to die earlier.

"Sixty-five is the right age for a person – who may well have worked since the age of 15 – to get Superannuation. It's a time people can use to make choices about the last part of their lives. Some may keep working as their skills are needed; others grow the economy by starting new businesses; others increase voluntary work and make their communities better places; but for some people there is no choice – they've been worn out by a lifetime of physical work.

"New Zealanders of all ages need certainty around Superannuation for their retirement planning.

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"We all need to plan for a future with one million older New Zealanders, but we need to do it without talking about the 'burden' of older people," Liz Baxendine says.

"We can't predict what society will look like in 30 years' time, but it's foolish to think it will be just like today except with more seniors."

Age Concern says a national discussion about the future of Super needs to take place across political and generational lines.

Refers: New Zealand's Long-term Fiscal Statement- Challenges and Choices, NZ Treasury 29 October 2009


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